Words of the Day: Cosmeceutical and Nutricosmetics

"Cosmeceuticals represent the marriage of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Examples of products typically labeled as cosmeceuticals include anti-aging creams and moisturizers. Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with biologically active ingredients purporting to have medical or drug-like benefits. Dermatological research suggests that the bioactive ingredients used in cosmeceuticals do indeed have benefits beyond the traditional moisturizer (e.g., Chen et al., 2005[1]; Zettersten, Ghadially, Feingold, Crumrine, & Elias, 1997[2]). However, despite the reports of benefits from some cosmeceutical products, the term cosmeceutical remains a marketing term, as there are no requirements to prove that the products actually live up to their claims. Therefore it is up to the consumer to decide whether these claims are valid and worth the cost. An important distinction lies in the delivery method. The "cosmeceutical" label applies only to products applied topically, such as creams, lotions, and ointments. Products which are similar in perceived benefits but ingested orally are known as nutricosmetics."

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