Meaningless Cosmetics Claims You Shouldn’t Believe Part 6


Specially Formulated for Mature Skin

Why it’s meaningless: We see this claim all the time, almost always on products designed to fight signs of aging. The problem is that skin-care companies always define mature skin as occurring at some arbitrary age, usually over the age of 50, where the skin all of a sudden becomes dry.
In reality, age is not a skin type. Many women over age 50 (or younger) have different skin types. Their concerns (wrinkles, uneven skin tone, sagging) are fairly consistent, but women of all ages can struggle with oily skin, dry skin, breakouts, redness, sensitivity, and on and on. “Mature skin” isn’t automatically dry skin, any more than acne-prone skin is only for teens. There are no special formulary standards that make products labeled “for mature skin” any better than products formulated for other skin types or concerns. More often than not, products designed for mature skin are just overly emollient moisturizers that do not provide a comprehensive approach to really fighting the signs of aging.

What to look for instead: It’s all about the ingredients and following a consistent skin-care routine that addresses the needs of your skin type AND your skin concerns, regardless of your age.

(Information by Paula Begoun)

Hopefully you read all 6 of the Meaningless Claims. It’s scary what information is put out there for us to believe.

Meaningless Cosmetics Claims You Shouldn’t Believe Part 5


Dermatologist-Approved or Dermatologist-Tested

Why it’s meaningless: Here’s another popular claim that sounds official and professional but that isn’t supported by any agreed-on standards in the cosmetics or medical industries. “Dermatologist-approved” could mean something or it could mean nothing at all—more often than not, it means nothing. What you don’t know is whether or not the dermatologist is on the payroll of the cosmetics company (many are, so they’re expected to “approve” of products—when was the last time you saw a “dermatologist-rejected” product) or what standards he or she used to approve the product. For all we know, the dermatologist gave the formula a cursory glance, said it looked good, and that was it, or he or she designed a study to make sure the cosmetics company’s claim was substantiated.

What to look for instead: Forget dermatologist endorsements—instead, focus on finding products that contain ingredients research has proven to be effective (and safe) for your skin. Typically, that means looking for broad-spectrum sunscreens, antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, well-formulated exfoliants, and products with cell-communicating ingredients. Regardless of whether or not a “dermatologist-approved” claim is made, these are the types of ingredients that truly make a difference in the health and appearance of your skin—and any dermatologist worth listening to should know this!

(Information by Paula Begoun)

Meaningless Cosmetics Claims You Shouldn’t Believe Part 4



Why it’s meaningless: The word “cosmeceutical” was dreamed up to describe cosmetics products that are supposed to have some level (proven or not) of special benefit over and above regular “cosmetics.” A combination of the word “cosmetic” and “pharmaceutical” and you have cosmeceutical.
The fact is, “cosmeceutical” is merely a marketing term; it has no regulation or standards behind it so anyone can call their product cosmeceutical, regardless of what it contains. There are no cosmeceutical-grade ingredients anywhere in the world.

(Information by Paula Begoun)

Meaningless Cosmetics Claims You Shouldn’t Believe Part 3


“Our studies show…”

Why it’s meaningless: It seems almost every cosmetics company loves to tell you they have studies proving their claims. Yet, in the 30 years we’ve been doing our research, those “studies” most often are not available for review and/or are not published, which means the “study” is meaningless.
In the world of cosmetics there’s an entire business built on claim substantiation. Essentially, a cosmetics company that wants to make specific claims for their product hires an outside company to devise a test that will “prove” the claims. It’s that simple. So, whether the company wants to state their product makes skin 86% firmer or provides a 90% reduction in wrinkles or that 98% of all women who used it thought they looked younger, the study is designed and set up to support the desired claim.
So, be aware: Company comments that begin with “Our studies show…” are far more about marketing than efficacy—almost without exception, the details on how the study was done are not made public. We hear only about the results, so we’re left to take the company’s word for it.

What to look for instead: For the most part, just ignore the phrase “Our studies show…” and instead focus on what independently published research has to say about the key ingredients in products you’re considering. This is especially important for anti-aging products because their claims, despite seemingly impressive statistics, quickly veer into fantasyland as newer versions with the same promises and new “studies” replace the previous ones.

