Personal Care Products, unravelling manufacturers claims

There is a lot of green washing in my industry.

Should you really believe the hype?

Join me, as I unravel the truth behind the terminology.


Clinically Proven
When you see this term written on personal care products, it means that its ingredients have been tested on people.

I do however think the use of the word “proven” is slightly ambiguous, what exactly does it mean?

  • Do any skincare companies really follow through with their clinical testing?
  • Do you as the customer ever get to hear about the proof?
  • Do you hear about how it was tested?
  • Or on whom it was tested for that matter?

No? I didn’t think so, which is exactly why the jury is still out for me when it comes to this terminology.

Detox or Detoxifying

Are they selling REHAB in a bottle?

Can you really “detoxify” the skin?

The terminology I prefer to adopt here is ‘pollution proof’ your skincare routine.

This you can do by adding potent antioxidants to a formula, helping to prevent free radical damage and premature ageing.

A subject i discuss in the article glowing skin.

Dermatologically Tested
I feel this terminology is very misleading for my customers, after all what does “dermatologically tested” really mean?

  • As far as I know there is never an indication on personal care products, on the type of testing carried out
  • Companies never state where the dermatologist is from, and who knows, the dermatologist may even have a vested interest in the company
  • I checked out a number of companies websites that make this claim, and oddly enough, I found it hard to find any evidence that substantiated their claims

So quite how legitimate they really are, is open for debate.

Toning and Tightening
What this phrase means, is that the products have been formulated with ingredients, that have both a drying and astringent affect.

As ingredients dry, they create a temporary, tightening sensation on the skin.

When companies claim their personal care products permanently reduce the size of pores, they are just using clever marketing terminology and misleading customers, pores can never be permanently reduced in size.

All the product is doing is temporarily dilating the pores, because you are applying an astringent ingredient on the skin.

This is one false claim that does frustrate me, because it is so misleading to the customer.

  In a bid to right this wrong, I have created an entire article on the subject, which you can read here.

Hypo Allergenic
This is a test carried out on all skincare products, to ensure they don’t cause irritation to the skin

In the cosmetic world, this is known as a REPEAT INSULT PATCH TEST.

The test involves a product being repeatedly applied on the skin, usually over a continued period of time of around four to six weeks; it’s a process that ensures, the skincare product does not cause a reaction on the skin.

Non Comedogenic
This is a term used on a product designed for oily skin types.

The test is carried out on a number of people, to ensure ingredients in a product won’t cause breakouts or acne.

Interestingly as misleading as this may sound, non comedogenic does not mean it won’t cause irritation or rashes.

Oil Free
feel that this is a term that plays on the fear of  those who suffer with oily skin.

What often happens with an oil free formula, is that the manufacturer has replaced the oil with silicone ingredients, such as Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone.

In my opinion these synthetic ingredients have no place in a skin care ingredient, they are just there to improve the emollient feeling on the skin, they are devoid of any nutrients and have no beneficial role.


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