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Posted: August 30, 2006
The cosmetics industry sparks new innovation nearly every day. New innovations, of course, demand the conjuring of subcategories of cosmetics, but cosmetics are not staying in their own industry anymore. Hybrids of cosmetics and other industries have created categories all their own, only the new categories can be somewhat confusing and the definition of what products fall into those categories even more so. As new products are launched every moment, lines need to be drawn defining what products belong in what categories. After all, if the consumer does not know what it is, how are they going to know if it will help them?
Perhaps the first cosmetic hybrid to arrive on the scene, cosmeceuticals have been drawing attention since their inception. Merriam-Webster defines a cosmeceutical as, “A preparation having both cosmetic and pharmaceutical properties,” but anyone in the cosmetic industry knows that a true cosmeticeutical is a little more specific. To truly define the term, one must reference the individual responsible for coining the term, Albert Kligman MD, PhD, physician at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Kligman first conceived the term to indicate a topical preparation that is sold as a cosmetic but is able to benefit the skin like a pharmaceutical.
Nutraceuticals may not be a cosmetic hybrid, but because of the recently created nutracosmetics, they are becoming more and more related to the cosmetic industry. The term nutraceutical is often associated with Stephen DeFelice, MD, who defined the term in 1989 as, “A nutraceutical is any substance that is a food or a part of a food and provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease.” DeFelice went on to say that the definition could also include a bio-engineered vegetable food or a functional food.
New to the scene of cosmetic hybrids are nutracosmetics. Shyam Gupta, PhD, president of Bioderm research and director of R&D for Arizona Natural Resources has reported, “Nutracosmetics are an emerging class of health and beauty aid products. They combine the benefits of nutraceutical ingredients with the elegance, skin feel and delivery systems of cosmetics. Nutracosmetics and cosmeceuticals thus differ in the origin of their functional ingredients. Nutraceutical ingredients formulated in cosmetic delivery systems constitute nutracosmetics, whereas cosmeceuticals are cosmetics formulated with pharmaceutical-type ingredients. The nutraceutical ingredients-based topical delivery systems can be formulated as functional cosmetics (nutracosmetics) to complement the efficacy of their ingestion-based counterparts."
In the future, it is almost certain that new cosmetic hybrids will be introduced. Although this article attempts to define some of the main cross-sections of cosmetics and other industries, it is by no means a be-all-end-all. Tomorrow a new delivery system combination could determine a new category, and it is probably already in the works.