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Cosmeceuticals: Separating Fact From Voodoo Science


Carl R. Thornfeldt, MD, P.O. Box 1763 Boise, ID 83701


The number of cosmeceutical companies, products, and ingredients has been exploding since the advent of retinoids and hydroxy acids. The clinical effects of these two classes of compounds proved that nonprescription topically applied products could produce visible improvement in one or more signs of extrinsic aging. Simply mixing any ingredient into a topical formulation and then applying it does not ensure clinical success. The complexity of the skin does not allow it in most cases. This discussion will include the requirements for an effective product and how to document efficacy and safety. The evidence base of marketed cosmeceutical products presented in major English language forums will be presented. Moreover, it will provide a framework for how to distinguish fact from fiction in today's slick marketing campaigns.