The world of skincare marketing can be confusing to say the least. With so many terms used to describe the products we buy, it can be difficult to know what they really mean and how much stock we should invest in them. In this post I want to demystify some of the most common marketing terms in skincare to help you become a smarter and more informed consumer. Let's go!
Product Performance Terms
These are all common terms used to describe what a product will do for your skin. You have to do with itvisibleEffect that a product has on the skin.
I've always thought of light skin as skin with an even, even tone, free from hyperpigmentation or dark spots. Some people can also confuse "glow" with brightening. Glow refers to skin that reflects and has lightgood circulation.
There are three ways a product can add glow to the skin: 1) increasing cell turnover, 2) breaking down the melanin pigment in the skin for an overall more even skin tone, and 3) preventing excess melanin from forming in the first place.
Key whitening ingredients include:peeling acids,Vitamin C, AndRetinol.
There are a few ways a product can add firmness to the skin. First, it can form a film on the skin, causing it to contract and become tighter. This gives the immediate perception of tightening.Skin also feels firmer when hydrated because it looks plumper.
If you're looking for longer-term firming effects, check it outPeptide. Peptides stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, two important structural components of firm skin. This is important as both decline with age.You won't see any immediate effects with peptides, but with consistent use, the benefits will be worth it later!
Moisturizing or plumping
Hydration is a term people use to refer to the water content in the skin. When your skin is hydrated, it absorbs an increased water content, resulting in a plumping effect. The best way to achieve this is by using humectants, a class of ingredients that attract water from the air and draw it into the skin. Effective humectants includehyaluronic acidAndGlycerin.
Soothing or soothing
This is likely to come in handy if your skin is red or easily inflamed when trying new products. Soothing or soothing products typically contain anti-inflammatory ingredients meant to combat visible redness as well as symptoms of inflammation like burning or stinging. They help cool the skin or as I like to say "put out the fire".
There are tons of great soothing ingredients out there, but one class of ingredients that's really taking off in this space is algae. I decide to use the wordingred seaweedin my line and love it for its ability to soothe, protect and strengthen the skin barrier.
This one is a little trickier because it's really about prevention, so you don't always see results right away. Because of this, I would divide anti-aging products into two categories: those that give an immediate boost and those that deliver results later.
Some ingredients (actually many of the ingredients above) instantly make your skin look better and therefore more youthful. When your skin looks lighter, smoother, or plumper, it defines youfeelbetter right away. On the other hand, you have ingredients that need to be used over long periods of time. You won't see them working right away, but with consistent use, they can actually prevent some of the visible signs of aging that would otherwise appear naturally.read myBeginner's Guide to Using Retinol or Retinoids.
These terms all have to do with product classification and consumer preference. It can definitely be a confusing area as many of these don't have legal definitions, but I'm here to help you navigate it!
“Clean” has no legal definition. It can vary from company to company and person to person. What you consider clean really depends on what you are personally comfortable with. You need to find a brand that you trust and that aligns with that.
For example, some people feelSiliconeare clean because they have very pure chemistry and are unlikely to cause a bad reaction on the skin. However, other people may not find silicones clean as they are usually synthetically processed, meaning they are not pure raw materials (like honey or other unprocessed foods).
learn more aboutmy thoughts on the clean beauty movement.
This is a marketing term for skin care products that's particularly problematic because labeling your product as "non-toxic" implies that other brands may have toxins that you've left out. In fact, it is illegal in the US to add toxins to cosmetics. I know many people think that the cosmetics industry is unregulated in the US, but there are certain standards that you must adhere to in order to be a legitimate brand. By following these standards, you formulate your products safely and never use ingredients in a way that could be toxic to humans.
Most major beauty brands or conglomerates conduct safety assessments on their products, with a toxicologist reviewing not just the final product but each individual ingredient to ensure they are being used properly and are not interacting with each other in potentially harmful ways. These toxicological tests are mandatory in Europe but optional in the US, so the responsibility rests with the brand to ensure their products are safe. Again, it's important to buy from companies you trust!
Natural or all natural
This is definitely a confusing claim as it is quite open to interpretation. Similar to “clean”, there is no legal definition for “natural”. When a brand makes that claim, I often wonder what it means. Do they mean that the raw materials they use are not processed? That they didn't add anything from synthetic chemistry? Add things from natureSourcesthen chemically modify? It's just not clear. When a brand identifies themselves or their products as natural or all-natural, it's up to them to explain what that means.
