What is a Cosmeceutical?

What is a Cosmeceutical?
Formula Botanica - CosmeceuticalThe term ‘cosmeceutical’ is becoming more commonplace in the world of natural organic skincare. The word describes a product that is a cross between a cosmetic and a pharmaceutical. A cosmeceutical is essentially a skincare product that contains a biologically active compound that is thought to have pharmaceutical effects on the skin.

In other words, you might think that that lavender extract in your skincare is just there to make it smell nice, but actually the manufacturer might have included it for some of its active chemical compounds that have anti-inflammatory or antibacterial properties.

This concept shouldn’t come as any surprise. The huge booming global market for natural skincare has demonstrated that consumers are keen to move away from what they see as skincare filled with synthetic chemicals. Along with a growing interest in organic food, clothes and other wares, consumers are now also starting to seek out natural organic skincare. The concept of a cosmeceutical fits perfectly within this ethos.

However, this hot new concept hasn’t made government bodies responsible for medicinal drugs very happy. Legally, the concept of a cosmeceutical has no leg to stand on. The US Food and Drug Administration does not recognise “any such category as ‘cosmeceuticals’“.

In the EU, cosmetics legislation envisages that a cosmetic product may have a secondary preventative (but not curative), purpose. Any skincare product that branded itself as a medicine would require authorisation and horrendously expensive testing in order to be sold anywhere in the world.