It’s rare when watching your favorite show that a celebrity endorsed skin care ad comes on during the commercial break. Or sitting at your doctor’s office waiting to be seen an hour after your initial appointment time and you open a magazine to a gorgeous movie star advertising that she’s using a ‘revolutionary’ skin care line that changed her life. Once you’ve seen her amazingly smooth skin (seriously, how can Julia Roberts look like she’s in her 30’s when she just turned 50?!) you then contemplate calling that 800-number and order yourself that expensive jar of miracle cream. This is one of the many strategies that skin care companies use to make sure the consumer runs out to grab their product. This isn’t the only technique that’s being used. Once you learn some of these lies that skin care companies tell you you’ll be much more aware and hopefully not be fooled by empty promises…
1. Celebrities Use These Products.
First thing’s first, money talks. Just like we have jobs (that don’t even pay nearly as much as these celebs make) these famous faces are being paid to endorse and sponsor these products. With strategic marketing these skin care companies pick top name celebrities especially those with great skin to tout their products claiming to use them regularly regardless if they’ve tried the product or not. Next time as you’re going about your day, count how many celebrity endorsements you’ll come across and see for yourself.
2. You’re Just Not Pretty Enough.
It’s pretty sad that companies result in targeting those that are naïve and with low self esteem. As a preteen I was so insecure with my freckles since you would never see ads with them so I wished my complexion would look like those models, but as an adult I learned that’s what they’re aiming for and I learned to love myself freckles and any imperfections…many companies DON’T want this to happen. These companies are counting on consumers to see their gorgeous spokesperson and go running out to purchase their skin care line hoping to look as good as they do.
* You’re gorgeous and perfect just the way you are, imperfections and all…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
3. The More Expensive The Product, The Better It Is.
As an Esthetician I’ve tried many skin care products from Chanel to Neutrogena and with these tests I’ve found it doesn’t matter the price of a product because some of the best skin care lines are super affordable and don’t need to make a dent in your wallet. When looking for skin care labels, take a look at the ingredients, the first six listed have the most amount of that product inside. Majority of the time those expensive creams and serums have the same ingredients and maybe throw in a little extra ingredient to make it their own but in reality you’re paying for their packaging, the ads and even those celeb endorsements that are luring you in.
4. It’s Hypoallergenic, It’s Great For Everyone To Use.
Patch tests are very important to perform with new products. Unfortunately, this is another lie that skin care companies tell us in order to drive more consumers in. With this fictitious claim it’s implied that the ingredients in those skin care products are safe and gentle for even the most sensitive of skin. Surprisingly there hasn’t been many tests conducted by the FDA and it wasn’t until the early 1970’s that the Hypoallergenic claim was defined to avoid any false advertisements as a precaution….meaning it has nothing to do with how the product will react on a person.
5. Our Products Are FDA Approved…It Has To Be Safe.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is responsible for the food supply we eat, dietary supplements we take and cosmetics that we use. So many of the products we use today claim to be FDA approved but in many cases that’s not really true…You’ll be shocked in knowing that the law doesn’t require a product’s ingredients to be approved. There are actually 1,300 ingredients that Europe has banned and many of them are still used here today in the US. When researching the Food and Drug Administration’s website, it clearly reads ‘The only government oversight of cosmetic companies comes under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, passed in 1938. The act focuses mainly on regulating adulterated or misbranded products that are falsely packaged’. Check out the www.FDA.gov website you can find these and other interesting facts about products we use daily…some may surprise you.
6. Go Ahead, Use a ‘Generous Amount’.
Many products that we purchase state on the labels to use a ‘generous amount’ which leads us to believe the more we use the sooner/better the product will work. Realistically the amount you apply will not make a difference except cause you to spend more money by going through the product much quicker than you should. This is a tactic used to make consumers spend more money. When using quality skin care like my favorite goPure anti-aging line, a little goes a long way and we will still reap in beautiful results without having to repurchase another after a couple of weeks of use.
7. ‘7 Days To Gorgeous Skin’.
I can’t tell you how many clients I have had that were concerned after seeing minimal results in ‘x’ amount of days after the advertisement said they’d have gorgeous skin. Had they been using the product wrong? or why after they’ve stopped using the product their skin had gone back to its original condition? First off, when a company claims ‘x’ amount of days to gorgeous skin you must ask yourself “What do they consider gorgeous?”, “What kind of skin did the test group have originally?” and for anti-aging lines “How old exactly were these participants?”. When hearing these claims, we don’t have details or facts backing them up other than some skin care companies being generous enough to add ‘Studies have shown/proven’ or ‘Tested and Approved (by who exactly?)’. Keep in mind everyone’s skin is unique in its own way and some products work better on others while some may not see much of a difference. As for keeping the gorgeous skin you’ve worked for most skin care products like everything else show results after continuous use…so you must stick with their product or skin care regimen.
8. Dry The Acne Out.
Put down that cotton ball dipped in alcohol and slowly back away! Just like the Oxy acne pads from decades ago these alcoholic products may cause more damage than you think. Ask a skin care professional what they think about ‘drying the acne out’ and more than likely they’ll tell you the same thing I would say…Want acne to heal? Moisturize. That’s right…moisturizing your skin will typically loosen built up sebum that’s clogging your pores. Using products containing alcohol which will not only dry out the skin BUT it’ll turn the oil production into overdrive trying to get back moisture that has been removed leading to painful inflammation and irritation. Some sell products for acne following the proper rules and give gentle formulas that will slowly but properly produce healing. Others, want the consumer to see quick results and from the outside may see that the alcohol did dry out their skin but they will notice their pores appear more visible and their skin with have produced a greasy shine made of excess oil. Consumers see that the acne is gone but now they need to purchase another product to help with the excess sebum and oily skin. It’s just a money making cycle.
9. Go Organic.
This is something that has been everywhere from purchasing organic clothing, organic food, organic beauty products and skin care. The marketing approach may be to target a few different types of consumers…1. The health conscious/earth friendly type and 2. Those who feel badly about themselves and purchase organic to feel good about their purchase. Some ingredients in products do amazing for your skin and are still healthy to use and aren’t even ‘organic’… two of our favorites Retinol and Hyaluronic Acids. Again, another meaningless word with no FDA standards falls along with ‘clean’, ‘natural’ and crazy enough ‘safe’. This is just another smart marketing tactic to make buyers feel they are doing something healthy for themselves and their wellness.
Well, there you have it ladies! Hopefully these clever scare tactics, false promises, holy grail of anti-aging claims will have you more aware of the way many skin care and cosmetic companies work. There are some that stay true to their customers and provide quality products at affordable prices because it’s not just a business for them but they love seeing happy customers and their results…word of mouth is the best form of advertising. The best thing you can do as a consumer is to try and not fall for these ads and take responsibility and do your research. Learn and understand these ingredients allowing you to play an informative part in your skin’s health.. Stay educated, stay informed.
“ The only source of knowledge is experience” `~ Albert Einstein