When we’re first introduced to a new skincare product, many of us aren’t as concerned with the ingredients inside but with what the product can do for us, we instinctively look for claims in skincare.
We scan the label for keywords such as hydrating, moisturizing, or rejuvenating. Some of us are more attracted to sustainable, natural, organic, or cruelty-free markings.
Generally, there is too much marketing and non-relevant information on cosmetic packaging that even the most experienced professional can become confused. So, let’s straighten out some common misconceptions.
Popular Claims in Skincare Explained
First of all, cosmetics, including skincare, are products that can’t have any physiological effect. They are, by the simplest definition, considered medicines.
Second, all claims that are made are not regulated or supported by any relevant authority (for example, the FDA, EU Commission, and others).
Third, some claims make no sense. Revitalizing, hydro boosting, and ultra-mega hydration are just some terms that sound and truly are made up.
Furthermore, some claims are there simply because they are trendy. Cruelty-free is a very popular claim in the US; however, in Europe, it is not allowed because it is misleading. For over a decade and more, animal testing for cosmetic purposes (unless in some very rare or specific cases) has been banned. So, the claim “not tested on animals” is quite obsolete.
Sustainability Claims in Skincare
“Sustainable product” is also a very popular claim, but how sustainable is the product actually, and in what terms? Does it have a low carbon footprint, and if so, what is the exact value? “Recyclable” also sounds wonderful, but taken into full consideration, a minimal amount of consumer plastics is recyclable, it would be nice to emphasize how much of the product is truly recyclable.
Paraben, Silicone and Sulfate Free Claims
Paraben, silicone, and sulfate-free claims are also questionable, since companies are not allowed to claim a product is free of ingredients that are permitted to be used in cosmetics. However unwanted these ingredients might be, consumers need to be educated to read labels correctly. Instead of being misguided by claims, they need to learn to understand how to choose the correct product.
The reality is that in such a competitive market, brands turn to all kinds of means to attract more attention. In many cases they will lose their moral compasses to make a sale.