The power of Actives and What they are

Unlike regular moisturizing creams, which only temporarily improve the comfort and feel of the skin whilst the product is applied, all cosmeceuticals aim to:

  • Improve radiance
  • Even the skin tone
  • Redensify the lower layers of the skin

To achieve these goals cosmeceutical products customarily contain specialist ingredients in high enough concentrations to effect positive changes in the skin over 1- 4 months. These specialist ingredients are called actives and are formulated in such a way as to penetrate the skin where they set off a series of events involving signalling and communication between the skin's layers.

Different actives have different effects, eg. some lighten hyperpigmentation, some exfoliate to reveal smoother, more radiant skin and others can cause an increase in collagen levels etc. The actives used generally fall into 7 categories; antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, hydroxy acids, ceramides, vitamins, peptides and specific actives addressing hyper-pigmentation.

The 7 categories of 'actives' in cosmeceuticals.
  • Alpha hydroxy Acids
  • Peptides
  • Ceramides
  • Vitamins (A, B, C, E
  • Anti –oxidants
  • Anti – inflammatories
  • Anti –hyperpigmentation actives

Extreme care must be taken in combining actives from different groups as some will clash when combined rendering each useless. Other combinations create vastly improved synergistic effects. Knowing which combinations are best for certain skin types or environmental conditions requires the expertise of both the cosmetic formulator and the cosmetic chemist.