Bluecatbaby asks…I don’t understand what it means when companies say that a skin care product “reduces the appearance of” something like brown spots, redness, or wrinkles. It sounds like vague advertising words to me. Is the implication that it doesn’t really do anything to physically change the brown spot, etc.?
The Beauty Brains respond:
Essentially it means just what it says – the “appearance” is reduced not necessarily the underlying physical condition. In most cases changing the physical structure of the skin would make the product a drug. Since most of these products are NOT drugs they have to add the “weasel words” to their claim that make it clear that they are only changing the appearance. Companies have to be careful with the exact wording of their claims to avoid getting into regulatory/legal trouble.
For example, a wrinkle product that temporarily plumps up wrinkles by adding moisture reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Any type of concealer product that covers up redness or age spots reduces their appearance. But after the product is gone the wrinkles remain.
Image credit: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/
Have you spotted any products that use “weasel words” to make it sound like they are doing more than they really are? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.