Medicinal Skincare: The Differences Between Medicinal and Cosmetic Skincare Products

Medicinal Skincare: The Differences Between Medicinal and Cosmetic Skincare Products

There is an overwhelming amount of choice available when it comes to skincare, from high street to high-end brands. When choosing which skincare products to use, it’s beneficial to know the differences and similarities between cosmetic and medicinal products to make an informed decision.

What makes a product cosmetic and/or medicinal?

The term ‘cosmetic’ covers a wide range of products, including some medicinal products. According to the CTPA (Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association) in the UK, there are three questions to address when classifying as a cosmetic:

  • Purpose – Is the purpose of the product wholly or mainly to clean, perfume, change appearance, correct body odour, protect, or keep in good condition?
  • Site of application – Is the product intended to be applied to the epidermis (thin, outer layer of the skin), hair, nails, lips, external genital organs, teeth, or mucous membrane of the oral cavity?
  • Composition – Is the product made from ingredients that are not prohibited or restricted in cosmetic products according to the EU Cosmetic Regulations?

In the UK, a ‘medicinal’ product is classified within one of the following definitions:

  • “Any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties of preventing or treating disease in human beings,
  • Any substance or combination of substances that may be used by or administered to human beings with a view to restoring, correcting, or modifying a physiological function by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or making a medical diagnosis.”

Essentially, a medicinal product will not cure a disease or condition, rather tackling symptoms and side effects. A medicinal product can also be cosmetic, “intended for both the health and beauty of the skin.” For example, Sebamed’s skincare products fall into both categories as they treat symptoms as well as being applied to and enhancing the beauty of areas of the body outlined within the definition of cosmetic products.

The science behind medicinal skincare

Medicinal skincare products, while typically also classed as cosmetic, are usually formulated towards certain skin types, conditions, and/or specific symptoms. This makes it easy to find accessible skincare targeted towards skin conditions and problems, such as acne-prone skin, psoriasis, or eczema, easing symptoms and soothing the skin.

As one of the leading brands for medicinal skincare, at Sebamed, we promote science for healthy skin. The natural pH value for healthy skin is 5.5 due to natural acidic substances in sweat, sebum, and horny cells. Sebamed skincare products also feature this pH value of 5.5 to promote healthy skin and maintain the acid mantle (protective layer of the skin).

Damage to the acid mantle can come from using abrasive products or environmental factors such as excessive exposure to pollution. Using a gentle cleanser and not overdoing skincare can all contribute to keeping your acid mantle intact. An intact acid mantle helps your skin protect you from infections, irritation, allergies, and drying out.

All our products contain high-quality active ingredients which cleanse, nourish, and protect the skin. Over 120 scientific studies have shown that Sebamed products are highly effective for several skin types, including sensitive and problematic skin.

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