What are the cosmeceuticals and what those marketing claims truly mean?
cosmeceutical

What are the cosmeceuticals and what those marketing claims truly mean?

How this Term was born?
Roughly 25 years since Albert Kligman, MD introduced the term “cosmeceutical,” the category has never been officially recognized with a true, legal definition. Ironically, with so many various products on the market using so many different claims, this category of products remains largely unregulated.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows personal care products to be classified as a drug, cosmetic, or both (such as antidandruff shampoos or moisturizers with SPF), however the cosmeceutical formulations remain in the loophole. Although many trusted manufacturers have emerged in the cosmeceutical realm and a number of formulations have proven their clinical merit, the lack of official oversight leaves room for doubt, especially for those that make extraordinary claims. Very interesting read (click here) on various claims you may see on your personal care products and what they really mean!

But what is a Cosmeceutical and what does it really mean?

Well, according to the FDA, the term “cosmeceutical” has no meaning at all under the law. While the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) does not recognize the term “cosmeceutical,” the cosmetic industry uses this word to refer to cosmetic products that have medicinal or drug-like benefits. It seems that many companies started using this term for their own products to refer to their cosmetics/skincare as something that is better than what others produce. According to the FDA website, a product can be a drug, a cosmetic or both. The FD&C Act defines drugs as those products that cure, treat, mitigate or prevent disease or that affect the structure or function of the human body, if a product makes such claims it will be regulated as a drug. Cosmetics are intended to beautify, promote attractiveness, alter appearance or cleanse. They are not and don’t have to be approved by FDA for sale nor are they intended to effect structure or function of the body. Please read the FDA take on this.
What are the marketing claims and how far can you go?
It is very interesting that when one ‘googles’ marketing claim, it brings you to the wikipedia. In wikipedia you can only find one word under the ‘marketing claim” and that is “advertising slogan“. The word says it all. The marketing claims or advertising slogans should be fair, factual and accurate when it comes to drugs or definitely any ‘cosmeceuticals”. Very often, though, we see all kind of claims without any references, (clinical) real-world trials and in-vitro studies. As a skincare/cosmetics company, which is not regulated by the FDA and its rules for the drugs, you still need to do everything you can to adhere to those rules of fairness, honesty and accuracy if you truly want to help people and grow your business in an ethical and sustainable manner.
By Dr Liia Ramachandra