Being in the natural organic skin care business, Herbally Radiant has been monitoring the development of new formulations and new ingredients worldwide that could be considered for inclusion in its well-known beauty enhancing products.
One such report in BBC attracted our attention last week. The South Korean beauty formula reported to be based on snail extract was examined in the BBC report with a view to examine the truth behind ‘too-good-to-be-true’ claims made by its marketers.
It is known that South Korean women have long been obsessed with skincare, spending twice as much of their income on beauty products than their American counterparts. With a perceived Korean dedication to new skincare products, Korean beauty products in US have recorded popularity and big rise in sales - $ 1 bn in 2012 and $ 1.91 bn in 2014.
The latest Korean product, face cream made of snail extract is “supposed” to stimulate formation of collagen and elastin. This seems to have developed into a ‘cult following’. However, Megan McIntyre, beauty director at lifestyle website refinery29.com, says that most American women who try the 10 steps recommended by the South Korean beauticians can't keep it up. "After a while, many women who tried to keep up realized that it was pretty damn expensive to use ten plus products a day, and there wasn't necessarily a huge, noticeable difference in their skin," she says.
The benefits of snail extract in skin care has also not been backed by any scientific study so far. It’s thus more due to glamorous marketing campaigns targeted at unsuspecting consumers.
Among some other new marketing gimmicks, which consumers might find questionable, are :
1) Ready to use ‘beauty drink’ claimed to enhance beauty. There is no scientific backing to support that a ‘beauty drink’ could be metabolized by body to improve beauty.
2) Whitening cream: Malaysian Health Minister last week asked manufacturer of such a whitening cream to withdraw the product within 72 hours due to misleading claims.
3) “The Telegraph” investigated many such ‘beauty claims’ in such fashion magazines as Vogue, Glamour and Marie Claire, and reported that 4 in 5 beauty claims could not be substantiated; nearly 1 in 4 wrinkle removal lotions were “outright lies”; promises of ‘eternal youth’ and ‘restoration of youthful glow’ simply did not hold water. Summing up, it said out of a total 757 claims in these magazines, 621 did not stack, 18% were found acceptable while only 14% could be “trustworthy”.
4) The marketers have also been using baffling lexicon of pseudo-science as “clinically proven” or “dermatologically tested” mainly as selling strategies.
5) Among other common deceptive claims, it referred to “makes hair stronger”, “patented formula”, “proven formula”, “hypoallergenic” (FDA allows use of ‘hypoallergenic’ expression without much fuss.)
When questioned on less than ethical marketing campaigns, many cosmetic companies responded that without such claims consumers did not respond to their advertisements.
There will always be new claims by cosmetic companies, many with new marketing gimmicks which would have less to do with health of skin and more with their sales targets. Ultimately, it will be consumers’ awareness which could protect them from deceptive or misleading claims.
By way of clarification, Herbally Radiant uses only USDA certified ingredients to maintain top quality and safety of its natural products – the safe and best option for consumers. As a policy, HerballyRadiant refrains from making misleading claims, or misleading statements.