Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


Four Common Cosmetic Sales Pitches That Are Pure Fiction

If you've ever been to a cosmetics counter chances are you've heard one of these

I love walking through a cosmetics department.

It is actually one of my most favourite past times.  Not only do I get to see all the lovely products available but I also get to interact with the sales people. For years I have listened to sales pitches by these sales people, from the truly educated to the completely ridiculous.

Here is a list of four pitches I heard this week alone—all complete fiction!

"Our products are better than "brand X" because we use a higher grade version of the active ingredients."

All cosmetics companies use the same ingredients.  As a matter of fact every company works from an approved list of ingredients called the GRAS.  There are only a handful of raw ingredient suppliers, to the industry, and even fewer manufacturing facilities (that's right most of the companies farm out their manufacturing these days - it's way cheaper).  The raw ingredient suppliers do not make different grade ingredients—they make ingredients in bulk and sell by the litre. And the factories combined them all in the same fashion. For example: 90% of the glycolic acid, provided to the cosmetics industry, comes from a single supplier. All gycolic acid products work the same.

"Our products remove wrinkles."

No they don't. By definition of law topical cosmetics are not allowed to have a physiological effect on the skin. Which means that they cannot remove a wrinkle, or firm the skin, or treat acne, or change the colour of the skin, or tighten the skin, or remove hyperpigmentation, or. . . well you get the idea.

"Our products are organic."

There is no such thing as an all natural or organic cosmetic.  These terms are only applicable to food.  In addition to that the law requires certain synthetic compounds to be present in all cosmetics for consumer safety (anti microbial agents, anti fungal agents).  Also, if a product has a colour it must be synthetic.

"Our products will close the pores."

Pores do not open and close. They must remain open at all times in order for the skin to take in oxygen. No product can change the pore size let alone cause them to close up like little doors.