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Constructive Competition of Skin Care Cosmeceuticals

Skin Care Products

  • Alpha hydroxy acid can be used as an anti aging skin care treatment because it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Lactic, citric, glycolic, and tartaric are four alpha hydroxy acid types that are often used for anti wrinkle skin care. These acids increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, raising the risk of developing sun damaged skin, which makes sensitive skin care an important consideration before making use of products that contain one or more of these ingredients
  • Beta hydroxy acid helps exfoliate skin and promotes healthy color and texture balance
  • Because it is easily able to penetrate the pores, beta hydroxy acid is a commonly found ingredient in many effective acne skin care products
  • Vitamin C is a skin care vitamin that promotes production of collagen fibers, allowing it to be one of the best treatments for wrinkles and scars

Every industry is competing these days to place their product in the ultimate position in the market. They focus primarily on the rise and fall of the market, and on the market share. With so many companies claiming to be the best in the business, it is very difficult for consumers to choose the best product.

Skin care has been a huge rage for quite some time now, with both men and women extensively taking up a skin care routine. Skin care involves different products and different processes as well. But while choosing a product, one needs to be very careful about the ingredients. Every skincare product is not meant for every skin type. The marketing strategies of many of these product oriented companies are very influential, and that can often misleads consumers.

The consumer base isn’t always predictable, and in some cases, many users are quite knowledgable of the ingredients in these skin care products. However, some consumers might not be as knowledgeable of the many, varied ingredients and terms like acids, alpha, beta, and derivatives, to name a few. These technical terms might sound alien, or they have read these terms on a label, but never really knew what they meant. Therefore, for the education of all consumers, we have tried to explain the details of some well used ingredients and terms.

AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids)

This is one ingredient that has been prominent on the market for a considerable period of time now. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) products are sold over-the-counter and are very helpful in treating fine lines, pigmentation, age spots and enlarged pores. AHAs include 4 acids – lactic, citric, glycotic and tartaric acids. There are more than 200 manufacturers’ of skin care products in the USA alone, who have been dealing with products containing AHAs. Because these products are reported to occasionally cause mild side effects, like skin irritation and sensitivity, you need to use a sunscreen regularly, to avoid irritations caused due to sun rays after using AHA products.

Beta-hydroxy Acid / Salicylic Acid

Beta-hydroxy Acid is also known to be a competent ingredient of skin care products. This ingredient has also been known in the past as salicylic acid, and it helps in exfoliating the skin and further promotes the color and texture of the skin. Beta-hydroxy acid is an aid in treating acne and pimples as it penetrates the oil-laden hair follicles and openings. Skin care products that are Beta-hydroxy Acid based are highly available in the market today and are often sold over-the-counter. Studies reveal that skin care products containing Beta-hydroxy Acids are less irritating as compared to products containing AHAs, but provide almost the same improvements in the color and texture of the skin. However, a sunscreen should also become an essential application and should be used every morning.

Please be aware that pregnant women must consult a doctor before using products containing beta-hydroxy acid / salicylic acid. In addition, some people are allergic to the salicylate contents and should avoid using products containing salicylic acid as this can lead to dermatitis as well.


Some skin care products contain hydroquinone and these act as bleaching or lightening agents. Products containing hydroquinone are used to lighten and treat hyper pigmentation like dark spots due to hormone therapy, pregnancy “mask” or chloasma, and age spots. It is better to seek a doctor’s advice before using hydroquinone products andif one is allergic to this compound, you must avoid it and look for other skin lightening options. Please note, the FDA wants to ban OTC sales of hydroquinone due to the risk factors asscociated with this ingredient when used in high concentrations and for long periods of usage.

Kojic Acid

In 1989, researchers came up with Kojic acid, a remedy for skin pigmentation and age spots. Its effects are quite similar to hydroquinone and have been derived from a fungus that is very effective and acts as a lightening agent and also inhibits melanin production.


Retinol is a derivate of vitamin A and it is contained in a lot of skin care products sold over-the-counter (OTC). Tretinion is a counterpart of Retinol and is very strong. Itcontains ingredients like Renova and Retin-A. These can be obtained with a doctor’s prescription only. Retinol is very effective in treating mottled pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, skin tone and texture. Retinol also allows for skin re-hydration which is vital to healthy skin. A commonly heard term, Retinyl palmitate, belongs to the retinol family, but is less efficient as compared to retinol because you have to use more of this to get near the same effects.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps in stimulating collagen synthesis, which becomes very essential for the production of collagen. With age, the natural process of collagen production decreases and that leads to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C has been proven to be one of the best treatments for wrinkles and scars. However, vitamin C products are problematic in that when it comes in contact with oxygen this vitamin becomes useless.

Copper Peptide

Copper peptides help in regenerating the skin and are mostly used for that purpose. Studies have revealed that copper peptides promote the production of elastin and collagen, two basics to keeping your skin healthy. Additionally, copper peptide is an antioxidant that helps fight against free radical damage to the skin.

In addition to all these over-the-counter products, natural remedies have also been ruling the market for the past few years revolutionizingthe whole idea of skin care. “Naturopathy” is the term that is used for natural medicines. It actually combines the values of science, philosophy and the healing arts. The concept of Naturopathy is based on natural and herbal medicines, obtained from plant extracts and herbs, and therefore more likely to have minimal side effects. It primarily focuses on the nutritional values of earthly foods and factors in conjunction with the body’s own ability to heal itself.

With so many varied products and methods of skin care and treatment, it is very difficult to rely on just one product to do fulfill all desired results. Combining pharmacuetical and over the counter beauty products with natural remedies is a steady and growing industry called cosmeceuticals. Cosmeceuticals combine using drug like ingredients and naturally occuringingredients together in beauty products and the results are focused on giving the best overall skin benefits known today in the “beauty” market. It is smart to be careful while purchasing new products and if you are not sure about new or unknown ingredients, consult a dermatologist or ask the manufacturer to send you literature on that product.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.