The science of cosmeceuticals

Published on May 4, 2014   40 min

Other Talks in the Series: Skin Biology

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Hello, my name is Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos. I'm a consulting professor in the Department of Dermatology at Duke University School of Medicine. It is my pleasure to talk to you about the science of cosmeceuticals. Many individuals do, indeed, believe that cosmeceuticals lack science, but new technological developments and a better understanding of skin physiology has lent credibility to this previously uncredible area of cosmeceuticals. The word, cosmeceuticals, is interesting in and of itself. It's a contraction of the word cosmetic with the word pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals was named by Dr. Albert Kligman as a way of demonstrating that topical agents could have profound effects on skin physiology. This is the area of dermatology and medicine that we're going to explore over the next several minutes.
Many cosmeceuticals are, indeed, creams. And the goal of the cosmeceutical is to find a cream that will take aging skin and make it look more youthful. All cosmeceuticals creams are basically trying to find or pursue youthful skin.
In order to better understand what cosmeceuticals do, we need to delve into the most important aspects of skincare ingredients. In other words, if you're going to develop a product that is an active cosmeceuticals, what exactly should it contain?
All active ingredients are designed to enhance skin functioning. It's a little bit of a different challenge when we're talking about topical agents as compared to oral agents because topical agents have to penetrate the skin barrier, which is formed by the stratum corneum. This is a huge hurdle, and in many instances impedes the active functioning of cosmeceutical agents. Thus any active agent that's designed to impact the skin in a cosmeceuticals fashion must penetrate the skin barrier.