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Our Studies Show...

Ever read this on a product:

Daily use of our lotion provides an 82% increase in moisturization or a 90% increase in the skin’s water content.

Apparently there are companies abroad that specialize in *creating* such studies - they are known as claim substantiation / generation companies.

They tend to doctor & create experiments in such a way, so that the product seems like a miracle product & substantiate all it's claims.

For example, in a skin-care study to establish whether or not a product gets rid of wrinkles, the subjects participating often begin by washing their face and then stripping it clear with alcohol. The company then takes the “before” photos and measurements (such as wrinkle depth, skin tone, and water loss, among other parameters). With that starting point, it’s hardly surprising that the “before” situation is much worse than the “after” results. 

What would the results have been if the woman had started by using a gentle cleanser, a good moisturizer, and a sunscreen (for example, effective ones different from those being tested)? 

Or, what would the effects of any other products have been if compared to those of the product being tested? Perhaps dozens of other products could have performed as well or better. - Paula B (The Original Beauty Bible)

In essence, in examples like this, what the words “our studies show” are telling you is that, when compared with plain, unmoisturized, washed skin, the moisturizer made skin moist! That isn't exactly shocking. The use of any moisturizer would show the same results.

Now, I'm not saying that all companies do this, but just asking you to take all claims with a pinch of salt - be it skincare or haircare.

And what do you do to avoid being fooled out of your money, read consumer reviews online before purchasing - be it on or your favorite blog or site. Consumers, will generally give you a better idea of the product's efficiency and whether it lives up to the claims.

Do such claims like "Studies show..." tempt you to purchase? Do you believe such stories? Who do you turn to before making a purchase?


  1. i always scoff at these studies waala claims and never fall prey to it... these days i try new stuff after reading abt it.... earlier, i'd try anything....

    1. Yup, the internet has really helped us a lot in making informed choices :)

  2. tanvi...these studies are all false claims...i generally read around some 5 to 5 reviews before i buy something...but then sometimes i do fall for these claims..after all human nature ;)

    1. I can understand, the ads are designed to ensnare us :)

  3. tanveer this is sooo true..i now strongly believe that there is NO wonder product that would completely change u into a porcelien doll,if there had been one,then no other product will ever be touched by ppl na??so there wudnt be soo many products n companies out good skin is not something v get instantly like maggi,its just a persistent comboo of healthy lifestyle,good skin care,n moisturisation...
    (sorry for the longgg one)

    1. You are so right Pavani! :-).. It is never just one thing.

      And you are most welcome to write long comments, I enjoy reading them :D

  4. Oh my I loved this post! These gibberish claims do nothing for me and I'm never likely to buy a product based on company sponsored studies. I definitely value word of mouth feedback & reviews from trusty bloggers before shelling out my moolah!I feel these companies could better spend their money on R&D and better product innovation than paying for these useless studies

    1. I agree, even I turn to trusty sites before purchasing. The disturbing trend is that companies have cottoned on to that, and there are some bloggers willing to do paid reviews as well as reviews that tend to gloss over the negative points, for them it is a case of "why bite the hand that feeds us?" :)

  5. well said ok in this case well written and so true! initially i used to feel that if they are claiming so vehemently that the studies show something they cannot be lying but now even I realise that the tactics they use may not technically be fraud but are pretty close to fraud :(

    1. Thanks Sam! I kinda knew it all along, but I was still shocked when I read the para below on paula begoun's site:

      Generally the company hires the research lab. The lab is handed the products and told what to look for and what kind of results are needed—for example, proof of moisturization, exfoliation, smoothness, or some other measurable parameter. Then the lab goes about setting up a study to prove
      that position. Rarely are these studies done double blind, nor do they use a large group of women, or show long-term results, and rarely (actually never) are the results negative. More to the point, these studies are never published.

  6. OMG...this article is so amazing.I totally agree with what you say. Companies do not provide substantial study reports of the clinical trials they take and the statistics mentioned are really vague too.
    What I staunchly believe is a Cleansing,Exfoliating, Moisturizing regimen from any brand on this earth is enough to keep your skin young and healthy on a long run.Also the media in which the product is targetted into your skin are different and have different penetration actions, so the studies do vary. And being one of the readers of ur blog, I also go to to check reviews before buying.

    1. Thanks Neeraj!

      As a doctor I guess you must be able to see through to these frauds much better than us.

  7. I usually don't fall for these claims. Consumer reviews are better though now they're being paid for as well. :-(

    1. I agree, it is getting increasing difficult to tell apart the genuine from the fake.. Sometimes, even on MUA, some reviews are so glowing that they seem unreal. In such cases I go & read some other reviews by that person, and if they don't have any other reviews on any other brand, I know that they are company stooges :)

  8. The claims dont do anything for me..specially those which say "Our studies show". Those studies are all false and bogus. With skincare i kind of go with online reviews, ingredients and brands i trust like neutrogena..

    1. That is the best bet mehak, read what "real" consumers feel about the product.

  9. I never go by these stories...simply coz I've seen them being negated by an opposite claim of another study published the very next day!! About, driving, cell phone usage, creams of course..They no longer hold any significance for me...
    Excellent topic!! :)

    1. The studies that you mention Sims, are actually done by actual researchers. While it is true that they are also at time sponsored by companies.

      I think you might remember, there was a study that multivitamin & mineral pills might cause cancer in women. Next thing I know, two years down the line there was another study that women who take these pills live longer & better.. :P

  10. Tanveer, really nice article!!! I usually turn to a few trusted blogs for reviews. But now with some bloggers doing paid/sponsored reviews it is a bit dicey to decide.

  11. I believe these claims are like Page10 news, without any scientific truth about them. I turn to fellow bloggers, friends and sometimes research about the ingredient list before selecting a product :)

    b/w.. nice article :) Food for thought.

  12. These claims and research are more of Page 10 news, which do not have much scientific base. I turn to fellow bloggers, friends and sometimes research the ingredient list to decide a product.

    Nice Article... food for thought :)

  13. Loved this post...Kudos
    Yep..even i don't care what their studies are..they usually are just marketing gimmicks..Before buying something i always checks reviews from some trust able blogger or ask friends.

  14. In fact these "studies show" words make up antennae rise up! I'm so wary of companies making that up...I guess I'm very very cynical that way. Nice article! :)

  15. Never believe in such claims, and I think that everyone now that this studies are done by paid "scientist"... so I mean what they are gonna really say... I love makeupalley, always read the reviews there first... there are few ingridients in a jar that can make difference in levels of skin moisture such as hyalorinic acid,which I personally love...
    Greets from Dublin
    xxx Marina
    P.s love your blog... I am your newest follower!


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