Exploring Cosmeceuticals with SkinCeuticals

Skinceuticals review


These SkinCeuticals products have been in my skincare queue for a long time, ever since I was given them at the 30 Plus Bloggers’ event at Omniya London.

To be honest, what put me off was the perplexing way that the product names and even the blurb on the back don’t make it clear as to what they actually are and what they do. Plus they are pretty expensive, and I didn’t want to waste them through not really understanding what the blimminy heck they’re supposed to do.

Should skincare be that difficult to get to grips with? I’m fairly well educated but I was still scratching my head over these (and no, I don’t have nits either).

Welcome to the world of cosmeceuticals, where slapping on a moisturiser involves more research than an A level project.

Let’s unpack a little.


What are cosmeceuticals?

Cosmeceuticals are the marriage between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. So as a label it’s applied to cosmetics which claim to offer some sort of medicinal benefit. It is a marketing term rather than a legal definition, so you still need to do your research no matter how promising the claims a product may make.

Generally, cosmeceuticals are found in clinics and pharmacies rather than in beauty halls; with plain packaging reflecting their scientific origins. They are topically applied (ie, put on the skin rather than ingested) and will contain more active ingredients in higher concentration than regular skincare products.

However, they are not as strong as products dispensed under prescription by a dermatologist or other health professional. So if your regular skincare isn’t doing it for you but you don’t quite need to see a skin doctor, cosmeceuticals could give the extra active blast you want.

Cosmeceuticals will contain some sort of biologically active ingredients, but they are not required to undergo the same sort of testing that a medicine would. However, they still have to have some sort of scientific research to back up any claims they may make. This research, plus the cutting edge ingredients, means that cosmeceuticals are generally among the higher priced end of skincare.


What is SkinCeuticals?

SkinCeuticals is a leading American cosmeceutical  brand founded in 1994, with products developed and made in the USA. They particularly specialise in high performance sun screens and retinol products and have a high class worldwide reputation for skincare underpinned by scientific research


The products

I tried out two products from the SkinCeuticals range:


skinceuticals retexturing activator metacell renewal b3

SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator

Basically, this is a serum. Or, as the blurb would have it, a Bi-Functional Resurfacing and Replenishing Serum.

What does that even mean?? Did I mention I have a post grad degree?? OK, it’s a super-serum.

The Retexturing Activator promises to activate the skin’s regeneration by promoting exfoliation and increasing the amino acid supply whilst hydrating enough to diminish the appearance of surface lines. So essentially what it’s doing is both exfoliating and replenishing the skin at the same time, saving you the hassle of using two products for these functions. The star ingredient is hydroxyethyl urea, which is known to be good at both exfoliating and softening sin.

It comes in a small glass bottle with a glass pipette (15ml, RRP £43). Given that the bottle is clear I would recommend leaving it in the outer cardboard packaging in order to protect the active ingredients from sunlight. Only a small amount is needed – four to six drops is the advised dosage to cover face, neck and upper chest. 


SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3

AKA an emulsion, AKA a light moisturiser which packs a skincare punch. It contains 5% niacinamide, which is actually very high for an over-the-counter product.  Niacinamide is fast becoming a new skincare hero ingredient, in the same way we all went mad for hyaluronic acid a few years ago. It’s also known as Vitamin B3, so that’s where the B3 in the name of this product comes from. Niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin and prevent skin from losing water content. It’s particularly good for treating uneven skin tone and acne scars. 

Metacell Renewal B3 also offers a 2.5% concentration of a “tightening tri-peptide concentrate”, which claims to tighten sagging skin. On the down side, other ingredients include citrus oils, which may be problematic if you have very sensitive skin. However, there is no discernible citrus fragrance so it may be that the quantities included are small enough not to bother most people. 

All this is hygenically packaged in an airtight pump made of frosted glass to protect the ingredients from sunlight, so hopefully the last drop will be as potent and effective as the first. At RRP £96 for 50ml, you would hope so.

It has a lovely light texture that spreads easily over the skin – like a cross between a gel and a lotion.


After careful study I went for using the serum plus emulsion at night, and emulsion only during the day. After a couple of months of use, I can definitely feel an improvement in skin tone – it all feels much smoother. Some fine lines have gone, and others have taken their place, but that’s just called being alive. During this time I’ve also been using the Magnitone Cleansing Brush and I suspect that’s helping a lot too.

If I had the budget for it, I would use cosmeceuticals all the time – I much prefer a brand where the money has gone into research rather than fancy counters in department stores and ads in glossy magazines. I don’t mind having to work at it to figure out the best way to use a product, although this is probably as much research as I would ever want to do. Sometimes you just want to throw stuff at your face and get on with your life.


Product information

Skinceuticals have a wide range of cosmeceutical products designed to Cleanse, Correct, Moisturise and help skin in a variety of ways. These products are from the Correct range. SkinCeuticals products are available at Omniya London and online at various outlets including Dermacare Direct


Have you ever tried cosmeceuticals like this? Leave a comment and let me know what you think



*PR Samples