ThereIsan international standard trying to become more mainstream for calculating the percentage of natural origin of a product. This standard takes into account the original ingredient, what chemistry was used (if any) and which ingredients are fully synthetic. The problem with this is that people automatically assume that a product with a higher natural content is better or safer than something synthetic, and that's not always the case. In fact, many synthetic ingredients are used to make cosmetic products safer. The claim that something is natural can beverymisleading when used for marketing purposes.
This is one of the few claims that is heavily regulated. It doesn't speak for a whole product, but for the ingredients that make up a product. It addresses the cultivation practices that the ingredient undergoes and how it is grown, cultivated, and processed.
According to the USDA, in order to claim that a product is organic, it must contain a certain percentage of organic ingredients.
This claim can be made when a product contains no fragrance at all. This includes synthetic perfumes, essential oils, and anything specifically added to create a pleasant scent. It could even be a pleasant-smelling fruit extract.
Unscented is a little different in that while a product isn't formulated to have a nice scent, it may still contain ingredients that have been addedneutralizeunpleasant smells. While these products typically don't have much fragrance, they're not technically considered fragrance-free.
The term oil-free means just that - a product that literally contains no oils. To get a little technical, oils are officially classified as any compound made up of triglycerides. This includes things like marula oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, etc.
However, there are ingredients that are not triglycerides but still feel oily or greasy by nature. A company can include these in a product and still claim it is oil-free. There has actually been some litigation on this recently, as some consumers felt misled by the claims of being oil-free. Yes, the product may be triglyceride-free, but it may still contain other greasy ingredients that make consumers feel like they are not getting what they expect from an oil-free product.
This is one that most people think they understand, but misunderstandings still seem to exist. At its simplest level, comedogenicity is the likelihood of something causing comedones (clogged pores). Today there are two methods for comedogenic testing.
The first method involves applying a product or ingredient to the skin on a person's upper back. Over the course of hours and weeks, clinicians will look for an acne reaction and even take a small biopsy of the site to see if there are comedones in the area. The problem with this test is that the skin on the back doesn't transfer directly to the skin on a person's face, so it's not the most accurate.
The second method is a clinical testing format where the results are evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist. Participants are ranked based on whether they already have mild, moderate, or severe acne lesions. The product or ingredient is applied to the skin for a period of four to six weeks, after which the skin is assessed for the number and type of lesions. This is then compared to the baseline.
The good thing about this test is that it uses a real-world model and translates much more directly to how people use products in real life. The downside is that ingredients tested for comedogenicity are 100 percent applied to the skin. When an ingredient is used in a skincare product, it never scores 100 percent, so this test doesn't take into account how an ingredient is formulated. What is the delivery system? How does it interact with the other ingredients in the formula? None of this is taken into account, which is why the “comedogenicity scores” assigned to ingredients (which many consumers look to) are not always realistic. Keep in mind that testing an entire product for comedogenicity is very expensive, so most brands simply assume individual ingredients. learn more aboutpercentage ingredients of skin care.
These terms relate to how product claims are tested and to product safety.
For a company to claim that their product is hypoallergenic (it's unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, so it's particularly good for sensitive or reactive skin) it must undergo something called Human Repeat Insult Patch Testing, or HRIPT.
It is of course not a perfect test as the number of subjects is limited, but the advantage is that it is performed on real human subjects. Basically, 100-200 people with different skin types are selected and the product is repeatedly applied to their skin. The subjects' skin is then examined for a reaction to determine if the product is in any way irritating, sensitizing, or causing an allergic reaction.
If the results are good, you can say that your product is suitable for sensitive skin. To claim that it's hypoallergenic, you have to go one step further and have the results checked by a dermatologist. This is where dermatologically tested and dermatologically approved products come into play.
This is evident from the HRIPT test mentioned above. During the test, you can say, "I would like a dermatologist to review my report and put a stamp on it." That's dermatologist-approved, and now a product can be labeled as such.
Another way to look at “dermatologist approved” is when you have a dermatologist test the product yourself or test the product on their patients. This is basically a form of consumer testing and means that dermatologists have said, "This is a great product that we continue to recommend to patients."
Dermatologically tested basically goes one step further. Instead of a clinical test such as For example, to have an HRIPT done, you would have a dermatologist monitoring it and making the final assessment. Another way to think of it is that a product has been reviewed by dermatologists.
This is a claim justification test, i. H. any number of marketing claims could be tested. The important thing about "clinically tested" is that it means that a company has had an independent laboratory or consumer product testing facility perform unbiased testing of its product.
