Cosmeceuticals are the beauty products blurring the lines between skincare and makeup

Text Kamara Hakeem-Oyawoye

Cover Image Katrina Twiss

I think I speak for us all when I say there’s pretty much no point in makeup anymore unless it brings something extra to the table. Beyond long wear and flushed cheeks, I partially expect my skin to look better after I take off my makeup than it might have looked before. 

And while that may seem like a lot to ask for, I can’t be alone. At least not judging by the surge of skincare claims on makeup launches. With modern innovations, more products are blurring the lines between the two categories. But as with all things new, there is constant controversy on how and if they work.

Looking into recent advancements in beauty, we break down what these products are, if they work and how to properly use them for the best results.

So, what are Cosmeceuticals?

These beauty heroes combine makeup with skincare benefits and can exist in any form. From a foundation with active ingredients to a primer that doubles as a serum. 

As someone who put self-care at the top of my priorities list this year, I’m not clogging up my pores anymore. It’s long, it’s problematic, and I deserve so much better. So I’ve completely shifted to cosmeceuticals.

Weighing out the pros and cons, the most apparent advantage is getting a higher value for your money. You don’t have to double up on products, plus you spend a lot spend less time doing your routine. And who doesn’t want that?

The most challenging part in this area is separating out misleading claims from products that actually do what they promise. Without a trained eye, it can be tough, but a good trick is to look at where the ingredients are placed in the list. The further down it is, the lower it’s concentration. And if you find it below a preservative of any kind, it’s most likely just there for marketing.

Do they work?

As with anything, how they work depends entirely on the product. As long as you have the right synergy with ingredients and the best base for your skin type, you should see results between 2 weeks and 2 months. 

This is where you might undergo a purge. It’s common to see your skin dispel all the trapped grossness with changes in skincare. So if you end up breaking out all over, just think of it as a fresh start.

Another thing to note is the misconception that everything that you put on your skin seeps straight through into your bloodstream. Let me do you the favour of letting you know that’s a false narrative. Active ingredients can move through your skin layers – hence the name – but usually not beyond the second layer (the dermis).

And although it’s mostly untrue, this is one of the few times you would want it to be true. (The actives flowing freely part, not everything going through). 

For the best results, it’s always advised to correctly prep your skin. Make sure that you’re properly hydrated, so the actives flow through smoothly. To do this, keep an eye out for hydrating claims, and ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and blue algae.

The NBGA Edit

If there’s one thing I believe in when it comes to beauty, it’s full transparency. I’ll never recommend a product that I haven’t tried and loved. Althought, I might not be a dermatologist, as a Cosmetic Chemist, I’m an (almost) close second.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Skin Base


The Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base is a staple across the beauty industry. It’s formulation combines carrot extract, vitamin a complex and yeast extract to deliver silky smooth skin thats firm, with an even complexion and active metabolism. The additional support from antioxidants such as vitamin c, vitamin e and beta carotene minimise dark spots and prevent sun damage to keep you energises and freshed.

Victoria Beckham Cell Rejuvenating Moisturizer


Victoria Beckham developed this iconic Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturiser with the world-renowned skincare expert, Professor Augustinus Bader. This product supports the health of your skin as it delivers a dose of hydration. It utilises TFC8 technology to promote the skin’s inhouse repair and renewal that supports cell turnover for improved radiance. After 16 days of use, Posh Spice promises minimised pores, and a plumped, even skin tone almost as lush as hers.


The Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation blends extracts like Green Apple, Lychee and THM herb to awaken and energise the skin. The combination of SPF 40 and pigments, protects the skin against collagen degrading UV rays. Across the 23 shades, the Active Skin Energising Complex enhances your skin over long term use to create a glow from the inside out!

Pat McGrath Concealer Deep 29


Pat McGrath’s Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer borrows the Vita-Serum complex from the foundation to prevent wrinkle formation. By preserving the skin’s hydrolipidic film barrier, you’ll get healthier skin that works more efficiently in being protective and metabolising actives. It’s natural-looking, full coverage has an elastic nature that prevents caking or cracking as its creamy texture adheres to the skin’s contours.

Marc Jacobs Coconut Gel Highlighter Dew Drops


Marc Jacobs Coconut Gel Highlighter Dew Drops is a dreamy gel-cream that brightens your complexion with a combination of several forms of coconut and provitamin B5. With the added hydration, you can achieve a longstanding dew that benefits all skin tones. Used alone or mixed into your foundation or primer, a little goes a long way to benefit your skin. The B5 infusion and vitamin e protect the skin against protein degradation, and soften irritated or blemished skin.

Urban Decay All Nighter Pollution Protection


With the growing amount of environmental damage, few claims are as important as anti-pollution. The environment carries all kinds of dirt, viruses and UV rays that collectively break down your skin barrier. The Urban Decay All Nighter Anti-Pollution Spray boasts not only 16 hours wear, but a blend of minerals to protect the skin against damaging free-radicals. Specially formulated with time-release temperature control technology, your makeup is cooled down to last longer.