What Is Cosmeceutical Skincare? Our Expert Guide

So you’ve got your skincare routine down. You cleanse and moisturise religiously, wear sunscreen daily, and never, ever go to bed with makeup on. Well done you! You get an A+ at Skincare School today! But, if you’re itching for even better results, it’s time to level up your skincare by exploring cosmeceutical skincare.


What Is Cosmeceutical Skincare? Our Expert Guide - SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier, Alpha-H Hyaluronic 8 Serum, PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum, mesoestetic HA densimatrix - 670 x 478What Is Cosmeceutical Skincare? Our Expert Guide - SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier, Alpha-H Hyaluronic 8 Serum, PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum, mesoestetic HA densimatrix - 670 x 478


What is Cosmeceutical Skincare?

’Cosmeceutical’ is just a fancy word for products that contain active ingredients like vitamins, antioxidants, or botanical extracts. These ingredients are chosen to enhance your skincare and make noticeable changes to the skin. Find out more in our Beauty IQ article Everything You Need To Know About Cosmeceutical Skincare.


What’s the Difference Between Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals?

Cosmetics is the catch-all term to describe all things skincare and makeup. While cosmetics can have beneficial ingredients (think nourishing beeswax in lipstick or a hydrating cleanser), they generally don’t contain active ingredients.

Cosmeceutical skincare is often backed by science and research so you can be more confident the products are going to do what they say they’ll do. Basically, cosmeceutical products are formulated to deliver better results than regular skincare products.



What are the Benefits of Cosmeceutical Skincare?

The active ingredients in cosmeceuticals are chosen to target specific skincare concerns, such as:

  • Fine lines

  • Dryness and dehydration

  • Dullness

  • Acne

  • Scarring

  • Pigmentation

  • Sun damage

Even if you don’t have specific issues with your skin, you can still use cosmeceuticals to give you brighter and more vibrant skin.




What are the Common Cosmeceutical Active Ingredients?

It’s easy to tell if a product could be classified as a cosmeceutical skincare product by reading what it contains.

Glycolic Acid: This chemical exfoliant gently removes the dead layers of skin. It can be used on most skin types and is especially good for blackhead and acne-prone skin.

Hyaluronic Acid: This wonder ingredient binds to water molecules, helping to maintain moisture and hydrate the skin.

Retinol: Perhaps the most-hyped cosmeceutical ingredient, retinol has been clinically proven to improve skin cell turnover and minimise the breakdown of collagen (and therefore prevent wrinkles). Fun fact: Retinol is a super-concentrated version of Vitamin A.

Vitamins: A virtual alphabet of vitamins can be found in cosmeceutical skincare including Vitamin C (which increases brightness) and Vitamin B (improves skin tone).

Niacinamide: Also known as B3, niacinamide has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce redness and moisture loss.

Antioxidants: This is a catch-all term for vitamins and minerals that protect your skin from free radicals. You know, things like air pollutants, chemicals and haze that damage your skin by weakening the collagen. Antioxidants are like little warriors going into battle for your complexion.

Idebenone: This super-charged antioxidant is found in premium skincare products and helps to prevent skin damage.

Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is an acne-fighting ingredient used to cleanse pore-clogging oil and debris and clear up breakouts faster.

Lactic Acid: This is a sensitive-skin friendly ingredient that gives gentle exfoliation and hydration.

Peptides: Think of these like tiny building blocks for the skin, helping to repair and enhance the skin’s appearance and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.


Skinceuticals Retexturizing Activator  - flat lay of product bottle brown on recycled paper - 670 x 478Skinceuticals Retexturizing Activator  - flat lay of product bottle brown on recycled paper - 670 x 478


Who Should Use Cosmeceuticals?

If you still remember the opening theme song to Friends then you should be using cosmeceuticals. But then again, it’s never too early to start looking after your skin better, so once you’ve hit your twenties, it’s worth considering. As we age, our skin begins to show signs of damage caused by lifestyle factors, hormonal changes, and sun exposure. Cosmeceutical skincare can help prevent further damage and even repair and enhance the skin’s appearance.

If you’re younger, you can also benefit from cosmeceutical skincare. Particularly those designed to combat free radicals or prevent the signs of aging.

It’s important to research which ingredients are right for your skin, and avoid layering up your cosmeceutical skincare until you know how your skin reacts to each ingredient. Remember, these products are more potent than regular skincare products and not using them correctly could actually damage your skin.


Best Cosmeceutical Brands

There are a lot of great cosmeceutical skincare brands out there so it really comes down to personal preference and your particular skincare needs. 

Discover which cosmeceutical skincare brands and products are right for you by having a read through some our of guides:

And don't miss out on our podcast! Beauty Editor Joanna and beauty newbie Hannah getting real about every aspect of beauty. Start listening here: Episode 1: Everything You Want To Know About Serums


Medik8  Hydr8 B5 - flat lay of product bottle on bed linen next to a small mirror and a gold chain necklace - 670x447Medik8  Hydr8 B5 - flat lay of product bottle on bed linen next to a small mirror and a gold chain necklace - 670x447


If you're having trouble choosing the right products, our friendly customer service team are always happy to help




Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.




Cosmeceuticals
Alpha-H Liquid Gold 100mL by Alpha-HAlpha-H Liquid Gold 100mL by Alpha-H

$50.96 $59.95

View

4.6 of 2038 reviews

Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14% by SkinstitutSkinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14% by Skinstitut

$34.30 $49.00

View

4.6 of 1552 reviews

Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser by SkinstitutSkinstitut Gentle Cleanser by Skinstitut

$34.30 $49.00

View

4.7 of 803 reviews

Skinstitut Retinol by SkinstitutSkinstitut Retinol by Skinstitut

$34.30 $49.00

View

4.6 of 541 reviews

asap super B complex 30ml by asapasap super B complex 30ml by asap

$81.90 $105.00

View

4.7 of 685 reviews

    Join Now >
    Filled with the usual things we know you'll love, and surprises you might not expect, it's real rewards, really simple.