(Information by Paula Begoun)

Meaningless Cosmetics Claims You Shouldn’t Believe Part 2


Non-comedogenic or “Won’t clog pores”

Why it’s meaningless: You can’t trust any product that makes claims of being non-comedogenic (or the less common “non-acnegenic”) because there are no approved or regulated standards for these statements anywhere in the world. In other words, no matter what a product contains, a company can claim that it won’t make you break out, even if it contains ingredients that are known to trigger breakouts. With no guidelines or standards in place, even the thickest, greasiest moisturizer around can claim it “won’t clog pores.”

And forget the claim “oil-free”! There are lots of ingredients that can make skin feel greasy that aren’t listed as oils.

What to look for instead: Avoid products that have a thick, creamy consistency. For the most part, ingredients with a creamy texture are usually the ones that clog pores and make skin feel greasy. When shopping for almost any skin-care product or makeup foundation, the best option for those with oily skin or breakouts is to look for products that have a liquid, gel, serum, or thin lotion consistency. Products with thinner textures are less likely to clog pores or worsen breakouts.

(Information by Paula Begoun)

BB Creams

Curious about the BB Creams you’ve been seeing advertised lately? In most countries, the “BB” stands for Beauty Balm. In Asian countries it once meant Blemish Balm but now goes by Beauty Balm or the shorter BB Cream. Whatever name they go by, these products are claimed to do everything, from creating a flawless complexion to reducing pore size, healing breakouts, controlling oil, and lightening dark spots. That’s quite the to-do list!

Despite the hoopla fueled by the cosmetics industry and many beauty bloggers, BB creams are not must-have products. Essentially, the BB creams (Beauty Balms) sold in Western countries are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen.

Overall, whether you use a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer, these products are all about convenience: sun protection, moisture, and sheer skin tone–correcting color from one product. The formulas differ widely from company to company, but sun protection and light coverage color are the norms.

Some BB creams have a thicker, creamier texture; some offer a bit more coverage than standard tinted moisturizers. As a personal preference, you may or may not care for the thicker texture—especially if you have oily, combination, or breakout-prone skin. The BB creams from U.S. brands—such as Garnier, Estee Lauder, and Smashbox—tend to have thinner, more lotion-like textures; they are nearly indistinguishable from tinted moisturizers with sunscreen, save for providing a touch more coverage.

The take-away message here is this: BB creams aren’t anything special and most claims of their extra abilities are marketing fluff, not reality. There are some great BB creams available, but even they are not must-have products. Really, the best reason to consider a BB cream is if you want more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, but not as much coverage as a standard foundation. Otherwise, this is a trend you can feel comfortable to ignore. If you find this trend too hard to ignore, make sure you use the best ones, and don’t get seduced by the does-it-all claims.

Meaningless Cosmetics Claims You Shouldn’t Believe

No matter where you shop for skin-care or makeup products, just about every product you see makes one or more claims that are misleading, false, or exaggerated to the point of absurdity.

Cosmetics companies rely on the same overblown claims again and again to sell new products, telling you that their new product is more special or unique than their last. But, no matter how they state it, more often than not it ends up being completely meaningless, and often just plain nonsense.

Over the next 6 days, I will give you 6 claims that you definitely should not believe.



Why it’s meaningless: “Hypoallergenic” is meant to imply that a product is unlikely or less likely to cause allergic reactions and, therefore, is better for allergy-prone or sensitive skin types, but it isn’t true. There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic.

We have reviewed hundreds of products labeled “hypoallergenic” or “good for sensitive skin” that contain seriously problematic ingredients that actually trigger allergic breakouts or sensitive skin reactions.

What to look for instead: If sensitive or allergy-prone skin is one of your concerns, then the No. 1 thing to look for is products that are free of irritants. The major irritants that show up in an astounding number of products, especially in products labeled organic or natural, are fragrance (both synthetic and natural fragrance are equally bad for all skin types), alcohol (isopropyl or SD alcohol), and strong cleansing agents.

(Information by Paula Begoun)