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Alpha hydroxy acids

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA is "grappling" with the issue of whether and how to regulate alpha hydroxy acid skin care products, John Bailey, director of the Office of Colors and Cosmetics, told the FDA Dermatologic Drugs Advisory Committee Sept. 22. "It will be a very challenging process for FDA to define the difference between the drug uses of AHA and cosmetics uses in broad terms such as a policy statement," he added. However, Bailey noted one distinction: "if, under certain conditions with the formulation, only superficial exfoliation is occurring, then these are cosmetics and we would have no problem with them," he said. On the other hand, "if there's significant loss of stratum corneum and the physiological process of skin is impaired, then I think we're...looking at drugs." AHA skin care products are said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by allowing the top layer of skin to shed more evenly and rapidly
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