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Cosmeceuticals: A Complete Guide blog cover by Mikel Kristi Skincare

Cosmeceuticals: A Complete Guide

All About Cosmeceutical(s)

If you follow beauty news or have browsed the cosmetic section at a local big box store, you may have come across the word cosmeceutical(s). But what exactly does this mean? Is it a cosmetic, a prescription pharmaceutical, or another hyped up marketing word for cosmetic(s)? To answer these questions I’m going to guide you through the different definitions and opinions, the truth about making claims regarding results, what ingredients to look for, and give you the 411 on Mikel Kristi cosmeceutical formulations. 

Cosmetic vs Cosmeceutical

A cosmetic is a product applied topically to provide temporary, or relatively short term, benefits to the look or feel of the skin. This differs from a cosmeceutical product, typically formulated with higher concentrations of bio active ingredients, which has the ability to bring about longer lasting skin changes. The term ‘cosmeceutical’ is being used more and more often by cosmetic skincare brands. Among skincare formulators, a generally accepted definition of the word is:

COSMECEUTICAL[ koz-muh-soo-ti-kuhl ]

  • A skincare product that has both cosmetic and pharmaceutical properties. 

  • Seems pretty straight forward right? So why is there so much buzz and confusion around the topic of cosmeceutical skincare? This is where things can start to get a bit complicated…

    So What Is A Cosmeceutical?

    A more comprehensive definition of the word cosmeceutical is: A cosmetic product (usually skincare) that is considered a cosmetic for the purpose of regulatory guidelines and oversight, but contains biologically active ingredients intended to provide medicinal or pharmaceutical benefits to the skin. Wow, that’s a mouthful! So what the heck does it mean, and why should we care? 


    In the United States, the term cosmeceutical(s) is not officially recognized, and therefore not regulated, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the FDA does have legal authority regarding drugs, defined as “those products that cure, treat, mitigate or prevent disease, or that affect the structure or function of the human body,” the FDA website states; 

    The FDA does not have the legal authority to approve cosmetics before they go on the market … FDA regulated does not mean FDA-approved”

    What this means is, although the safety of cosmeceuticals must be tested, NO TESTING IS REQUIRED to see if the right active ingredients are being used, in correct and stable percentages, to live up to their cosmeceutical claims. 

    The Bottom Line

    I did warn you this could get a bit complicated!!! But here’s what it boils down to; Skincare companies can say their products are cosmeceuticals, but as long as they aren’t making curative claims, there is very little stopping them from mixing up some filler ingredients, with a miniscule amount of trendy actives, into ineffective formulations that they claim are cosmeceuticals. This is one of the main reasons I created Mikel Kristi Skincare, and wrote the international best selling book, “Your Beauty Advocate: A No Nonsense Guide To Age Defying Skincare Products & Procedures.” I have made it my mission to help you avoid the costly mistakes I made when buying products that don’t work, and even worse, that can intensify skin conditions and diminish skin health.

    Must Have Cosmeceutical Ingredients 

    Cosmeceutical ingredients can change the future of your skin when formulated correctly. In the United States, cosmetic labels require ingredients to be listed by their scientific (INCI) name, in order of their concentration percentage within the formulation.  Here is our short list of top bio actives to look for: 

    • Bio Peptides -Short amino acid chains effective in fighting visible signs of aging.  Clinically proven to reduce the depth of wrinkles, aid in skin healing, smooth roughness, and improve skin tone and texture. 
    • Retinoids, Vitamin A,Retinaldehyde (Retinal) – Speeds up the skin’s cellular renewal process, helps to refine skin texture, significantly softens the appearance of fine lines and scarring, reduces redness, slows signs of aging, and minimizes pigmentation & sun-damage.
    • Vitamin B(Niacinamide, Panthenol) – Promotes healing, helps reduce moisture loss, and improves the skin’s natural barrier function.
    • Vitamin C -(L-ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate) - A potent bio available antioxidant that aids in stimulating collagen production resulting in firm and plumped skin.
    • Hyaluronic Acid -Attracts atmospheric water to the surface of the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
    • AHAs & BHAs(Glycolic, Lactic, Malic, & Salicylic Acids) -Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids are exfoliants that dissolve surface dead skin cells, trigger the skin's natural repair process, aid in retexturizing & decongesting the skin, and help diminish breakouts and pigmentation.
    • Antioxidants (Vitamin’s A, C, E, Green Tea, Co Enzyme Q10) - Strengthen and nourish the skin, fight and protect against free-radicals, rejuvenate damaged skin and slow the signs of aging!!!
    • Superoxide Dismutase(SOD) - An potent enzyme that acts like an antioxidant, especially when paired with our form of Vitamin C and Green Tea Extract.

    • Calendula - Potent anti-inflammatory that stimulates collagen production.
    • Epidermal Growth Factor(EGF) - Stimulates stem cell and collagen production.
    • Hexapeptide-11 -Increases cellular response stimulating collagen production.
    • Bisabolol -A powerful anti-inflammatory with wound healing properties that can help minimize skin sensitivity while cooling and soothing.

    Bridging The Gap

    Mikel Kristi Skincare products bridge the gap between over-the-counter (OTC) and medical grade skincare. When expertly formulated like our products, cosmeceutical ingredients have the potential to visibly change and enhance the look and feel of your skin. As a Board Certified PA with extensive experience in aesthetic medicine, you can rest assured that our products are results driven and backed by medical expertise. Our skincare is formulated with the highest concentrations of bio active ingredients available without a prescription. Designed for results, these eco-lux cosmeceuticals are clinically validated, in my daily medical practice, to significantly improve the health, function, and overall appearance of the skin. 

    All of our products are engineered to work synergistically and can be cocktailed together for custom solutions and easy application. We select plant-based ingredients based on how they interact with the skin, each other, and within the formula itself. Our proprietary, liposome encapsulated delivery system gives our products the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin, where cellular, collagen, and elastin activity happens, and where our cosmeceutical actives are most effective.

    And there you have it... Everything you need to know to supercharge your skincare game with expertly crafted, results focused COSMECEUTICALS!

    Here’s To Your Best Skin Ever!


    Christy Hall - PAC, MPAS

    And this week we have a special offer for all of you MK Beauties! All of our Serums & Moisturizers are Buy One Get One ½ Off!!!  

    Use Code:BOGOHALF 


    Watch Now To Learn More About Cosmeceuticals

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