Medical Cosmetics in Personal Care

In our constant and everlasting search for beauty, the market provides a wide range of cosmetic personal care products with myriad applications, claims, and functions for all skin flaws. More recently, pharmaceutical laboratories have started to add to this mix, by developing a new type of cosmetics in order to complete our beauty care regimen.
What are these medical cosmetics? How can we use them, and what results can we expect from them? Let’s zoom on the options.

What claims do they make?

Medical cosmetics are positioned to address a key claim affecting everyone… anti-aging. As we age, and we all do, our skin loses its collagen and elastin, the extracellular matrix of our skin begins to break down, and as a direct effect of these and environmental stressors, we “earn” our wrinkles. These cosmetics claim to have an anti-aging action on their users. Therefore, medical cosmetics are generally marketed to women in the age bracket of 30+.

What forms do they take?

Everyday we can see TV commercials advertising the different products that exist to solve age problems in skin. Most of them are TV ads for creams from different laboratories, such as Estee Lauder, L’Oréal, Murad, Diadermine, etc… However, creams are not the only medical cosmetics available for these sorts of problems. Technical innovations and pharmaceutical research allow us now to have access to other medical cosmetics, such as collagen or hyaluronic acid, administered by injections. It is also common to use lasers for peeling treatments or radio-frequency techniques to smooth the face skin or even make it denser.

How can we use them?

>> Creams
They need to be applied on the skin everyday. Different brands provide very efficient products to prevent from the appearance of wrinkles:
   − StriVectin-SD, a stretch mark and anti-wrinkle cream.
   − La Roche Posay Redermic, a firming cream focusing on the contours of the eyes.
   − Revilalift, L’Oréal, a revitalizing contour cream.

>> Injections
   − Collagen: the production of these natural fibers diminishes through the years, engendering skin
   ageing. It is therefore possible to inject collagen in order to plump the skin and fill in the wrinkles,
   giving back facial volume.
   − Hyaluronic acid: just like collagen, this acid is natural but its production diminishes with age.
   Injections of hyaluronic acid are meant to give back some elasticity to the skin.

Both of these injections come from animal origins and are resorbable with time (6 to 18 months depending on the product), and generally necessitate an allergic test.

>> Others
   − Peeling: this frequently used technique has a rejuvenating effect by smoothing the skin. It consists
   of a “scraping” process of the epidermis and the superficial dermis to remove the damaged layer.
   However, it is important not intervene more deeply, because it could cause longer healing time and it
   can also cause scars!
   − Radio frequency: this process is meant to generate the creation of collagen, and there are two
   techniques possible. First, the standard radio frequency works with probes to create a warming effect
   which engenders the creation of collagen that re-densifies the skin.

Second, and more efficient, is the hybrid technique which uses small needles that administer tiny electric currents. These partly breakdown the dermis and through the healing process, the skin re-creates itself, so, as a by-product, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin are created as well, thereby rejuvenating the skin.

To conclude, medical cosmetics can be extremely efficient and substantiate many claims, but it is often preferable to use a cream over a surgical procedure due to the harsh nature of the aforementioned methods.