Definition of Cosmeceutical

Cosmeceutical: A cosmetic product claimed to have medicinal or drug-like benefits. Cosmeceutical products are marketed as cosmetics, but reputedly contain biologically active ingredients. Examples include anti-wrinkle skin creams with ingredients such as alpha lipoic acid and dimethylaminoethanol and creams containing "cellular replenishment serum" that supposedly have "antiaging properties."

The term "cosmeceutical" was created in 1990s from cosm(etic) + (pharma)ceutic. The cosmetic industry uses the term but the US Food and Drug Administration does not recognize the term. While drugs are subject to a review and approval process by FDA, cosmetics are not. If a product has drug properties, it must be approved as a drug. But cosmeceutics skirt this review and approval process.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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