The term “cosmeceutical” was created in the 1990’s and is used by the cosmetic professionals to refer to a product that combines medicinal or pharmaceutical properties with cosmetic. Many dermatologists believe the term “cosmeceutical” was first coined by Albert M. Kligman, MD, PhD, a dermatologist also known for discovering the benefits to our skin of retinoids. The US Food and Drug Administration does not recognize the term. A cosmeceutical is legally not a drug, though the ingredients are believed to be bio-active. In recent years, more cosmeceuticals are being evaluated for efficacy and tolerance in scientific studies. When studies are not available on a cosmeceutical, we may measure its value based on peer reviews, and previously studied ingredients. Cosmeceuticals may fall closer to a drug or pharmaceutical or closer to a cosmetic depending on their ingredients.
A Roman physician named Galen invented the first cold cream, an emulsion of olive oil and beeswax. He advised using it for “keeping the skin healthy and well-groomed.”
The cosmeceutical database provided on this site is updated monthly and should contain both old and new cosmeceutical ingredients. To see if a certain ingredient has scientific literature to support its medicinal efficacy, I recommend you start by searching the available medical literature on pubmed.com.