For all skin types
It's important for some brands to have versatile products that can be used by people with a variety of needsskin types. There are different ways a brand can get this claim for a product.The first option is the clinical trial. In a clinical setting, the product must be tested on a variety of skin types and monitored for undesirable side effects.The second option is consumer product testing. To do this, a company needs to use a third-party organization to ship their product to consumers and do the testing.
So there you have it! These are some of the most common skin care product marketing terms and what they really mean. As you can see, it's not always black and white. I hope this post gives you some insight and gives you more confidence in choosing the skin care products that are right for you.
Next learnwhether medical and professional skin care products are really better.
Famous beautician and skincare expert
An esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience and building an award-winning line of products. Her hands-on experience as an esthetician and trusted skincare professional has created a real solution - products formulated to do itnine different skin typesso your face gets exactly what it needs to look and feel good. Celebrities, editors, bloggers and skincare enthusiasts around the world trust her extensive real-world knowledge and ongoing research. Marie Claire calls her "the most passionate skin practitioner we know."
What does hypoallergenic mean in skincare? ›
Hypoallergenic cosmetics are products that manufacturers claim produce fewer allergic reactions than other cosmetic products. Consumers with hypersensitive skin, and even those with "normal" skin, may be led to believe that these products will be gentler to their skin than non-hypoallergenic cosmetics.What does non-toxic mean in skincare? ›
On a skincare label or marketing campaign, “non-toxic” ostensibly means that the products' ingredients do not include substances that have been linked to toxic responses in humans. That is, ingredients that science has already determined could cause organ damage, birth defects, neurological effects, or cancer.What does clean skincare means? ›
It is a term used to describe cosmetics and skincare products that are free from harmful chemicals. This includes ingredients like parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances.What is clean beauty marketing? ›
Like all phrases used to label products, "clean beauty" is a skincare marketing term. It tells the consumer (roughly) what to expect from a brand or product. However, there is no national or global standard that defines or regulates these types of marketing terms.What is the most hypoallergenic skin care? ›
- Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. ...
- PCA Skin C&E Advanced Serum. ...
- Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum. ...
- PCA SKIN Anti-Redness Serum. ...
- Jan Marini Rosalieve. ...
- The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% ...
- EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer. ...
- SENTÉ Dermal Repair Cream.
The definition of non-allergenic is 'having no tendency to provoke an allergic reaction.What is the difference between clean and natural? ›
Many equate the term clean with safe cosmetics and it's often used interchangeably with the label "non-toxic". While natural skincare focuses on what's in the formula, clean skincare "focuses on what is not in the product as well as the product's environmental impact," says Vanessa.What is the difference between clean and natural beauty? ›
Clean beauty is vastly different from natural beauty. Instead of relying only on natural ingredients, clean beauty contains a few lab-created chemicals. However, it focuses on third-party testing to ensure the ingredients' safety and is generally cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and sustainable.What does clean skincare mean at Sephora? ›
That means our Clean seal has the highest standards across the industry. No phthalates. No formaldehydes or formaldehyde-releasers. No oxybenzone and octinoxate. No hydroquinone.Why is clean beauty trending? ›
Clean beauty, which implies beauty products that are toxin free and are made with natural products, is increasingly becoming popular with Indian customers and banking on the trend, Body Shop's focus of innovations is also on products that have high naturality index and are sustainably sourced.
