Cosmetics vs Cosmeceutical - how to choose what is best for you?

Cosmetics vs Cosmeceutical - how to choose what is best for you?

A lot of my clients who come for a facial treatment at Glenhaven Skincare have asked me about which skincare products are appropriate to treat their skin concerns. My answer is to always choose a cosmeceutical product.

However, for a consumer who likes luxury brands that smell divine and feel fabulous on the skin, Cosmetic skincare may be the way to go for them. If you care more about what is in the product and what the product can do for you in terms of results, then Cosmeceuticals are the way to go. 

Let’s discuss the key difference between Cosmetic and Cosmeceuticals, so you are better equipped with the information needed to make your next skin care purchase.


Cosmetics are products that are generally sold at retail outlets, department stores and multi-level marketing companies. The focus is on the marketing of the product and the feel good sensation when the product is used. Cosmetic products will help to maintain your skin by providing temporary results, but they will not help with the management of any skins concerns. 

Cosmetics primarily work on the outer surface of the skin and is not able to pass through the epidermal layer to the dermis (where our fibroblasts are and where collagen and elastin is produced), because the active ingredients are not a high enough strength and won’t necessarily be able to offer long-term improvements and changes to resolve skin concerns. 

Cosmetic’s focus on how the products feels and smells and can range from under $25 a bottle to over $250 a bottle depending on the brand name you are buying into. 


The word 'Cosmeceutical' describes a product that is a cross between a Cosmetic and a Pharmaceuticals. A Cosmeceutical is essentially a skincare product that contains a biologically active compound that is thought to have pharmaceutical effects on the skin. Skin conditions such as rosacea, pigmentation, decline of collagen and elastin (ageing), congestion, breakouts, dry and rough textured skin, can all be improved through the use of Cosmeceutical skincare. 

Cosmeceuticals are often restricted to professional skincare professionals, where a consultation will be provided by a qualified skin therapist. These products may offer significantly higher concentrations of active ingredients and delivery systems, and are supported by scientific backing.

Cosmeceuticals are scientifically proven to be great for your skin and contain active ingredients designed to work into and within the dermal skins layers. This allows cosmeceuticals to work more effectively than cosmetics, and is also why they’re the preferred choice of skincare professionals. Cosmeceutical skincare is extremely results driven and provides visible changes to skin. 

Cosmeceuticals aren’t just for those who have difficulty with their skin. By reaching deep into your skin, these products can offer deep hydration, stimulate collagen and re-texturise the skin. They’re also great to use after other beauty treatments such as microdermabrasion or a facial peel, as they can help sooth the skin and regenerate quickly.

By investing in cosmeceuticals, you’re actually investing in your current and future self - and that’s the real difference!