Cosmeceuticals – Anti-Aging Skincare Products

Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic ingredients that are claimed to have biological activities that benefit the appearance or feel of the skin. We will give you the scientific basis for the cosmeceuticals so you can make intelligent decisions to see what you can use to achieve your objectives for beauty. To help you navigate through the hundreds of skincare products with many combinations of active ingredients, it makes sense to first group the cosmeceuticals according to the major effect for each cosmeceutical that you are looking for – some cosmeceuticals have multiple effects; and then subgroup them into classes under the major functional heading. There will be cosmeceuticals listed in multiple categories, due to their multiple effects. Examples of products in the market using the cosmeceuticals as a major ingredient will be displayed for you to further explore. The major functional categories are as follows:

  • Anti-aging repair for sun damage
  • Anti-wrinkle measures
  • Clearing uneven skin color and age spots
  • Moisturizing and hydration for texture and volume

Anti-Aging Repair for Sun Damage

These cosmeceuticals have anti-oxidant effects to counteract the oxidative damage to the skin tissue by sunlight, pollution, and other negative environmental factors. Some of these cosmeceuticals have multiple effects to help with the anti-aging treatment for skin color, tone, or texture.


Retinoids are a family of cosmeceuticals relating to Vitamin A. Topical retinoids, such as tretinoin, are viewed as the gold standard among cosmeceuticals. Clinical studies* have shown that tretinoin improves fine wrinkles, mottle pigmentations, skin laxity, and roughness. Retinol, tazarotene, isotretinoin are all in this Vitamin A family of cosmeceuticals.

*Rokhsar CK, et al. Review of photo-rejuvenation: devices, cosmeceuticals, or both? Dermatologic Surgery 2005; 31(9Pt2):1166-1178.

*Creidi P, et al. Clinical use of topical retinaldehyde on photoaged skin. Dermatology 1999; 199S:37-41.

Some representative products using retinoids as major ingredients are:

Retinol Fusion PM











RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Filler











Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

In the Vitamin C family, there are ascorbic acid, ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, and others. These Vitamin C compounds reduce oxidation damage caused by sunlight and improve skin collagen and elastin properties, resulting in improvement of skin texture and wrinkles.*

*Fitzpatrick RE, et al. Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage. Dermatologic Surgery 2002:231-6.

Some representative products using ascorbate compounds as major ingredients are:

Camu Camu Power C X 30™ Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer









Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15













Vitamin E

Some of the compounds in the Vitamin E family include tocopherol, tocopheryl acetate and other related molecules. These compounds have anti-oxidative effects, decreasing skin redness from sunlight and improving wrinkles.*

*Moeller VH, et al. Topical application of vitamin E and its effects on the skin. Fett Wissenschaft Technol 1989, 91:295-305.

Some representative products using Vitamin E compounds as major ingredients are:

The Body Shop Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream









Perricone MD Deep Moisture Therapy










Please see Natural Cosmeceuticals