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Cosmeceutical Catch

With so much talk of Phytochemicals, Nutraceuticals and Cosmeceuticals flooding my brain, I tend to freeze when it comes to actually making a purchase. This is where I really depend on samples. And I'm not always going to get any of those...especially not in South Africa (but that's another post!).
So I turn to research and hearsay, pretty much. I always google to get the gist of a subject, and even though you always find the good bits floating up fastest, I specifically look for anything linked to dangers, toxins or any other negative connotations. I read everything with a pinch of salt...even the edu pages and the medical pages. I also look to see who the sponsors are; this can be very telling.

We're all into vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals, tissue salts and antioxidants. But with so many claims out there, I just can't seem to figure it all out, and start to categorize anything. If only it could be as simple as the difference between natural and synthetic...but some products and brands can even make that divide seem like a wholesome blur. So...what's what in the zoo??

Natural skincare and beauty products and brands have been onto botanical extracts, tissue salts and vitamins for eons; so, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that mainstream beauty is catching onto this leading trend. Natural skincare and makeup have never been more in demand, but the question will always be: how true will mainstream brands be to the nature in the 'nutra'?
And then there's this new trend that, apparently, the Americans love: "cosmeceuticals".
So for now let's figure out what the new terms like 'nutraceutical' or 'nutriceutical', and 'cosmeceutical' actually mean. From what I've read, nutra- or nutriceuticals are basically pills you can pop to make your skin, and other organs very happy, and are basically like suped-up vitamins that could also be used as a kind of an anti-aging elixir...or perhaps just sold as that. And let's face it, that is exactly what caught our attention...! They also produce specific supplements for chronic skin disorders, and various other conditions, including cardiovascular, cognitive and sexual health(!), but they predominantly utilise tissue salts, botanical extracts, minerals and vitamins along with perhaps a smidgen of pharma. But some of the companies that produce these new anti-aging, supplements also produce actual rub-on-your-skin skincare products...that are also called nutraceuticals...?...
According to the general definition of nutraceuticals as "foodstuffs", I must admit that I am a little loathe to call the new emerging skincare ranges that promote anti-aging solutions, and provide treatments for skin problems like acne and rosacea, 'nutraceuticals', even if they do have a lot of nutra in them. And rightfully so...they have a name all of their own: cosmeceuticals...a hybrid of cosmetics and pharmaceutical elements that target specific problem areas, and help recover skin from chronic conditions. And...apparently...destroy wrinkles...hmmm.

Cosmeceuticals are simply new generation skincare, and some are more intense than others. They do sound wonderful, and some of them promise the world. I always get excited when they start talking about all the natural ingredients like pomegranate, green tea, vita C and vita E, grape seed, aloe vera, jojoba, shea butter and many others, but I do get a little panicky when I hear "ceutical". The American market, however, are going loopy over these new super-charged cosmetics, and I've seen some before and after pics that are truly amazing. And if you're the kind of gal who would try a bit of botox, you probably wouldn't bat an eye at these new era skincare superheroes. I, however, am just that extra bit wary. Curious...but wary. It doesn't mean I won't try  just a wee bit, though.
In fact, I was given a sample of one of these new cosmeceuticals to try, and I must admit that I have not even opened the box...but I would like to put it to the test and see if it makes any difference to my most aged area of skin: my hands. And while I'm at it, I'll do a little more investigating. Which of course is what you should always do when you plan to consume or apply any kind of '~ceutical'.
These new Wunder-creams are fast becoming a less intrusive option for those considering more drastic measures. And specialised in-house treatments can only be done professionaly, and often as a pre-procedure regimen, or post-procedure assist to healing before and after cosmetic surgery.
The at home use is pretty user-friendly, and works along the philosophy of  "prevent, protect, correct". You can get quite specific with ranges like SkinCeuticals, now available in South Africa. If they're good enough for Gwynnie Paltrow...contact them via the Skinceuticals Facebook page, or why make that appointment with a dermatologist for a more comprehensive examination of your skin.


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