Editor’s Note: Taking Actives to Heart


What are active cosmetics? Industry purists might argue active and cosmetics are mutually exclusive terms; i.e., that cosmetics cannot be active since doing so means they can alter the structure or function of the body. And, per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s current definition, this constitutes a drug.1 Then again, even water can affect the structure and function of skin. Does that make it a drug? The reality is, industry must keep up with consumer expectations. This is why product claims have become so crucial... and why other regulators have redefined their product categories. In fact, in 2016, we published an article by Ross-Fichtner et al. calling attention to the antiquated U.S. system.2

While authorities hold the front line and marketers straddle it, product developers are toeing it by creating products to meet rising expectations for efficacy, and to substantiate novel beauty claims—hopefully, approved ones. One way they’ve accomplished this is through a barrage of actives developed by suppliers for functions ranging from sun protection, anti-pollution and skin/hair repair, to hair dyes, nutricosmetics and beyond. Several examples of these novel actives and applications are at the heart of this issue.

In fact, according to research aggregator ReportBuyer,3 the global market for cosmetic actives is projected to reach US $4.45 billion by 2026, expanding at a CAGR of 5.2% between 2016 and 2026.3 Here, growth is expected from the anti-aging, skin whitening, sun protection and other multifunctional segments. Consumer love for proven benefits knows no bounds, which is why we’ve fully embraced it in our latest issue. We hope this passion translates to your creations.


    1. fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/LawsRegulations/ucm074201.htm#Definecosmetic
    2. cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/regulatory/claims/New-Concepts-in-Cosmetic-Regulations--Its-Time-to-Leave-the-1930s-Behind-401747325.html
    3. reportbuyer.com/product/5068467/active-ingredients-market-for-cosmetics-by-functionality-application-global-forecast-to-2026.html
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