Cosmetics are comprised of a combination of various chemical substances derived either from natural sources like plants and animals or chemically synthesized ones. The term ‘cosmeceuticals’ covers a wide variety of cosmetic products that are used for treating a variety of disorders and conditions, like wrinkle formation, acne scar removal, wound healing and prevention of baldness etc. Cosmetics use varied formulations such as moisturizers, emulsions, astringents, facial masks, facial cleansers, eye and lip care, hair dye and more. These beauty items are usually prepared using natural ingredients derived from plants and animals, while chemical substances are usually produced in huge quantities and sold in bottles as soaps, shampoos, lotions, creams and other health-care products. These cosmetics can also be called as beauty drugs, since many of them have medical applications as well.
Since early times, cosmetics and health drugs have been linked; hence, the term “cosmeceuticals” has also been evolved to cover a range of herbal remedies, herbal medicines, ayurvedic drugs, and other alternative medicines which are used to treat a number of cosmetic conditions. One example is herbal medicine which was very popular during ancient times; it has been replaced by modern cosmetic drugs, but its fundamental principles remain unchanged. Ayurvedic drugs are primarily used to treat skin disorders, like eczema, psoriasis and acne. Cosmetics which consist of ingredients used in Ayurvedic medicine like ghee (fatty oil), neem oil, Mahanarayan oil, Mahasaindhav oil of pennyroyal are very famous for their antiperspirant properties buy here.
Cosmetics made with plant or animal extracts, including essential oils, are very popular today. They are considered very effective for controlling sweat and odor. Many cosmetic creams and body lotions contain such therapeutic agents to control skin dryness and oiliness. They also moisturize, soften and prevent wrinkle formation. Such creams are highly effective for day to day use.
An important aspect which defines cosmetics as a drug is the fact that both cosmeceuticals and cosmetics intended for therapeutic use must be evaluated for their safety according to current Good Manufacturing Practices standards. These laws were put into place by the US Pharmacopoeia, which is an agreement based pact signed between the US Food and Drug Administration and the Cosmetic Ingredient Manufacturers Association. According to this pact, both parties have to ensure that cosmetics and drugs sold in the market do not have any contact with each other and they are free from artificial color, scent or formaldehyde. A Cosmetics Contaminant Evaluation Program is conducted for both clinical and non-clinical products and these programs are governed by the Federal Drug Administration.
The Food and Drug Administration’s Cosmetics Contact Study Program regulates the use of cosmetics and other cosmetic products for over-the-counter and off-the-counter marketing. The evaluation program evaluates the safety and effectiveness of cosmeceuticals and other drugs against the safety of the drugs and cosmetics being used for marketing purposes. According to this program, cosmetics and drugs should not be administered to the public if there is a risk that the drug would have a negative reaction on the user. The evaluation program also emphasizes that cosmetics should only be used by patients who need to use them safely and according to their instructions. The FDA does not accept drug or cosmetics manufacturer’s standing as a basis for determining whether a product is suitable for consumers.
In accordance with the law, the cosmetics and drugs must be marked with a seal of approval from the FDA. The cosmeceuticals, pharmaceuticals and drug ingredients are then subjected to Product Safety Monitoring Programs, or PSMPs. These programs are mandatory in all the pharmaceutical manufacturing plants including the plant where ingredients for cosmetics are manufactured. The United States Pharmacopoeia also requires all cosmetics manufacturers to register the name, address, and location of the plant where the cosmetic products are manufactured and all ingredients must be included in the label of each product.