In the beauty industry, various brands establish trust with their customers by claiming their products are dermatology tested or their products are accepted by the National Skincare Association. For example, on the first page of Aveeno’s website, the company promises customers and potential customers that it formulates its product with “natural ingredients and deliver real results to give a stronger, healthy skin.” Interestingly, Aveeno does explicitly define what it considers as natural.
When a well-known brand makes a claim, consumers tend to feel more confident purchasing from that brand. Incidentally, the small artisan brand is more trustworthy. For small businesses, a false representation could be the end. Conversely, for most of these established skincare brands, being trustworthy is not their priority; instead, their ultimate goal is to generate large profits to keep their stockholders happy.
The upscale companies can afford to spend millions to buy consumers’ trust through countless marketing campaigns, advertisements, and TV commercials. Wealthy companies are confident that many of their customers or prospective customers will not bother to question the truthfulness of their promises to the public. Inevitably, consumers are willing to buy expensive skincare products from companies they claim to trust.
Generally, many consumers feel they can trust products marketed as dermatology tested when bearing the name of a well-known brand such as Aveeno. It is an erroneous and dangerous assumption for consumers to make. In truth, companies with the financial means to defend multiple lawsuits are less likely to comply with regulations.
That is why those companies have lobbyists all over the country protecting their interests at all levels in the government. Thus, a company such as Aveeno will not harm its reputation by making false claims and empty promises to the public; whereas, a small or upcoming artisan skincare brand like Aging Beautified ™ must avoid taking such risk.
When a business is new, the only assets that company has are its reputation and transparency.
Consumers are also interested in how the products they use are being manufactured. A small artisan skincare company is less likely to have the financial means to retain a manufacturing company to formulate their products, but companies like Aveeno have their own manufacturing labs.
However, a product manufactured in a small kitchen may very well be of better quality because there are more financial and legal consequences for small artisan business owners should they cut corners and lie to their customers. It is for that reason consumers should allow small artisan businesses to prove their trustworthiness.
Let us look at one of Aveeno’s products marketed as a natural dermatology tested cream formulated to relieve dry, itchy and irritate skin.
From the moment my six-year-old son was born, he suffered from sensitive skin. He experiences itchiness and skin irritation several times per year. His skin condition worsens during the winter months. My husband and I used Aveeno’s eczema therapy lotion and baby cleansing therapy wash on him. Until recently, it never crossed my mind to research the ingredients listed on the package. We trusted the company since it was recommended for our son by the hospital.
I began researching ingredients listed on every product when I started my skincare formulating journey. I signed up for a natural skincare online certificate, and as part of our daily assignments, we were encouraged to research ingredients listed by other brands on their labels. What I found was shocking and extremely perplexing. The eczema therapy daily moisturizing cream by Aveeno contains mostly water and synthetic ingredients with the potential to cause skin irritation and other skin issues. While the cleansing therapy wash contains similar synthetically-derived ingredients, I felt less betrayed because it is a rinse-off product; consequently, it will not have the opportunity to penetrate my son’s skin.
The so-called dermatology-tested eczema cream by Aveeno comprises mostly water. The FDA requires skincare brands to list every ingredient used in their formulations in descending order. The first three ingredients listed on Aveeno’s eczema cream are water, glycerin, and panthenol. It means the product is mostly water-based with no real therapeutic value. Glycerin is a moisturizer; the recommended usage is 5% to 10% in a skincare formulation. The third ingredient Panthenol is also known as Vitamin B5; the recommended dosage is 1% to 10%. The fourth ingredient listed on the label is Distearyldimonium Chloride. It is a synthetically derived moisturizing ingredient. This ingredient can be irritating to the skin.
The fifth ingredient listed is petroleum. While petroleum is relatively safe, it contains cancer-causing chemicals. The other ingredients listed on the label: Isoprophyl, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, sterealth-20, and Benzalkonium Chloride are all synthetically derived. The Steareth-20 is a synthetic polymer that functions as a cleaning agent, a surfactant, and an emulsifier. This ingredient is considered a low-hazard ingredient by Cosmetics. Benzalkonium Chloride is a synthetic preservative; the recommended usage is 0.004 to 0.01%. A higher concentration of Benzalkonium Chloride can cause irreversible damage to the skin.
The eighth ingredient listed is Aveena Sativa (Oat) Kernel oil. Considering the oil is listed after most of the synthetically derived ingredients, it is fair to conclude the cream is what one calls an empty calorie.
It does not appear Aveeno has lived up to the promise it made to the public that it formulates its products with natural ingredients and delivers real results to give a stronger, healthy skin. Based on a simple google search, Aveeno is by no means a natural skincare brand. Of course, they are able to escape from being held accountable for their false marketing claims because the FDA does not regulate the use of the term “natural;” consequently, a well-known brand such as Aveeno can benefit from its empty promises to the general public in a way that a less known artisan skincare brand could never hope.
I hope anyone who is reading this article has been inspired to give small artisan skincare brands a chance to prove their worthiness and trustiness. Don’t dismiss a business simply because you have not heard of them from the mainstream media. Just like appearance can be deceiving so are companies with the financial means to bombard the public with deceptive marketing practices designed to earn their trust.
The only way to hold these companies accountable is by obtaining your skincare food from small artisan businesses. After all, the only way to make our displeasures about those false claims heard is through hurt the pockets of those big businesses.
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