“There are very few academic papers about over-the-counter moisturisers, and many of those that do exist are small and/or funded by the manufacturer.”

Myths About Moisturisers

Costhetics takes great pride in its relationship with the cosmetic surgery and beauty enhancement industry. It’s an industry that brings together the best-and-the-brightest from fields including medicine, aesthetics, and science. Our researchers constantly discover exciting new developments in the field, all supported by verifiable research.

Posted: 24 August 16

By Louisa McKay

We’re especially enthusiastic about advancements in professional grade skincare. Recently, however, our team found some disturbing information that calls into question the efficacy of over-the-counter moisturisers.

Here are the facts.

Who Said They Work?

In June, Matilda Whitworth, a doctor and chemist in Perth, Western Australia, had this to say about over-the-counter moisturisers when she was interviewed by the investigative television network “Vice.”

“There are very few academic papers about over-the-counter moisturisers, and many of those that do exist are small and/or funded by the manufacturer. One of the reasons is that for cosmetics manufacturers, rigorous peer-reviewed research can be a disadvantage. If [studies] show no effect, then your business is trash; but if they do show an effect, then busybodies wade in to regulate your pharmaceutically-active product.”

A lack of scientific evidence should always be cause for concern when it comes to anything you put on or in your body, but what’s the alternative?

Glad you asked!

Cosmeceutical Moisturisers

Have you heard of the term “cosmeceuticals”? It refers to cosmetic products with pharmaceutical (medicinal) properties. Cosmeceutical moisturisers are more effective and deliver better results than anything you would buy at a pharmacy or shopping mall.

Cosmeceuticals represent one of the fastest growing segments of the personal care industry. According to Market Research Report, the global cosmeceuticals market
will reach $61 (USD) billion by 2020.

Why is this? Increasingly, consumers want to maintain healthy skin without using chemicals. Cosmeceuticals address that desire. Professional grade skincare relies on biologically active ingredients with proven clinical benefits. Over-the-counter moisturisers rely on chemicals that may or may not deliver the benefits they promise, and there is little evidence that they work.

Professional vs. Over-the Counter Moisturisers

The chief difference between over-the-counter moisturisers and cosmeceuticals is the concentration of active ingredients. Because they are dispensed safely by dermatologists and other professionals, cosmeceutical moisturisers contain higher concentrations of these ingredients. This allows products to penetrate more deeply into the dermis layer of the skin, producing enhanced and longer-term results.

Other key differences include:

  • Cosmeceuticals are made in small batches to ensure freshness – OTC moisturisers may use the word “fresh,” but they are made with preservatives to keep the product shelf stable for years and can cause allergic skin reactions.
  • Cosmeceuticals focus on individual results – OTC moisturisers are mass-produced and take a one-size-fits-all approach to healthy skin. This can actually be detrimental, making a bad situation worse.
  • Cosmeceuticals are free of synthetics that can cause allergic reactions – OTC moisturisers are made with synthetic dyes, colours, and fragrances that irritate sensitive skin.
  • Cosmeceuticals are more expensive because they contain high-quality ingredients – Inexpensive OTC moisturisers contain low-quality ingredients that can clog pores and cause skin eruptions.
  • Cosmeceuticals are sold by professionals with the training to identify skin conditions and underlying causes for skin problems – You’re on your own when you buy most OTC moisturisers. Salespeople at cosmetics counters receive minimal training and have limited skincare knowledge.

Are Cosmeceutical Moisturisers Right for You?

If you’ve tried a variety of over-the-counter moisturisers, but still have skin that is dry, flaky, and unappealing, Costhetics says “See your doctor.” Doctors and other skincare professionals can analyse your skin and recommend a moisturiser that’s customised to your needs.

Now that’s the way you get smooth, youthful skin!

Join the Conversation