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Cover Story: Cosmeceuticals Inject Innovation Into Antiaging

By: Diana Dodson
Posted: April 2, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 5

The past year has seen increased media attention on the question of whether antiagers actually work, and consumers have become more skeptical of marketing claims. In late 2007, U.K. pharmacists lashed out against top-selling antiaging brands, describing claims about their rejuvenating properties as scientifically incomprehensible. Regulators in several countries, including Australia and the U.K., have also begun scrutinizing claims more closely, and Avon is one company that had to pull advertisements that claimed one of its antiaging brands (TheraFirm) was an “alternative option to a facelift.”

This growing skepticism has meant that consumers are increasingly being persuaded by independent studies on choice products—not by manufacturers themselves. In early 2007, a U.K. documentary found a scientific backing for the antiaging claims made by Boots’ Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum. The program led to a shopping frenzy in which the beauty retailer sold out an entire year’s supply of the lotion within two weeks of the broadcast.

The increased scrutiny of product claims could also mean greater regulation of the cosmeceuticals market and a subsequent slowdown in product innovation. Antiagers found to live up to their claims by causing physiological changes to the skin could be reclassified as medicines and subject to far more stringent regulations than a pure cosmetic. In January 2008, Jan Marini Skin Research, for example, was forced to pull its Age Intervention Eyelash Enhancer off the market after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found it to contain a classified drug.

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