Cosmetic Labeling – Where’s the Truth?

With more than two billion dollars in sales for the cosmetics business last year, plastic surgery and commercial anti-aging treatments are as popular as ever. However, the question has been raised about how effective many of the commercially available treatments really are. Because there is minimal government oversight of both beauty products and cosmetics, many of the companies that manufacture anti-aging products are able to promise their customers satisfaction without actually being liable for the results.

Beauty Products And Promises

Many women use a moisturizer or a cream every day in order to get the perfect skin shown on beauty products. These same products have extremely descriptions, promising “beautiful” or “amazing” results to the customer despite being unable to guarantee a result. However, there is no oversight or penalty for a false claim. Consumer Reports issued a recent warning against being suckered in by the promises of health and hygiene products. Since there is no regulation over the product, there is no way to determine whether or not it truly lives up to the hype.

Attempts To Challenge The Promises

Recently, the Federal Department of Agriculture attempted to limit the claims made by cosmetics companies that promised results that they could not guarantee. French cosmetic mega-corporation Lancome was chided for their claim that their products are able to erase imperfections without and justification. Though the government threatened a shutdown on sales, the company continues to aggressively market its products.

Sunscreen: UVA and UVB Protection

Some products that are produced by the cosmetics industry do have some government mandates about their performance. A sunscreen, for instance, needs to be able to shield the user against all types of ultraviolet radiation that sun damage results from, and any makeup product that advertises sun protection must adhere to this protocol. Likewise, if they choose to market their products as organic and eco-friendly, there are certain standards that must be met. Some terminology, however, has no specific definition. A cream that advertises its formula as “100% natural” does not need to meet any criteria for such a claim.

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

Likewise, a hypoallergenic cream or rubbing cloth or cleanser is supposed to prevent a trigger of an allergic reaction, though there is no standard for what is and is not hypoallergenic. Consumer Reports’ Shopsmart Magazine decoded many of the claims and offered consumers insight into the terms and actual definitions of the beauty industry and its products.

What The Doctors Say

Physicians suggest that no cosmetic products can really reverse the aging process. The best suggestion is to protect your skin at all times from the sun by covering up as much as possible and using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher at all times.