Skincare Claims. Are you being duped?

Skincare Claims.  Are you being duped?

In my recent post about BBC The Truth About Looking Good, we touched on product claims.  In the programme three moisturisers were assumed to be falling short because they had no 'anti-ageing' properties or 'skin health' benefits.  I thought it was unfair because the products did not claim to be anything but a moisturiser.

That said, I've just seen an email from a corporate skincare brand that has gotten me all riled about how you are duped by clever marketing copy and it being positioned next to hugely positive, but unrelated results.

case study 1

Product Name: Powerful Lifting Cream.  Anyone else think that means the product is lifting and firming?

The Email boasts that this product has been given 'the stamp of approval by Good Housekeeping Magazine Readers'.  Did that make you think 'Oh, Good Housekeeping is a very respected magazine and it's their readers so, it must be unbiased? Unpaid for'.  Was it?

The email goes on to quote as follows:

"94% said the product immediately absorbs into the skin"  and

"97% said they liked the rich texture"

Did you focus on the high percentages and think along the lines of 'that's good'?

Did you start thinking, 'oh, maybe I should try that'?

Did anyone think 'the product is called Powerful Lifting Cream but the results are not about lifting at all'? They are about absorption and texture and could apply to any cream or emollient, including E45.

case study 2

Everyone is waking up to Photoshop being the best 'anti-ageing' ingredient on the planet.  These adverts suggest that the product being advertised is responsible for the beautiful YOUNG skin.  But could it be the $5million dollar cheque (that is a guess, I don't know how much she was paid), that is making Julia Roberts glow radiantly?  By the way, I think the original images are so much more beautiful than the photoshopped plastic-fantastic versions. What do you think?  This advert was banned in the UK.

               Julia Roberts in banned Lancome advertising.

CVS a pharmacy chain in the USA have banned the use of all brand point of sale material in their stores, if the images have been digitally enhanced.  If any brand does submit images that are photoshopped, CVS will apply large signage on the image announcing that it is not real.

CVS ban images that are photoshopped

 case study 3

I was talking to a customer just yesterday on the phone.  She said she'd loved our products and had achieved her best skin ever using them.  However, she admitted to being a beauty junkie and being 'sucked in' (her words not mine) to trying new products all the time.  Even a £700 cream that was OK. Anyway, she'd tried a brand that claimed to be natural and after using it a while, developed a terrible and somewhat weeping rash around her mouth.  It sounded to me like it could be perorial dermatitis but her doctor had advised her it was a cold sore with exzema.  She was recommended zovirax and E45.  Thing is, she had kept using the products because she assumed that as it was 'natural' and not 'chemical, it couldn't possibly be the cause. She then stopped using them and within 3 days her skin was vastly improved.  My point is not to bash 'natural' or 'orgainic' brands but to provide perspective.  First natural ingredients/essetial oils are chemicals! So is water O2. Second, there is a lot of marketing speak that is misleading.  Take a look below

                 Natural vs. Chemicals in skincare products merumaya 

 case study 4

Free From statements. Don't get me started! They tap into your fear. How negative is that? How many times do you think ' Oh, that must be good because it hasn't got X, Y, Z ingredient'?  Do you even know why X, Y, Z is considered to be a Nasty? Was it something you vaguely recall reading about in The Daily Mail? How many times do you ask ' So what IS in the product that delivers on the claims'? I am not saying certain ingredients should not be avoided - there is a whole list of them that are banned. I am saying don't be duped into thinking that their absence means a product is effective vs. it's claims.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below. It really helps to know if anyone is actually reading this information that I am putting out there in the name of transparency and integrity.

Related Posts:

Allergy vs. Sensitivity

Natural vs. Chemical Skincare



  • I used to be fascinated by these claims made by skincare companies but now, it’s all about how my skin feels above all else.

    I have very good skin but speaking to representatives of skincare companies over the years, you’d think I’d presented them with a crusty dried out leather bag to revive! One lass listed eleven products that would ‘fix’ my ‘problems.’

  • See, this! This information is what companies work so damn hard to keep from us consumers. It’s infuriating. Thank you for this article, I really hope more than anything that we can start moving away from Photoshop and plastic looking advertisements who don’t even represent a human! As for ingredients, I personally struggle with the crazy price differences. I love my skin and want to keep it happy but it’s hard being reasonable sometimes…

    Cynthia Steenkamp
  • I used to use creme de la mer which I now know is a total waste of money. Again, advertising and packaging sells. Now with a bit of experience behind me regarding trial and error with various products, I recognise some of the ingredients that I need and a lot of the rubbish I don’t.
    I once paid nearly £70 for a cleansing oil by Shu umera. I have never had problem skin but within a week or so, I had a red rash around my chin. It was around this time I was sucked into the world of Caroline Hirons (she’s taught me so much). I read the label on the cleanser and it contained mineral oil! I took it back.
    Lesson learned. Expensive doesn’t mean anything if it’s full of shit.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

What are you looking for?

Your cart