"Free-from" Skincare Products

We've all seen ads proclaiming that a skincare product is "free-from" some particular ingredient: a brilliant scare tactic that implies that the product is now safer because it is "free-from" that particular ingredient. Let's take the commonly used, most studied class of preservatives called parabens, for example. 

To prevent contamination, all water-based products (which include the vast majority of facial and body moisturizers) require a preservative. Without one, mold and bacteria spoils the product in less than two weeks. 


Silk pillowcases are lovely. They feel soft and smooth on the skin. Advice from "skincare experts" regarding the benefits of silk pillowcases on social media, on-line blogs, and in health and beauty magazines is ubiquitous. Claims include they prevent acne and wrinkles. The use of a silk pillowcase supposedly prevents split ends on hair. They are reported to help the skin retain moisture and minimize chemical exposure (from what particular chemicals I do not know.) Most of these "experts" are well-intentioned but are simply misinformed.


Skincare manufacturers often sell the same exact product with different labels in order to target different customers. This means two products with the exact same formulation (or ingredient listing) are marketed differently and sometimes are sold for different prices!

Examples found in skincare aisles:

Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Night Moisturizer & Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby & Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sensitive


Of the many marketing terms found on the front of skincare product labels, this is one of the most meaningless. 'Nourishing' the skin is medical absurdity. The use of the term is meant to lead the consumer to believe that the nourishig skincare product provides food or other substance necessary for skin growth. Marketing nonsense.


Pulling at the heartstrings of animal lovers everywhere, the unrestricted use of marketing terms like 'Cruelty Free' and 'Not Tested On Animals' are frequently found on skincare product labels. Some manufacturers apply these claims to their finished skincare products only. The same manufacturers may rely on raw material suppliers to perform animal testing to substantiate ingredient or product safetly.

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