The anti-aging market is enormous, and it seems like every day we hear about a new product claiming to have the latest youth-promoting secret ingredient.
Many retailers and manufacturers will jack up the prices of certain serums or lotions because of their ingredients - but upon further investigation, the contents of these creams may not be all they're cracked up to be.
The FDA's role
In a recent article from ABC Local, reporter Christine Park warns users to be wary of beauty product labels that use subjective terms and big claims. A moisturizer that claims to brighten skin and smooth perfections may not deliver these results, as there is no way for the FDA to gauge the reality of these statements.
Take the case of cosmetics manufacturer Lancome, which recently received a warning from the FDA due to the claims it was making on some of its anti-wrinkle products. The watchdog organization informed Lancome that sales of these creams and lotions could be halted if the labels weren't adjusted.
Watch out for buzzwords
There are other terms to look out for, according to the news source. The FDA mandates any lotion that claims to have a "broad spectrum" must provide protection against both UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays.
Customers must also differentiate between the terms "organic" and "100 percent natural" or "100 percent pure." Organic products can only be labeled as such if they comply with the regulatory definition of the word, but the other terms are not regulated at all. As Park puts it, "just because something isn't man-made doesn't necessarily mean it's safe."
While the term "hypoallergenic" may seem medical in nature, the FDA does not require standards for the word, meaning companies can bend the definition to suit their needs.
The news source points out that potentially false claims are evident on labels of well-known brands, including Garnier, Loreal and Olay, meaning even trusted companies should be looked at with a skeptical eye.
Fortunately, there are tried and true methods of reducing wrinkles. The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) provides certification for plastic surgeons who offer anti-aging treatments like facelifts or Botox injections. Patients who seek the service of an ASAPS doctor can find comfort in the fact that their surgeon is medically trained and will do everything possible to maintain patient safety.