Cosmeceuticals: Their Role in Dermatolgy Practice

October 2003 | Volume 2 | Issue 5 | Original Article | 529 | Copyright © October 2003

Neil S. Sadick, MD, FACP, FAACS

Cosmeceutical skin care products, which fall somewhere between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are playing an increasing role in the dermatologist's daily practice1-9. These agents contain active ingredients with known and documented biologic effects on the skin. Cosmeceutical sales represent the greatest growth segment of the skin-care market10-11. Although many of these agents have previously been marketed in drug stores, department stores, and pharmacies, these agents are now commonly being dispensed by dermatologists in their office settings. There is therefore a growing strategic alliance between the dermatology community and the cosmetic industry, which is in a process of evolution1-4.

The major challenge facing the practicing dermatologist is how to employ this ever-growing array of products to improve patient care. Many questions are still unanswered, and the ultimate recommendation of which are optional products for the aging patient should be based upon peer-reviewed, scientifically based clinical research studies which prove the agent's therapeutic efficacy.