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What are active ingredients?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines an active ingredient as any component of a product that has an effect on the diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease, or that affects the structure or function of the body. For example, a sunscreen may contain certain active ingredients (such as oxybenzones) that protect the skin from the sun. It may also contain inactive ingredients such as stabilizing agents that may extend a product's shelf life but do nothing to protect the skin. Your dermatologist can provide more information about active and inactive ingredients.  
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

The FDA does not require cosmetics to undergo approval before they are sold to the public. Only ingredients that are classified as drugs, elements that affect the structure or function of the body, are in any way regulated. These drugs are labeled as active ingredients above the cosmetic components, or inactive ingredients. The manufacturer must provide scientific proof to the FDA that active ingredients are safe and effective.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.