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What Are Cosmeceuticals In Supplements? Here, We Explain + Our Favorite Option

Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
Expert review by
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
Image by ohlamour studio / Stocksy
March 31, 2022

If you've spent some time perusing the supplement market, you've likely seen the word "cosmeceuticals" pop up. (It's a moniker popular in skin care as well.) Now, in both the beauty and supplement space, there are many definitions to understand as you look for a product that suits your needs. And if you're someone who is looking for smooth skin, full hair, and a major glow, cosmeceuticals might just be what you're looking for.* The word is typically associated with high-quality beauty supplements and ingredients—allow us to explain, and it'll be clear why.

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What are cosmeceuticals in supplements?

In supplements, cosmeceutical is a portmanteau of "cosmetic" and "nutraceutical," says mindbodygreen's vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN. To break that down even further, "cosmetic" refers to products involved with improving one's appearance. "Nutraceuticals" are nutrition products—such as supplements, drinks, or foods—that not only have nutritional value but also health-related benefits.* Put those together, and you have a nutritional product that additionally delivers beauty-enhancing properties.* 

We often talk about nutrition's direct relationship with beauty. And while eating a well-balanced, robust diet can certainly improve your overall appearance—for more targeted outcomes, people often look for specific nutrients, botanical extracts, and bioactive ingredients to address things like skin hydration, fine lines, dark spots, hair fullness, strong nails, and so on.* This is why beauty supplements and cosmeceutical supplements have become so popular lately. 

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Why cellular beauty+ is the most innovative cosmeceutical on the market: 

This one-of-a-kind supplement doesn't just feature a single cosmeceutical ingredient—it features four science-backed actives that support skin from the inside out.* Each works together to address skin health from multiple angles.* Not to mention, each is formulated in evidence-based doses to actually deliver results.*

First up, there's astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a potent carotenoid that may help protect your skin from wrinkles and other signs of aging.* It does so because of its powerful antioxidant properties, which can even help skin deal with UV exposure (a major cause of wrinkles and dark spots).* For example, this study showed astaxanthin delay the impacts of UV exposure; additionally, in a 16-week clinical trial of AstaReal® (the cosmeceutical ingredient used in cellular beauty+), participants who supplemented with astaxanthin saw improvements in skin elasticity.* And another double-blind clinical, subjects reported significant improvement in moisture levels (especially around the eyes), overall improved elasticity, and appearance of tone.* 

Bolstering the antioxidant properties, pomegranate whole fruit extract is one of the best sources of ellagic acid, a specific type of the antioxidant polyphenol. Clinical studies have shown that this targeted phytonutrient-rich botanical has the ability to enhance photoprotection in the skin, meaning your skin cells are better equipped to deal with UV rays and their subsequent effects.* For example, one randomized controlled trial found that the pomegranate extract increased skin's resilience against UVB rays, as well as changes to the skin microbiome.*

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is the last of the antioxidants but certainly not least. It's a fat-soluble compound that's found in all your cells but sadly declines with age. The coenzyme has many important roles in the body: Your cells need it to produce energy, it protects cell membranes from lipid peroxidation, it neutralizes free radicals to buffer against oxidative stress, and it even supports other antioxidants in the body, like vitamins C and E.* Likely due to these factors, research finds that CoQ10 supplements reduce wrinkles and lines while enhancing skin smoothness.* 

But it's not just the antioxidants that aid in moisture levels in the skin.* Phytoceramides help round out the formula by supporting the skin barrier.* Ceramides are polar lipids, key lipids that are naturally present in our skin cells and a vital part of our moisture layer.* In one study, participants with dry skin who took a phytoceramide-rich wheat extract oil for three months saw up to a 35% improvement in skin hydration.*

In another study of Ceramosides® (a specific brand of phytoceramides made in France that is used in this supplement), participants saw improved skin hydration after just 15 days.*

Ingredients, dosages, and research lingo aside, what does this mean in practice? These botanicals and bioactives are shown to promote skin hydration, elasticity, smoothness, barrier function, and wrinkle reduction.* Now that's comprehensive cosmeceutical skin care. 

The takeaway. 

If you're looking to support your beauty goals from the inside out, reach for a cosmeceutical supplement.* This type of supplement blends together cosmetic benefits and nutraceutical properties.* For more tips on enhancing your overall glow—check out our full guide to glowing skin

Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.