What is the clean look trend? ›
If you haven't seen the influx of viral TikTok videos based on achieving the look, here's the 411: the clean look is characterized by a no-fuss makeup routine, including fresh skin with minimal makeup, fluffy brows and a sleek, low bun.What is non-toxic beauty? ›
So when a beauty product is labeled nontoxic, it likely means that the ingredients have not been shown to cause adverse health effects at the levels found inside the formula and for the intended use. This is true of every beauty product currently sold in the United States.What is the difference between clean non-toxic and organic? ›
Clean Beauty products are free of toxic or potentially harmful ingredients, but keep in mind these ingredients can be natural or synthetic. Clean beauty products are also eco-friendly, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Meanwhile, Natural or Organic Beauty products contain “pure” ingredients that are found in nature.Does hypoallergenic mean non-toxic? ›
The Greek prefix HYPO literally means “less” or “below,” so when a product is designated as hypoallergenic it means that it will conceivably trigger fewer allergic reactions in people who suffer from allergies. The term does not relate to chemical exposures.Does non-toxic mean anything? ›
Nontoxic things aren't poisonous. It's generally safe to eat or breathe nontoxic substances, and they don't harm the environment.What is the number 1 most common allergy? ›
Milk is the most common allergen for children, followed by egg and peanut. Shellfish is the most common allergen for adults, followed by peanut and tree nut.Is Vaseline a hypoallergenic moisturizer? ›
For sensitive skin, use a hypoallergenic moisturizer like Vaseline® Jelly Original. It's recommended by dermatologists and has the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association which means it is appropriate for use by those with Eczema.Is CeraVe hypoallergenic? ›
This moisturizer is also fragrance- and oil-free, and hypoallergenic, so even people with the most sensitive skin will be protected from unwelcome rashes and breakouts. Loved for: Uses hyaluronic acid, essential ceramides, and patented MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE) controlled-release technology for all-day moisture.What's the difference between hypoallergenic and non hypoallergenic? ›
Hypoallergenic bedding is less likely to trigger allergies because it is made from materials that reduce the number of allergens present or keep allergens at bay. Made from natural materials, hypoallergenic bedding is gentle on the skin unlike synthetic fabrics which can cause irritation.What is the difference between hypoallergenic and non allergenic? ›
Non-allergenic: This means that the product won't cause an allergic reaction, but triggers such as dust mites may still be present. Hypoallergenic: This means that there is a decreased chance of an allergic reaction.
What does it mean to be hypoallergenic? ›
Hypoallergenic is commonly used to mean “void of allergens”, however the prefix “hypo” means under, beneath, or less than normal. Hypoallergenic implies a less likely allergic reaction, but it should not be taken to mean “void of any allergic reactions”.Is 100% natural the same as organic? ›
Organic foods are grown without artificial pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides. Organic meat, eggs, and dairy products are obtained from animals that are fed natural feed and not given hormones or antibiotics. Natural foods are free of synthetic or artificial ingredients or additives.Does clean mean vegan? ›
Clean is 100% vegan, which means none of their products contain any animal-derived ingredients.Is organic the same as clean? ›
The main difference between an organic diet and a clean diet is the processed food content. On an organic diet, there is no restriction placed on the consumption of processed foods, sugar, or fats. Just because food is organic does not make it healthy.What is clean beauty concept? ›
The concept of so-called clean beauty – make-up and skincare products marketed as free of harmful, artificial ingredients – is the latest catchphrase in a burgeoning world of products sold as sustainable, environmentally conscious or simply safer.What is clean beauty approved? ›
Clean beauty means that a product is safe, non-toxic, and has transparent labeling of ingredients. Just because a product is organic, natural, or green, doesn't mean it's non-toxic. The FDA doesn't regulate or define claims often used in greenwashed products.Is clean beauty hypoallergenic? ›
HYPOALLERGENIC & TOXIN-FREE
We never use products that compromise your health or our shared environment!
No, Olay is not considered a clean beauty brand.
They still use synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals in their products.
These include parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, formaldehyde, sulfates, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), ethanolamines DEA/TEA/MEA/ETA, toluene, carbon black, mercury and mercury compounds, aluminum salts, lead, and lead acetate, among others.What is clean ingredients Ulta? ›
Products certified as having Clean Ingredients are made without parabens, phthalates, and other ingredients within Ulta Beauty's Made Without List.
Is JLo beauty a clean product? ›
JLo Beauty ® is a cruelty-free line. We do not test products on animals or use raw-material suppliers that test on animals. All of our products are Leaping Bunny certified (the gold standard in ensuring no animal testing) and are included in their Compassionate Shopping Guide.What was the first clean beauty brand? ›
In 2009 she created RMS Beauty, an all natural, oil-based beauty and skincare line made with organic ingredients. Made without silicone, paraben preservatives, or other chemical coatings, many experts consider it to be the first “clean” beauty brand. RMS Beauty pioneered clean beauty in a pre-Goop world.What types of consumers are more likely to use clean beauty products? ›
According to the Natural Marketing Institute, this “clean” customer makes up about 24% of U.S. adults. They tend to be mid- or high-income, multicultural, urban, college-educated, and under 35.What is a clean girl look? ›
Glowy skin, a pinch of blush, glossy lips, slicked-back hair, gold hoops, tote bags, and a slim pair of sunnies are some of the main components of the Clean Girl Aesthetic.How can a woman look clean? ›
Think, polished hair in a slicked-back bun, chunky gold jewelry, and very natural skin makeup with a dewy finish (no makeup, makeup look)." The key takeaway here is "polished." The Clean Girl is always sophisticated, but achieves this in a way that's attainable — a "less is more" approach.How do make up girls look clean? ›
Full, flushed cheeks and a sun-kissed glow are peak Clean Girl Aesthetic. Get the effect with blush and bronzer, making sure to reach for cream or liquid-based formulas—like TRESLÚCE BEAUTY Ready To Bounce Cream Blush.What are the most toxic beauty products? ›
- BHA & BHT.
