The award for the most innovative cosmetic ingredient goes to…a non cosmetic

This report in Cosmetics Design about the award recently granted to a researcher for his development of a new “cosmetic” ingredient left me feeling a bit puzzled.  The award was given to Dr. Iva Doleckova for developing a peptide that could have useful anti-aging effects.  This peptide is said to stimulate production of proteins in skin cells which will ultimately improve the barrier function of the epidermis.  It sounds interesting although it’s unclear how this ingredient is different from all the other peptides that are supposed to regulate some aspect of skin cell growth.

Drug or Cosmetic

Which brings me to the part that I find puzzling.  The award was supposed to be for the most innovative cosmetic ingredient.  The truth is that if this ingredient was put into a cosmetic product and shown to work as the researcher says, it would not be a cosmetic.  It would be a drug (at least in the United States).  Any ingredient that changes the metabolism of your body is a drug.  So how is it that a drug active gets the award for the most innovative cosmetic ingredient?

There does seem to be a blurring of the lines when it comes to cosmetics and how they are defined, but as the rules stand right now, this ingredient (if it worked in practice) would be a drug.  Isn’t there a new cosmetic ingredient that could be awarded a prize for innovation?  Say one of these new preservatives or delivery systems or something.  I don’t know.

What do you think?

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