The FDA recognizes two categories: pharmaceutical and OTC cosmetics, which are defined as:
Pharmaceutical or drug: FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)].
Topical pharmaceuticals penetrate through the layers of the epidermis and affect the structure and function of the skin (think of prescription topical steroids or Retin-A).
OTC Cosmetic: FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)].
Since many consumers “self-diagnose” when choosing a skin care product from a department/drug store, these products must be made safely. Meaning, big cosmetic companies cannot afford to have a huge number of consumers with issues from using very active products — so, that skin care product may feel good and smell good, but, most likely won’t have a lot of activity in its formulation.
Also, since cosmetic companies really don’t have to prove efficacy, the special active ingredient listed in the formula only has to appear somewhere on the ingredient list – ingredients are listed in content order, from most to least, so if you see that ”active” on the last half of the list (usually alphabetically) you can bet you are getting a tiny percentage (enough to be effective in the formulation?) of that specific ingredient.
Lastly, OTC cosmetics are also manufactured and distributed in very large batches, and are packed with almost as many preservatives as “active” ingredients! Many over-the-counter cosmetics simply do not penetrate the skin barrier, where the ingredient formula would have a therapeutic benefit to the skin.
Sephora, Macy’s, Nordstrom, & Saks products (to name a few)… Are all OTC!
The FDA does not recognize the term “cosmeceutical”, but here’s its definition:
Cosmeceutical: like benefits. Cosmeceutical products are marketed as cosmetics, but reputedly contain biologically active ingredients. While drugs are subject to a review and approval process by FDA, cosmetics are not. In other words, the formula does not technically have to prove efficacy or safety, but it does contain an ingredient that may have activity in the skin.
So, since nurses & estheticians do not prescribe pharmaceutical products, offering a well formulated and tested cosmeceutical line is the next best option to pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals that are professionally recommended by a licensed skin care professional generally have a higher amount of active ingredients with proven and safe formulations, and offer delivery systems that reach targeted cells in the skin. To put it simply… It really works and you will see results!
Now you may think that these great products will cost you an arm and a leg, but no, you’re wrong.
I did a little research to show you the difference in price of OTC products vs our Image Skincare (Cosmeceutical) and Eminence organics products.
you will fnd it in my next blog ;)