Article by: Perry Romanowski

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?


  1. Avatar

    IMO the FDA’s definition for cosmetics is weird. Even pure water can change the metabolism of your skin, since prolonged exposure to water can disrupt the skin’s barrier function…

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Excellent point and I agree with you. I’m pretty sure skin cells are definitely impacted by occlusive agents too. I guess you just can’t advertise them that way.

    2. Avatar

      I know that washing your hair everyday will cause your scalp to produce more oil making it to where you have to wash your hair everyday. Or overuse of lip balm will make you “addicted” to it. I guess I’ve never thought about it changing the way your skin functions but it obviously does… I’ll have to think about that…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.