By Lora Condon, Author of SPA WARS: The Ugly Truth About The Beauty Industry
We’re all looking for the next best beauty product that will make us look ten years younger, a mascara that looks like eyelash extensions, and a cream that will erase those years of Baby Oil and foil. But don’t be fooled by extravagant claims and cosmetic fantasies! We’re beauty-busting these common “miracle” ingredients!
Beware of products that tout a miracle ingredient, with some revolutionary story. Think of all the miracle creams that have come and gone that included ingredients such as algae, collagen, gold, glycolic, caviar, and copper. If they were such miracles, companies wouldn’t ever need to create another product! Even if that one ingredient was so incredible, they change, dilute it, and add fillers to the point that it is no longer effective.
Product number one on my beauty-busted hit list is microdermabrasion cream. True microdermabrasion consists of corundum crystals or aluminum oxide crystals, and a high-powered machine blasting your skin with those crystals to exfoliate the skin and leave it silky smooth. If no machine is involved it’s just a scrub. Yes, that’s right, there is no such thing as a microdermabrasion cream that is anywhere near the effectiveness of a real microdermabrasion treatment. You can buy any average scrub and get the same effect for a lot less. Even if there are corundum crystals in the cream, it is still just a basic scrub. There is also no at-home machine that can come anywhere near a salon-grade microdermabrasion machine, so don’t let those fool you either. When they say it’s FDA-approved, it only means the machine is FDA-approved to not damage your skin. It has nothing to do with the FDA approving it to exfoliate your skin up to the standards of a professional microdermabrasion treatment.
In regards to deep cleaning; squeaky clean works for dishes, not your skin. If your foaming or scrubbing cleanser ever leaves your skin tight, dry, or itchy after washing, stop using it immediately. You cannot fix your acne, clogged pores, or blackheads with a cleanser or scrub. A basic, non-drying gel or creamy cleanser is sufficient. Use a specific serum or treatment product to correct breakouts, redness, or fine lines.
Don’t feel bad if you can’t afford the luxurious gold facial, because it’s not worth it. The theory is that gold will ultimately tighten the skin temporarily. Well, a clay mask or rubbing alcohol can also tighten the skin. They also say that gold creams or masks have anti-aging properties. They might, but there are loads of other products with ingredients that have antioxidants, that are just as good, if not better, for the skin. Save your copper, nickel, and paper because this treatment is just not worth its weight in gold.
The biggest busted product on the market is mascara. Yes, mascara is great, but under no circumstances can any mascara look like eyelash extensions or fake strip lashes, yet almost all mascara ads have models wearing fake eyelashes. A major cosmetic company even had to pull it’s mascara ads because they were obviously lying to consumers about what their mascara can do. The ad had a model wearing fake lashes insinuating that their mascara can make your lashes look just like the models. This kind of blatant lying should be illegal in advertising. To get the longest lashes, I suggest using a few coats of lash primer and then two coats of mascara.
When you hit the cosmetic stores, don’t be afraid to look at ingredients, question extravagant claims and do your own beauty busting!
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