Creams may claim to shave years from your face but consumers have been warned to beware of the false promises made by cosmetic companies.
Dermatologist Dr Richard Robert Weiss said “if there was a single anti-wrinkle cream that really worked to reverse ageing, nobody would be walking around with lined faces”.
Two companies, Beiersdorf, and Ponds were recently made to withdraw claims they made to consumers after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled their promises where in violation of the advertising code.
In an advert, Nivea Rich Moisturising Lotion was said to be: “The best care for your dry skin” and better than other creams, The advert read: “Nothing feels like the longer lasting care”.
But Unilever, manufacturer of Dove and Dawn creams, complained about the advert, even conducting their own tests of four leading skin creams. The authority ruled Nivea had to withdraw the claim because it hadn’t proved through scientific studies that its product was superior to others.
In a print advert, Ponds Flawless Radiance cream was said to “continuously repair delayed sun damage at the deepest layers”.
This claim was ruled a medical claim because it claimed to make long lasting actual change to the skin. These claims cannot be made by cosmetics companies when their products have not been subjected to scientific tests and medical registration.
So how do consumers know what cream is best?
Weiss said: “Consumers are gullible but expensive prices and glossy packaging don’t mean an expensive cream works any better than a cheaper one. It may feel nicer or smell better.”
He suggested consumers test an expensive cream on one side of their face and use simple aqueous cream on the other side for a few months. Then they can ask a friend if they can see any difference. “There won’t be any”.
Weiss did a similar study with 30 patients and neither he nor his patients could tell the difference.
Weiss said: “There was no difference other than some patients preferred the texture of the more expensive one.”