A good example of creative marketing is the coining of the words “cosmeceutical,” “bioceutical,” and other similar terms you can increasingly find on skincare product labels today.
The terms imply that the products bear a pharmaceutical or life-giving quality, respectively. They cause the unaware consumer to think that the products must be a higher level, more serious and more potent type of skincare.
In fact, the U. S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes only two types of products: Drugs (as in medicine) and cosmetics.
Drugs are either a prescription type (doctor required) or the more benign over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can be purchased on the retail market.
There are no other FDA product categories (as of this writing), therefore there really is no official “cosmeceutical” category.
Another regulated term is “active ingredient.” It is used quite frequently, particularly by European skincare lines, because those specific words do not have the same definition in Europe as is given by theFDA.
Used by professionals who know when the term is used loosely, there is really no harm even though it is quite improper. In these cases, the words are used to point
to the ingredients responsible for the intended action of the product—what gives it its characteristics and uniqueness.
They could be called functional, key, or defining ingredients, but to use the phrase, “active ingredients,” with anyone who might take it literally is fraudulent. This is because what defines a drug is the very presence of at least one active ingredient which is very specifically defined and regulated by the FDA.
These ingredients are listed as such on any drug container. An absence of FDA approved active ingredients makes the product something other than a drug—and that means a cosmetic product—regardless of the creativity of a copywriter intent on conveying something other than what it is.
Cosmeceuticals and other similarly named products have no “active ingredients” otherwise they would be considered a drug and would be under FDA regulation.
Some manufacturers claim that the presence of a so called “bio-active” ingredient is the justification for their attempted differentiation. Unfortunately, the term bio-active is also a fabricated one that is not regulated (as of this writing). Ingredients such as minerals, vitamins, and essential oil can be deemed “bio-active.”
Again, all this creates a false image. It tries to convey exclusivity for unregulated products based on the presence of some unregulated ingredient(s). Pure marketing genius!
If you can’t beat them, you might as well join them!
Since there is ample “bio-activity” in PHYTO5 products and because natural high-grade essential oils make them energetic, the terms “Bioceutical” and “Phyto-Energetic” are now being used by PHYTO5.
Some manufacturers claim that natural ingredients justify the notion of bioactivity. Some point to the superior bio activity of natural essential oils or algae or natural vitamins.
That would make PHYTO5 and a handful of other good skincare lines that have always included such ingredients, pioneers in the field of cosmeceutical and bioceutical skincare without even knowing it!