According to the AAD, the answer to whether or not cosmeceuticals really
work lies in the ingredients and how they interact with the biological mechanisms that occur in aging skin.
The regulatory question the FDA faces when considering such products, Katz says, "is whether or not a
manufacturer is making a structure or function claim."
The FDA uses different standards when evaluating the risks and benefits
of products used for cosmetic treatments than for therapeutic uses of products. Steven K. Galson, M.D.,
M.P.H., acting director for the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, adds that products like
tretinoin and Restylane that are not indicated for serious or life-threatening conditions are subject to
close examination by the agency because of the benefit-to-risk ratio.