You guessed it, the first is "pharmaceuticals" and the second is "cosmetics". The joining of these two fields, both extremely lucrative, and arguably necessary, is called "cosmeceuticals", and this exciting new breed is causing a stir in the beauty community lately.
Although they have been united in this new genre of cosmetics, the two are very different when it comes to government and advisory board regulation. Pharmaceuticals, at least in the US currently, are heavily regulated by the organization known as the FDA, while cosmetics are not government regulated.
Why? Cosmetics are not regulated by any government agency because they are not considered a device that alters bodily chemistry of function internally in any way, nor are they advertised as substances that change the chemistry of the body.
Currently, cosmetics manufacturers are walking on eggshells to keep this paritcular pharmaceutical and cosmetic distinction in tact, as precious dollars could be lost if the new breed of cosmeceuticals were government regulated.
Even if a wrinkle cream currently marketed had the ability to actually "get rid of wrinkles", cosmetic marketers are very careful to still note that they only decrease or eliminate the "appearance" of aging and wrinkles, since this still technically is not pharmaceutical in nature.
Some of these new cosmeceuticals which feature high grade vitamins and various proteins and peptides actually do "get rid of wrinkles" and remove signs of aging though, although they still are careful to avoid this overzealous marketing for fear of FDA regulation.
Cosmetic companies specializing in anti aging have come up with everything from potent vitamin extracts, to skin tightening complexes with antioxidants, restructuring aids like peptides and other skin cell regenerators, and a host of other interesting sounding ingredients that keep popping up as the latest in age reversal and age prevention.
And which of these latest "cosmeceutical grade" anti aging and wrinkle creams is best? Well, it's hard to say, because there are now quite a few in competition with one another that do contain ingredients that are beneficial in different ways.
If you're looking for a fresher and brighter look, with more cell turnover, you may turn to a formula with acids such as alpha hydroxy and other fruit derived acids, or one loaded with antioxidants.
If you're looking for more of a quick fix, skin tightening formula, you may choose a formula with ingredients like copper, hyaluronic acid and DMAE, which is a substance that is found naturally in the skin of certain fish and is excellent for almost instantaneous firming and toning.
Either way you slice it, women have the best options for anti aging and wrinkle fighting in the here and now, than they ever had in the past.
The best part is, it only stands to get better, with the constant development of new anti aging products. As long as the cosmetics companies keep responding to increasing consumer demand for anti aging aids, we will have consistent upgrades in cosmeceutical offerings.
The downside? Some of it can become a bit pricey, but remember, a little usually goes a long way, so you may actually be going through the "expensive" stuff at a fraction of the speed you would go through a cheaper, lighter formula. And who can put a price on looking and feeling young? Call me vain, shallow, or narcissistic, but I'll pay the extra money, as long as I get serious results!
By Danna Schneider