Did you hear about the new smartphone app that can cure acne?
That might sound like the beginning of a joke but it wasn’t funny to the US Federal Trade Commission. They’ve ruled that two Android and iPhone apps that claim to cure blemishes have been sold without proof that they work as advertised.
This recent news story came to our attention from Consumer Reports who reported that the apps allegedly worked by emitting colored lights emitted from mobile device screens. All you have to do is hold your phone next to your face for a few minutes each day and *poof* your zits are gone. Not!
Skipped the skepticism
We’ve blogged before about how to spot bogus claims – read what the Android product claimed:
“This app was developed by a dermatologist.”
“A study published by the British Journal of Dermatology showed blue and red light treatments eliminated p-acne bacteria (a major cause of acne) and reduces skin blemishes by 76%.”
Separately those claims are not a problem. A Houston dermatologist (Dr. Gregory Pearson) was involved in the creation of the app. And we all know from our recent post on DERMAdoctor Phototherapy Lotion, certain wavelengths of light can indeed reduce acne.
BUT, when you put those two statements together there is a clear implication that the light emitted by the phone app cures acne. And that’s simply not true. The FTC ruled that the app’s claims were unsubstantiated because the level of light emitted by phones are too low to treat acne. Furthermore app makers misrepresented the British of Journal of Dermatology study. Liar, liar, apps on fire!
The most amazing part of this story (to us at least) is that over 15,000 people paid to download these apps! Come on people!! Let’s show a little healthy skeptiscim. I’m willing to bet that none of those 15,000 were part of the Beauty Brains community!
The Beauty Brains bottom line
Do you like being smarter than 15,000 other people when it comes to bogus beauty claims? Then read our FREE guide to cosmetic products and you’ll be even smarter!