How to be a Savvy Beauty Consumer: 3 Watchout Claims

In Being Savvy at Skincare by Cheryl WooodmanLeave a Comment
Sometimes it is really hard to tell the difference from one beauty cream to the next, with each promising you they are the best moisturizer that was every made – why of course, ha! Over the next few months I have planned some posts on how to be a savvy beauty consumer, and how to know what is ‘for real’ and what is sales talk.

So I will start today with a roundup of 3 types of beauty claims to watch out for.


1. Name claims
The food and vitamin industry were clamped down on a couple of years ago, do you remember Actimel adverts, they contain ‘10 billion bacteria in 1 little drink’, and ‘with the special L.casei Immunitas blend’ – I sound like their PR team! Well the L.casei Immunitas is the name they gave their pro-biotic formula, it’s like a christening for all those little bacteria’s – but as it’s a name, it also doesn’t actually mean anything. Although if you read it, it sounds like a little superhero promising you immunity or at least a stronger immune system right?

Well the regulators agreed with this and guess what, now these types of name claims are banned in the food and vitamin industry. I haven’t seen an Actimel advert in a while (mostly because we have recently joined the world of YouView and we can fast forward the adverts! Literally regaining hours of my life every week!) but after the ban, all the new Actimel ads, were sold on  claims like ‘that taste you just love’ –  so strange! (I kind of do love the taste though!)

I am not saying that Actimel does or doesn’t work, all I am saying is they haven’t proven this scientifically to the standard the government have set. Sometimes cost stops companies from doing this as clinical trials are pretty expensive, I am talking Millions here to run these beauties… or beasts depending on how you look at it haha.

Clues you are being sold
1)    A word you have never heard of before, yet somehow you know exactly what it means!
2)    It sounds pseudo-sciency – so you automatically trust it.
3)    It sticks in your head and you just can’t get it out!
4)    Sometimes it will have a TM symbol (trademark) next to it. 

Other examples
Prevage, Hydraluron, Regenerist, Clarisonic, pepta-bright, ‘Contains the breakthrough ingredient “PurCellin”, Nutrialba.


2. NO-promise claims that ‘sell-you’
OK, so this one is a bit strange, but think of the ‘Caffeine Plantur’ shampoo advert. Do you remember it? Has it even been on recently? (Sorry YouView snob coming out!). I remember their first adverts in the UK, just googled this to get the claim right… “Take a good look because its moving fast, in-fact it’s sold over 2 million bottles in Germany last year alone”. Hmm… ok so I should buy it because other people are? This one plays on Psychology, ‘if everyone else is using this shampoo, then I must be missing out on something, right?’

I have never tried it myself, so I couldn’t tell you if you are – have you tried it? The bottle looks a bit industrial to me!

Be wary of these claims, they make the product really appealing based on ‘marketing craftery’ only. It’s like those fast sells you get when you’re looking for a holiday, ‘I can only offer you this deal till 3pm’, ‘I have only 2 seats left, I can’t promise them to you unless you book today’.
Clues you are being sold
1)    Do you feel compelled to buy but not sure why?
2)    Does it leave you feeling empty inside? (OK little over dramatic there!)
3)    When you hear it a second time you wonder what it all actually means.

Other examples
Fountain vitamin drinks, Gold collagen drinks, Bio-Oil.

3.  Wordsmithing
OK so this is a random comparison, Marks and Spencer’s released a ‘fresh egg pasta’ that was actually frozen in order to be transported to the shops. Fresh… Frozen… don’t expect them to be in the same sentence right? WELL… read it again… what is the name actually telling us? That the egg used to make the pasta is fresh, but there is no implication that the pasta is fresh – doh! 
Clues you are being sold
1.    You ‘scan’ read and come away thinking its promising the world.
2.    Sometimes it’s even hard to understand what it’s promising, but you feel like that must mean they know what they are talking about right?
3.    You come away feeling like you need a dictionary, and maybe to retake your English GCSE!!

Other examples
Ultrasensitive soothing care, All bright radiance balm, A-derma Hydralba light hydrating cream, Luminous skin tone perfecting day cream.

Do you recognise any of these types of claims?