Cosmeceuticals: What's Real, What's Not

Dermatol Clin. 2019 Jan;37(1):107-115. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2018.07.001. Epub 2018 Nov 1.


Cosmeceuticals are cosmetics that promise to deliver physiologically relevant benefits without the incorporation of prescription drugs. To entice consumers to purchase these premium priced products, a story must be told of how the cosmeceutical delivers on these appearance improvement promises. The backbone of any cosmeceutical skin care regimen is facial cleansing and moisturizing. This article reviews the novel ingredients and technologies used to achieve these benefits examining what is real and what is not.

Keywords: Botanicals; Cleansers; Cosmeceuticals; Moisturizers; Peptides; Skin lightening; Surfactants; Toners.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Astringents / pharmacology
  • Cosmeceuticals / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Peptides*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin Cream / chemistry
  • Skin Cream / pharmacology*
  • Skin Lightening Preparations / pharmacology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Soaps / pharmacology*
  • Vitamins*


  • Astringents
  • Cosmeceuticals
  • Peptides
  • Skin Lightening Preparations
  • Soaps
  • Vitamins