Cosmetics

Wrinkle Treatments and Other Anti-aging Products

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Some products are marketed with claims that they will make people look younger. But are these products cosmetics? It depends.

  • Products intended to make people more attractive are generally cosmetics. For example, moisturizing is a cosmetic claim. So, if a product is intended to make lines and wrinkles less noticeable, simply by moisturizing the skin, it’s a cosmetic. Similarly, makeup or “primers” intended to make the signs of aging less noticeable just by hiding them are also cosmetics. 
  • But, products intended to affect the structure or function of the body, such as the skin, are drugs, or sometimes medical devices, even if they affect the appearance. So, if a product is intended, for example, to remove wrinkles or increase the skin’s production of collagen, it’s a drug or a medical device. 

Under the law, cosmetics must be safe when consumers use them according to product labeling, or the way in which the products are customarily used. But the law does not require cosmetics to be approved by FDA before they go on the market. Drugs, however, must have FDA approval for both safety and effectiveness before they go on the market. Similarly, medical devices must go through FDA’s clearance process. 

FDA is concerned about drug claims made for products marketed as cosmetics, such as skin care products with anti-wrinkle or anti-aging claims that involve supposed effects on the structure or function of the skin. 

Where to learn more:

Regulation and Enforcement

Products and Ingredients 

Outside of FDA

 

Page Last Updated: 07/02/2014
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