Cosmetic ingredients can produce physical effects on the skin as well as positive and negative bioactive effects. Such effects have now been identified, categorized and interpreted. Because of this ongoing research and increased understanding, cosmetics, especially skin care products, are being improved. Targeting specific bioactive effects from newly developed cosmetic products is now possible. This development is aided by refining and expanding existing instrumental analysis which is now capable of elucidating more detailed and statistically significant differences from the use of certain ingredients in cosmetics. However, the ultimate proof of these changes will remain the consumer response to such products. Physical effects and the positive and negative bioactive effects from specific cosmetic ingredients will be discussed in relationship to the anatomy, physiology and condition of human skin. Examples of selected cosmetic ingredients in relationship to the anatomy, physiology and condition of human skin will be given. Demonstrations of selected cosmetic ingredient effects will be by way of clinical observation, instrumental analysis and consumer evaluation.

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