The term cosmeceutical implies cosmetic utility with an activity of at least a mild pharmacological or pharmaceutical nature. Cosmetic effect should be at least a partial result of structural or functional change, which can be reproducibly demonstrated by some reliable, accurate, and validated methodology—be it clinical or instrumental. Topical products presently predominate in the discussion, yet nontoxic, systemic substances such as vitamins and naturally occurring substances should also be considered in the definition.
Distinction between intrinsic aging of the skin and photoaging has been repeatedly emphasized, but in the context of this discussion it has little relevance; skin that is visible and cosmetically deteriorated is invariably sun exposed and usually highly sun damaged. In the vast majority of individuals, photoaging overshadows intrinsic changes, especially in the skin of the face, neck, and dorsal forearms (1).
The terms photoaging and photodamage have frequently been used interchangeably, although we have previously preferred to define photoaging as a process and photodamage as a description of the clinical or histological condition |
at any point in time. Photoaging begins at a very early time point, even in infancy, |
as a result of repetitive, chronic exposure of the skin to ultraviolet radiation. Clinical changes recognizable as photodamage may appear in early childhood, especially where exposure is high. A study of teenagers' skin in Australia demon- 4
strated that 70% of Australians have detectable sun damage by the age of 14 |
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