What are the goals of a cosmeceutical?
Patients sometimes feel that cosmeceuticals are magic substances that make old skin look like young skin. In the skin care industry, a successful cosmeceutical is designed to deliver these three benefits:
Make the skin feel smooth and soft
Reduce transepidermal water loss thereby creating an environment for barrier repair
Provide an added skin benefit through a novel ingredient technology
The first benefit of making the skin feel smooth and soft is an aesthetic, not functional, benefit.
The second benefit is better known as moisturization and represents a functional benefit.
The third benefit may or may not be hype based on the technology employed.
Thus, cosmeceuticals, which are classified by the FDA as cosmetics, are moisturizers with excellent aesthetics and an advertised ingredient. Since the cosmeceutical marketplace is crowded, cosmeceuticals are differentiated based on their advertised ingredient, which is the least important aspect of their formulation.