Updated: Aug 14, 2022
A term used frequently by both brands and professionals within the industry, but what does it actually mean or refer to? The term 𝗰𝗼𝘀𝗺𝗲𝗰𝗲𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 is actually just a marketing or descriptive term, often used to propose more active cosmetic products, when brands such as 𝗗𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗮®, utilise ingredients, that may include pharmaceutical grade, at a maximised concentration and of a standard that suggests an enhanced cosmetic performance and offers an ability for eudermic activity.
It suggests with the use of this term, that there exists a middle ground between a pharmaceutical and a cosmetic, but the reality is that this category does not actually exist in regulation and unless a product is listed and registered as a pharmaceutical, then they are simply cosmetic.
This is regardless of whether pharmaceutical grade ingredients are used, although there are differences to allowed maximum concentrations for cosmetic use vs pharmaceutical, or produced in a certain facility such as a pharmaceutical laboratory, or even whether your product contains maximum concentrations allowed, they still remain a cosmetic unless classified otherwise as pharmaceuticals or as medical devices.
A cosmetic can also be classified as a pharmaceutical product, it can hold dual purpose, but whilst many cosmetics offer considerable skin benefits, they cannot propose to treat a disease, they are for cosmetic skin improvements and topical use. 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝘀𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲? Likewise the word medical grade can be equally misinterpreted, because as already explained, a product is either a cosmetic, a pharmaceutical (or hold classifcation as both cosmetic and pharmaceutical use) or a medical device.
If it is within the latter categories, then certainly there are restrictions on its use, particularly professionally. Some skincare products are of pharmaceutical category that are not OTC and therfore require prescription by a medical professional, but if a cosmetic is claiming medical grade without such classifcation, as a title this could be misleading. There are also suggestions of a cosmetic being licensed for a particular use, but this is also a baseless claim, we can formulate for a specific usage but cosmetics are not subject to a specific licensed usage. Only pharmaceuticals are, or medical devices for medical use such as filler. 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲 is often used referring to the ingredients, or to the professional market they are aimed at. But unless they are listed pharmaceuticals or certified medical devices, allowed differing concentrations and applications to cosmetics and can prove such category listing which would limit their professional use, then it is simply used for marketing purposes in order to sell cosmetics to a certain area of aesthetics. 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, if something is a medical device then it will likely also be subject to medical prescription and is rarely used in reference to skincare. So is 𝗗𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗮® a 'cosmeceutical brand'? Or medical grade? Categories that essentially do not exist in terms of regulation or licensing? By nature we would fall into such category of advanced performance cosmetics or cosmeceuticals requiring professional advice and guidance for purchase, if such a category actually existed, however as a company we do not use this marketing term to describe our product.