Wouldn’t it be nice if every company was 100% forthright about their products? Manufacturers are required to be truthful when putting claims on their packaging … but that doesn’t mean that the ingredients in a given product will really deliver results. As a consumer, there are lots of ways to spot when companies are just seeking profits and not really giving you your money’s worth. Here are some things you should know before making your next purchase.
Marketing Results or Riches?
Ever notice how a new product gets priority shelf space in your local drug store? The end cap, that display at the end of the aisle, is prime real estate, and companies lease it in order to reach customers who might not notice their products when they’re placed next to those of their competitors. The products on these shelves aren’t necessarily innovative or even effective … but people buy them because they equate visibility and dedicated shelf space with quality.
Nutritionists tell us to read labels before buying food for our families. That same advice applies to picking a skincare product. Over-the-counter products, also referred to as OTCs, must follow similar labeling requirements when listing ingredients. If you want to know what’s in a product, skip the front-of-package hype and turn to the label. If you’re searching for a good hyaluronic acid, that ingredient should be closer to the beginning of the list rather than near the end. But don’t worry if water is at the top. For example, purified water is listed before hyaluronic acid in the Elite Eye Serum, but there are more than 10 additional ingredients after that (some of which are also key, active ingredients). According to the FDA, “The ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance.” This means, the higher something appears on the list, the higher the concentration is in the finished product. Tip: Many active ingredients don’t need to be used in high concentrations in order to be effective, so don’t be put off if your favorite ingredient appears lower down the list.
Little White Lies
A lie is a lie, except when it isn’t. Confused? No problem. When companies label their skincare products, they have to avoid intentionally misleading consumers. Truth in advertising only goes so far, though, so keep an eye out for buzzwords that appear in the main text that may be intended to passively catch your eye. For instance, as long as a product contains a small amount of a given substance, the manufacturer can list it on the label … but that doesn’t ensure you’ll get results, especially if the ingredient isn’t used in a large enough concentration. Sounds dishonest, but it’s perfectly legal, which is why you should always select medical grade skincare.
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While you’re getting accustomed to researching and getting familiar with the process, feel free to ask us for recommendations. Our website will help you select targeted, researched products that back up their claims with real results.
To your skin education,