A brand’s image is less important than the fine print
dpaHAMBURG -- Consumers should not base their decisions about buying cosmetics on the price and image of a brand, according to Paula Begoun, a cosmetic expert in the United States who has spent more than two decades explaining the fine print on cosmetic product packages.
May 5, 2008, 12:00 am TWN
Begoun, 55, says its always better to read the fine print to find out what’s in the creams and something about the companies that make them. She uses published research to support her work and investigates herself whether a product, with its particular ingredients, can deliver what it promises, and how it is different from other similar products. She also assesses how well the product can be tolerated and possible allergic reactions.
Begoun, who refers to herself as the cosmetics cop, worked for years selling cosmetics and has written several books about cosmetics. She says the cosmetics industry makes a lot of false claims. Expensive eye creams, for example, are a waste of money; they don’t have to cost a lot to be good.
Among her other complaints about the industry’s claims are those made about creams for wrinkles and cellulite. There are none that can make them disappear. Creams can indeed decrease wrinkles, but cannot completely prevent them. There is no scientific proof of anything else. Begoun also said it is incorrect to believe that natural ingredients are always better than synthetic ones. On the contrary, there are some natural ingredients that bring out skin reactions and there are very good synthetic ingredients.
Begoun, author of the book ‘Don’t Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me,’ advises consumers not to use products that contain denatured alcohol because it destroys collagen, disrupts the skin’s self-healing ability and causes the skin’s protective layer to breakdown. Consumers should be aware that fragrances can also irritate the skin.
Examples are peppermint and menthol. She says the best protection against the skin’s aging is still a daily cream that includes a sunscreen. Using such a cream has far more influence on the skin than nutrition.
In addition, products that are packaged in tubes or dispensers are better than those packaged in small jars because light and air can destroy the active ingredients, she says.