- Parfum – aka fragrance.
- Coal Tar Dyes.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
- DEA & related chemicals.
- Dibutyl Phthalate.
- Mineral oil.
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Coal tar dyes.
Hypoallergenic makeup is known to be gentler on the skin and thus less likely to cause an allergic reaction, which is why it might help people with known allergies in products or who have sensitive skin that gets easily irritated when exposed to new substances.Is hypoallergenic the same as sensitive skin? ›
It is often misunderstood and assumed that hypoallergenic products are only for people with sensitive skin or allergies. However, hypoallergenic products are great for a variety of uses; they can be beneficial for clients with dermatitis, rosacea, or psoriasis.
Does hypoallergenic mean allergy free? ›
Hypoallergenic is commonly used to mean “void of allergens”, however the prefix “hypo” means under, beneath, or less than normal. Hypoallergenic implies a less likely allergic reaction, but it should not be taken to mean “void of any allergic reactions”.Can you still be allergic to hypoallergenic products? ›
You can still be allergic to hypoallergenic products," says Dr. Liszewski. "Just because something is labeled clean or hypoallergenic doesn't mean that it is safe for your skin. In fact, products labeled as clean or organic are often more irritating than products that primarily use synthetic ingredients."Does hypoallergenic mean non toxic? ›
The Greek prefix HYPO literally means “less” or “below,” so when a product is designated as hypoallergenic it means that it will conceivably trigger fewer allergic reactions in people who suffer from allergies. The term does not relate to chemical exposures.Is Cerave hypoallergenic? ›
This moisturizer is also fragrance- and oil-free, and hypoallergenic, so even people with the most sensitive skin will be protected from unwelcome rashes and breakouts. Loved for: Uses hyaluronic acid, essential ceramides, and patented MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE) controlled-release technology for all-day moisture.How do you know if a product is hypoallergenic? ›
When shopping for cosmetics or skin care products, you'll frequently see labels that say the products are "hypoallergenic." That means they are less likely than other cosmetics to cause allergic reactions. It also suggests that these products will be gentler or even safer for the skin.Does hypoallergenic mean fragrance free? ›
This might surprise you: Products labeled hypoallergenic can still have fragrance in them. If a product claims to be hypoallergenic, it means the product produces fewer allergic reactions than other conventional cosmetic products, Lortscher says.Does dermatologist tested mean hypoallergenic? ›
The Truth About “Dermatologist Tested”: What Does It Really Mean? Nothing. “Dermatologist tested” is one of those terms (like hypoallergenic) that is not regulated in any way. Of course, if you want to print “dermatologist tested” on the packaging, you need a dermatologist to test your product.What's the difference between anti allergy and hypoallergenic? ›
What is the difference between hypoallergenic and anti-allergy? Hypoallergenic means that the pillow or duvet is less likely to trigger allergies. Anti-allergy means that the pillow or duvet has been treated in some way to combat the development of dust mites, or to offer protection against their allergen.What material is hypoallergenic? ›
Silk, bamboo, tencel, and cotton are the most popular hypoallergenic materials.What ingredients are not hypoallergenic? ›
Wheat, eggs, soy and milk are all off the menu with a hypoallergenic diet, as they are some of the most common food allergens.
What is the rarest thing to be allergic to? ›
The Rarest (And Strangest) Allergies
Water: Medically known as aquagenic urticaria, patients with a water allergy develop painful hives and rashes when their skin is exposed to water. An allergic reaction will develop regardless of the water temperature, and even when the water is purified.
Hypoallergenic soap contains ingredients that denature allergens on contact. This means that the ingredients break down the compounds that cause allergies into harmless versions that are more easily wiped away with a sponge or soft cloth.What ingredient in makeup causes allergic reactions? ›
The main allergy culprits in makeup are parabens, imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, phenoxyethanol, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and formaldehyde. All of these chemicals have been linked to allergies and these allergic reactions are becoming a more common occurrence.