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Word Magic. Beware of skincare adverts using shiny words.

Why am I so anti-advertising? Because I don’t like being manipulated into buying what I don’t want or need. Skincare advertising uses deceptive wording, starting with “Hello” and ending with the ingredient list. If you want to spend your money wisely and protect your skin, you need to understand how to translate their message.

How about the “Hello”? The focus changes all the time. Nowadays it is “Clean Beauty”, promising to protect our environment from ingredients to packaging. The message may change next month, though. In the meantime, here they are the key words: sustainable, naturally derived, honest, pure, vegan, organic, green chemistry, free of preservatives, free of whatever.

Figure: Humor from The New Yorker by Roz Chast, published April 19 2021

Word magic in ingredient lists

Haberlea rhodopensis, also known as the resurrection plant. Did you know that it will rejuvenate your skin by 5 decades? Not. But it is used for its label value in ingredient lists.

Haberlea is called the resurrection plant because of the remarkable ability to survive long periods of desiccation. There are different ways in which plants evade or survive drought but they don’t apply to us or our skin. For humans, the objective is to avoid water loss and our skin plays a most important role. Keep it healthy, and remember that an extract of the resurrection plant will not help you.

As for sustainability and our environment, please read this article.


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