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The use of cosmeceuticals in relation to skin health

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

SPF sunscreen

Part of a skin health assessment would be to establish the Fitzpatrick skin type of the patient in front of you. Based on their Fitzpatrick skin type certain cosmeceuticals can be recommended. For a person with a Fitzpatrick skin type 1, 2 or 3 any skin care product should contain sunscreen, possibly with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30, as these skin types are most likely to burn and the SPF will protect against sun damage, photoaging and skin cancers. It may also be required that a number of these products also contain antioxidants as UV radiation, pollution and smoking generate free radicals which also damage the skin. These antioxidants help to reduce free radical damage and inflammation further protecting against sun damage and skin cancers. It is advisable to have a broad range of antioxidants within healthcare products such as vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipioc acid, green tea extract or CoQ10 as research in the field of nutrition as well as cosmeceutical has shown that these antioxidants have a complimentary and additive effect.

Glycolic acid

For people that are identified as a Fitzpatrick skin type 4, 5 or 6 they are more prone to hyper and hypo pigmentation following certain aesthetic and cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, micro needling or micro dermabrasion. The melanocyte may be more reactive in these people’s skin leading to the hyper and hypo pigmentation. Using a pre-treatment tyrosinase inhibitor such as glycolic acid and retinol pad can help to suppress the activity of the melanocyte which can reduce the risk of skin pigmentation. When using a glycolic acid in people with this skin type it may be wise to perform a patch test first and keep it light such as using 30% and avoid medical grade 50-70% glycolic acids.

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