Cosmetics vs. Cosmeceuticals: Know the Difference!

Simply put, the fundamental difference between “Cosmeceuticals” and over-the-counter (OTC) “Cosmetics” is that the latter term refers to substances that cleanse or enhance the appearance of the skin without therapeutic benefits, whereas the former refers to a hybrid between pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products that are intended to enhance both the health and beauty of the skin by external application and following a particular mechanism of action.

Skincare products affect the skin in different ways. The gap between ingredients of cosmetics and pharmaceutical grade is bridged when a proven and safe blend of cosmeceutical ingredients are formulated in desired delivery systems. These ingredients offer desired outcomes by reaching the various layers of the skin and actually changing the way skin works for an overall improvement in skin health and complexion.

Active Ingredients Most Commonly Found in Cosmeceuticals

Most cosmeceuticals are marketed under various labels, such as dermopharmaceuticals, functional cosmetics, dermaceutical products or active cosmetics.

The following active ingredients help skin retain its texture and appearance ― a natural way, with a multi-dimensional approach:



  • Antioxidants , such as retinol, vitamins (B, C and E), coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), hyaluronic acid and polyphenols
  • Peptides, which stimulate collagen growth in the skin
  • Natural botanical products, such as green tea, soybean, grape seed and Aloe Vera