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  Issue 4 (2001)

GD News
Dermocosmetics: Definition and Requirements

The Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie has defined such cosmetic products as dermocosmetics or dermopharmaceutical products by the use of which the cosmetical application purpose is achieved by considering of certain dermatological and pharmaceutical criteria. Due to the fact that dermocosmetics are also applied for the support of prevention and treatment of skin diseases, according to the GD's opinion, they are to come up to certain standards in view of their quality and documentation. The GD does not aim at legal amendments for dermocosmetics. They consider the existing classification of cosmetic products as being sufficient.

The term "Dermocosmetics" has been introduced for years. Numerous cosmetic firms use it for their products, however this term has never been defined in detail or proven by precise contents.The GD department Dermocosmetics, therefore, has as first independent institution submitted a definition proposal for this term. Accordingly such cosmetic products are to be designated as dermocosmetics for which the application purpose is achieved by co-consideration of dermatological and pharmaceutical aspects. A special channel of distribution for example exclusively via pharmacies is not included in this definition.

Preconditions to Dermocosmetics

Due to the fact that dermocosmetics are to be applied as well as support for prevention and treatment of skin diseases they are not only to meet the general legal regulations regarding cosmetic products but furthermore comply with further scientific stipulations. If for instance the fact is subject to advertising of a product that it is suited for a special skin condition or exerts a positive effect on it then this should be proven by appropriate methods. It should be ensured for the methods used that they entail relevant, reproducible and valid results.

Provided that the producer is interested in a recommendation of his product by physicians or pharmacists, he should document the information necessary for an assessment of the quality and make it accessible to experts on request. The documentation should comprise a sufficient description of the galenic system, indications relating to the general and microbiological stability as well as to methods and results of the tests performed for the proof of effectiveness and tolerance.

Guidelines serve as Orientation

Further information regarding the stipulations to dermocosmetics are contained in the guidelines of the Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie. They address experts developing, producing, testing, analyzing, marketing as well as giving advice as to their application. The first two guidelines which have been adopted and published among other locations on the GD-homepage ( in the Internet refer to dermocosmetics for the cleansing and care of dry skin. Guidelines regarding the dermocosmetic sun protection are in preparation and their publication is expected in the course of 2002. Moreover, the preparative works of guidelines for dermocosmetics recommended for the use in case of acne resepectively for skin tending to acne have been initiated.

No appealing to the Legislator

In spite of the additional stipulations in their guidelines, the Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie does not strive for legal amendments relating to dermocosmetics. In conformity with the IKW, the German Industrieverband für Körperpflege- und Waschmittel (Industrial Association for Personal Hygiene and Detergents) as well as with COLIPA, the European Association of Producers of Cosmetics, they consider it as being appropriate, to further class dermocosmetics as cosmetic products. The GD does not consider necessary an establishing of a new, legally independent product category as demanded from other sides in the context of the term "Cosmeceuticals".

Additional Benefit for the Consumer

The GD considers their guidelines as noncomittal orientation. They are to motivate the producers of dermocosmetics, to voluntarily adhere to the formulated stipulations contained in the guidelines. When adhering to the stipulations, the consumer gets additional benefit and safety if it concerns to select the most appropriate products from the large offer of products for his skin condition.




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