Well, hello there, fellow skincare addicts! You know, as well as I do, that a walk through Sephora, a flip through the pages of New Beauty magazine, or a trip to your aesthetician’s office can really help to lubricate your wallet….making it easy for those hard-earned dollars of yours to slide right out. After all, who doesn’t want “visibly younger skin in just three days”? But before you spend your 401k on products promising results which replicate a full body plunge in the fountain of youth, let’s cut through the marketing b.s., so you can avoid being brainwashed by empty skincare marketing claims.
Quality skin care products are not cheap. We’re not talking about impulse-purchasing a 99 cent pack of gum, we’re talking about handing over a crisp Ben Franklin plus some change on a single jar of moisturizer! According to The Huffington Post, women spend over $426 billion a year on beauty products alone! I’m all for making smart investments in your beauty arsenal, but I’m also outraged at empty guarantees, bogus promises, and counterfeit claims in product labeling.
Over 20 years of experience as an aesthetician, I’ve learned one rule that stands tried and true at the heart of my business: ALWAYS underpromise, ALWAYS overdeliver.
Avoid companies who spend more time and money trying to pass off their product as eco-friendly, all natural, or chemical free than what they spend on research and development into creating truly transformative skincare products. Through strategic branding, elaborate packaging, or sly mislabeling, consumers can be totally blinded by the mere promise of beautiful skin. While that promise may be enticing, don’t let these clever marketing claims blind you to a product’s true value:
Use of the terms organic and natural can be a bit blurry- even to the most discerning eye. Natural merely describes an ingredient’s source. Natural doesn’t equate with an ingredient’s safe usage, and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with a product’s effectiveness. Furthermore, just because something’s labeled as “natural”, doesn’t mean it’s organic. Having one or two natural ingredients doesn’t make it a natural product….nor does it mean it’s any less irritating. In most cases, it simply means that the active ingredient is found in nature. If soda’s active ingredient is natural sugar, does that mean you should be drinking Pepsi instead of water? We think not.
Somewhere along the line, food concepts got haphazardly thrown into the skin care discussion. People are starting to look for organic, natural, even gluten-free labeling while avoiding synthetic ingredients at all costs. However, sometimes synthetic ingredients are required! For example, everyone loves antioxidants, but antioxidants are extremely unstable. They need some synthetic ingredients to stabilize them and surfactants to help them get to where they need to go. And, on top of that, we need to protect them from bacterial and fungal contamination!
Don’t let marketing claims convince you that everything is either black and white. While consumers assume natural and organic equals safe and effective when it comes to skin care, don’t forget there are toxic substances on the planet that are “organic.” Poison Ivy is a natural, organic substance, but that doesn’t mean you should be applying it to your skin.
With the exception of light and electricity, everything is a chemical. Remember memorizing the periodic table in high school chemistry? Even water is a chemical compound made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen! So, then how can any product be chemical-free? Exactly….it’s impossible.
Some chemicals you should avoid in a skincare product include: acetone, synthetic colors, formaldehyde, and toluene.
Parabens are preservatives that extend the shelf life of a product and prevent bacterial and fungal growth. When used at appropriate levels, parabens are very effective preservatives…. but they’ve recently gotten a bad rap.
Much of the concern comes from cell line studies- a study of an ingredient on a single cell as opposed to the human skin- which, in my opinion, produces a skewed outcome. With cosmetic companies scurrying to reformulate paraben-free substitutes, you need to consider the alternative. What are they replacing those missing parabens with? So-called “problematic” ingredients are usually replaced with ones that have equal health/environmental concerns. And if that isn’t confusing enough, parabens are found in blueberries, mango, barley, strawberries, black currants, peaches, carrots, onions, cocoa beans, and vanilla.
No products in this country contain CFC’s. Chlorofluorocarbons are illegal in the U.S. Nice try- we’re not falling for it.
Our mission statement is this: “Combine equal parts of research and science, apply the truth liberally, achieve outstanding results. Repeat when necessary.”
We believe in holistically educating our clients about skincare. While we do not claim to be 100% green, all natural, or chemical free (gasp!), we will always be honest. Consider that a huge improvement from the status quo.
Science. Truth. Results.
Jane Marie D’Amato