Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


Five False Cosmetics Sales Pitches

More Beauty Myths Busted

Oh, there are so many of them—cosmetics sales pitches that simply cannot hold up under scrutiny.

I've heard them for years, and I am always so dismayed when I hear them again.

Here is a short list of sales pitches I heard this weekend at actual cosmetics counters in leading department stores:

1. "This is a Botox alternative. All the results of Botox without the injections."


There is no over-the-counter product that can provide the results of Botox. Even Botox cannot provide the results of Botox if it is not actually injected into the skin. Botox is a specific drug that must be injected into the muscles in order to provide the proven effect. OTC products do not penetrate into the muscles, and even if they could, the idea of a topical product used all over the face that can cause paralysis is so ridiculous, because how could an at-home product be monitored as to not be used incorrectly, thus causing paralysis in areas that could be very dangerous.

2. "Age spots are just part of getting older."


"Age spots" are sun damage. Everyone can get them regardless of age. If the skin is protected from extreme sun exposure, the chances of getting this discolouration is quite minimal.  Also, the damage is actually so deep in the skin that the only way to correct this damage is with a medical procedure. There is no OTC product that can correct sun damage.

3. "The tingling means it's working."


The tingling means it's damaging your skin. OTC products should not have any tingling, cooling, or other type of sensation base when applied. If you feel anything of the sort, remove the product immediately and neutralize with water. The tingling/cooling sensation is a sign of allergic reaction and over all cellular damage (after prolonged use).

4. "Skin needs different ingredients at night than in the day."


Often the pitch starts with something like, "The skin is regenerating at night so  . . . " or "The skin requires more nutrition at night . . . " If these claims are actually true, I would love to see the science behind them. Truth is the skin is regenerating and repairing every moment of every day. The only ingredient that is more beneficial to the skin in the daytime than the night time is sunscreen.

5. "It's an award-winning formula."


I have written many times about the pseudo-science used to "prove" cosmetics formulas' claims, but the "award winning" slant is something I often overlook, because I consider it so unimportant. The idea is that if an award was given there must be some high quality to the product. What are the top 5 awards in the cosmetics industry? Allure Magazine's Best of Beauty Award, Good Housekeeping Magazine's Beauty Awards, Elle Magazine's Editor Picks Awards, Glamour Magazine's Glammy Awards, and Cosmetic Executive Women's Beauty Awards. Four of these awards are given out by beauty and fashion magazines, and one is a trade association  award. How are the winners comprised? For the beauty magazines, the list is created by the magazine's advertisersyes, the list is long, but the only way to be considered for an award is to advertise in the magazine. For the CEW, the award is only given to companies that are dues paying members. Point is, these awards mean nothing at all for consumersthey are just marketing tools for the companies.

For more beauty myths busted, check out "Top 3 Skin Care Myths" and "Makeup Application Myths."