Is it a therapeutic good or a cosmetic?

Modified on Tue, 23 Jan, 2018 at 9:25 AM

One of the main factors in determining whether a product is a cosmetic or a medicine (or a medical device) is the claims made about the product. For example, moisturisers that contain a sunscreening agent as a secondary component and have a stated therapeutic purpose (e.g. 'helps protect skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation') are medicines.

Even if a product is intended for marketing as a cosmetic, it may be classified as a medicine. This depends on:

  • its ingredients
  • the route of administration
  • if therapeutic claims are made on its label, or in advertising.

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