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Cosmeceuticals! These are special cosmetic products that also generate "a measurable biological action like a pharmaceutical product." In other words, they are cosmetics that are designed to generate beneficial therapeutic effects, particularly in the realm of facial skin beauty. And while not new, today's cosmeceuticals are more sophisticated, more effective, easier to use, and much more popular than ever before. Often advertised on television and in print ads, cosmeceuticals are now a standard dermatologic option for anti-aging and beautifying the skin.      

It is well-known that foods rich in antioxidant ingredients may have a beneficial effect on aging, dull, sagging, and blotchy skin, and together with lifestyle changes, a diet that includes daily antioxidants may also help protect against sun damage. Different types of cosmeceuticals are available in a variety of forms over-the-counter, however, when results are less than satisfactory, your Board-certified dermatologist may prescribe a stronger, more effective product.      

Cosmeceuticals typically contain one or more ingredients that can safely alter skin cells to encourage a healthy glow and brighter, more youthful appearance. A variety of products contain retinol that may regulate oil production and clear clogged pores, which is eminently helpful in reducing the unsightly effects of acne. Retinols may also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, discolorations, and a host of other undesirable issues that may appear more commonly on aging skin.

Some of the more popular over-the-counter retinol products include:

  1. (Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream;
  2. L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Pressed Night Cream with Retinol and   Niacinamide;
  3. LaRoche-Posay Redermic-R Anti-Aging Retinol Cream;
  4. Olay Regenerist Retinol 24-Max Moisturizer plus Retinol 24-Max Night-time Face Cream;
  5. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream; and
  6. Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Retinol Plus Vitamin "C" Correcting Cream.       

It has been known for some time that dietary antioxidants may be effective in "fighting free radical damage," and maintaining healthy skin. Foods rich in antioxidants include, but are not limited to:

  1. beta carotene found in orange foods such as carrots, apricots, canteloupe, sweet potatoes, mangoes, and orange bell peppers;
  2. lycopene is found in red foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, and beets;
  3. omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed;
  4. polyphenols found in fresh green/black tea;
  5. selenium is found in foods such as chicken, grass-fed beef, and Brazil nuts;
  6. Vitamins "C", "D", and "E", are found in citrus fruits, strawberries, dark green leafy vegetables, liver, certain cheeses, albacore tuna, almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and soybeans, respectively. In addition, many common foods such as milk, orange juice, dry breakfast cereal, and others are fortified with various vitamins. Zinc, also considered an antioxidant, can be found in lentils chickpeas, and beef.       

Many important dietary antioxidants are also available in tablet, liquid, and/or cream form, and are available over-the-counter. Check with your Board-certified dermatologist to find out which if any, of these may be of benefit to you. Just a few of the many are vitamin E oil, turmeric/ginger tablets, Co-Q10 capsules, Vitamin "C" and "D" tablets, various collagen preparations, elderberry capsules with zinc and vitamin "C", beet gummies, and various other antioxidant combination vitamin tablets.       

Sunscreen products also fall into the category of cosmeceuticals. Any time the sun is out, uncovered skin is exposed to damaging rays. Good quality sunscreen products should be applied to exposed skin every day, all year-'round, any time you are outside. In summer, of course, additional protection is advisable such as wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and limiting the amount of time you are outside in direct sunlight.

It is now common knowledge that exposed skin is at risk for sun damage even while you are in a car. In fact, "automotive interior sun protection" is now a popular category of products. These are the windshield, rear window, and passenger window screens that are easily applied and removed. Since sun damage to the skin is a serious problem that accumulates over time, it is important that we protect ourselves from the damaging rays of the sun every day and in every season of the year. There are many over-the-counter sunscreen brands and products. We like the various Neutrogena sunscreens that are specifically designed for the body, face, children, and the newest version which is made to work on wet or dry skin and is specially formulated for children.        

Your Board-certified SINY dermatologist can guide you in selecting the cosmeceuticals best suited to your skin health and beautification goals. We are located at 56850 Main Road, Southold, Long Island, 11971. Please call 800-778-3090, or schedule your appointment any time online at SINYderm.com. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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