Cosmeceutical products are the latest trend in at-home treatments. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA doesn't officially recognize this term, "cosmeceutical" is the hot buzzword for products that combine cosmetics with ingredients that offer benefits such as reducing wrinkles and firming the skin [source: FDA]. Because the FDA doesn't recognize cosmeceuticals, it doesn't approve or regulate them. But that hasn't stopped the cosmetics industry from marketing them extensively.
Consumers generally like to get as much bang for their buck as possible. So the idea of value-enhanced cosmetics appeals to many people. But in order to truly improve your skin's firmness, you need to be able to penetrate the dermis layer of the skin. Cosmetics usually affect just the epidermis layer. So, even though they might help with wrinkles and sun damage, many cosmetics don't work deeply enough in the skin to provide true skin-firming benefits.
However, there is one skin-firming benefit you can get from cosmetics: improved sun protection. By choosing a cosmetic with a good sunblock, you're limiting your exposure to damaging UV rays, which will help prevent signs of early aging down the road.
You can also try cosmetics containing soy. Although soy's degree of effectiveness is still under investigation, research has shown that soy might act as a type of estrogen and stimulate collagen growth underneath the surface of the skin [source: Draelos].
Don't forget that you can also use cosmetics for their original purpose: to enhance some features and camouflage others. Cosmetics can contour sagging skin, creating a more defined shape. You can also draw attention away from a sagging area by highlighting another area of your face.
If you're not sold on using cosmetics, read on to check out the advantages of using lotions or creams for firmness.