Your Skincare is Lying to You

Deceptive Beauty Products:

What makes one product better than the next? To most people it’s almost virtually impossible to figure out. But why is this? Because of the long, unpronounceable, and unrecognizable ingredients? A new study explains that it’s because of the alarmingly high amount of false advertising used with skincare and beauty products. In this blog, we dive into how your beauty products are not what you think they are and how to find good ones.

How your beauty products are lying to you:

Lying Skincare

Not FDA-Approved, but FDA-Regulated:

Have you ever seen a product that you’re immediately skeptical of? An eye cream that claims to erase under eye bags forever, or a a scrub that says its make from “all natural” ingredients? Your gut instinct may be right. According to new research published in the Journal of Global Fashion and Marketing, only 18 percent of all claims made in commercials for cosmetics prove to be trustworthy. How can these companies get away with this? Because the FDA barely regulates the cosmetic product industry. In fact, the FDA website states that, “The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market”. This means that they can put almost any ingredient in their products, in any amount, and have it go completely under-the-radar. For example, Garnier’s Micellar Water has a banned and potentially cancer-causing ingredient in it called polyaminopropyl biguanide (PHMB). The ingredient is banned in personal care products, however the substance is still found in creams, makeup removers and cleansing tissues. Crazy, right!

Marketing and Packaging: 

These kind of deceptive actions then carry on into the marketing and packaging. With labels slapped on that say, “Natural”, or “Organic”, when they are truly the furthest thing from it. According to the FDA, there is no specific definition for ‘natural’. Some companies argue that if an ingredient comes from a natural source then it’s natural. Meanwhile, they conveniently overlook the fact that the products are being chemically modified to make it work the way they want it. Even terms like “hypoallergenic” and “noncomedogenic” on skin-care products are problematic. There are no FDA definitions that govern the use of terms like these. So if you’re prone to breakouts, still be wary of “oil-free” and “noncomedogenic” claims — a product can be pore-clogging and not contain oil. Additionally, there are no specific federal definitions for “clinically proven” or “dermatologist-tested” either. These are simply just marketing tricks to make their product look safer or better than others.


There are products that are strongly marketed for one ingredient in particular, such as Retinol or Salicylic. When it comes down to it, this “main” ingredient is most often one of the last ingredients on the list. For those of you who don’t know, ingredients are listed in order of their concentrations. The first five ingredients or so are typically the bulk of the formula. The concentration of each ingredient gets smaller the further down the list they are. A perfect example of this would be Biore Charcoal Cleansing Micellar Water, where Charcoal Power is the very last ingredient. The first ingredient, water. The second ingredient, Hexylene Glycol, a chemical that’s listed on the New Jersey Department of Health Hazardous Substance List. When the skin comes in contact with Hexylene Glycol, the chemical can irritate the skin and eyes. Quite interesting, considering the fact that Biore claims the product is Dermatologist and Ophthalmologist tested. So how can you find the most effective products? Read the ingredients, and keep reading!

How to find good products:

First and foremost, we always recommend Medical Grade Skincare products. They are the best way to know you are getting a safe and effective product. Medical Grade skincare can only be sold under a medical director (places such as a medical spa, dermatologist, plastic surgeon, etc.). This also means that the products are being sold by people that have extensive skin knowledge, and can properly educate you on the ingredients and the results the product will provide. The concentrations of these ingredients are higher in medical grade products than those used in drugstore and over-the-counter products. Additionally, the ingredients that are actually important for efficacy, are at the top of the list. This means not only are you getting the product you paid for, but the results too!

For More Information:

Our licensed staff would love to help you find the right at-home products for your skin needs. For more information please contact us at ZONA Med Spa. Or book a complimentary consultation online by clicking here.

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