Cosmeceuticals and Nutricosmetics: Some Definitions

The term cosmeceuticals is the blurring of boundaries between cosmetics and pharmaceutical products that contain biologically active ingredients that have a measurable effect on the user. Products such as antiwrinkle creams, baldness treatments, moisturizers and sunscreen products would fall under this category, but labeling predetermines whether a product is a cosmetic or a cosmeceutical. While this is not officially recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the industry tends to represent products that claim to have therapeutic value by way of ingredients that change the structure and appearance of skin, hair or nails.

There is a distinct difference between cosmeceuticals and nutricosmetics. Nutricosmetics are typically taken orally to improve health and beauty, and, until recently, it has been a rapidly growing category. In some countries, nutricosmetics play a key role in the beauty market. Such is the case in Japan, where there are speciality stores and departments dedicated to sales of nutricosmetics—these products are typically sold through pharmacies in Western Europe. Imedeen—one of the first nutricosmetic products to achieve considerable success in the European market, and therefore serves as an apt and representative product in the category—is a skin care supplement with a patented biomarine complex that promises to optimize skin health and prevent the early signs of aging. Euromonitor