“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)