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Defining Cosmeceuticals

By: Sara Mason
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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It used to be that looking to an ingredient to provide an instant benefit was enough. “Now, you have to collect a dossier of information,” said Anthonavage. “In vitro testing, clinical and self-assessment testing, market testing, before-and-after photos, and so on.” Expectations are higher and substantiation is critical. And the synergy between R&D and marketing becomes that much more important. 

“We aren’t looking for another excuse to regulate,” said Anthonavage. “What consumers want is product performance that measures up to what’s said in advertising and on package.” Consumers can see the claims being made on the box. If the product performs as promised, consumers will keep buying it. Otherwise, they won’t. The value to your product is in having both R&D and marketing working together. “By integrating ideals, both the brand and the consumer benefit,” Anthonavage explains. “You are then telling the whole story, translating science to an experience the consumer can relate to.”

New Frontiers

As cosmetics grow more sophisticated and the line between cosmetic products and drugs continues to blur, it will likely become more and more difficult for beauty marketers to use a term such as “cosmeceutical” to describe a category of products or ingredients that has not been recognized, defined, measured or tested by the FDA.

“I can see a new cosmetic category with expanded boundaries and definitions emerging to encompass a new product classification: pharmaceutical beauty products,” says Sikora. “Somewhere between moisturizers and eye cream on one end of the spectrum and Botox and Latisse on the other will potentially reside a new ‘high-tech Rx’ category of skin care, which I believe will inherit both the legacy and potential of cosmeceuticals as we know them today,” she concludes.

Sara Mason is a freelance writer based in the Chicagoland area. She was previously managing editor of GCI magazine.