You know how beauty ads tend to situate an impossibly attractive person in a clean space while a voice-over tosses around science jargon like you know what the heck a humectant is? And then the beautiful person pauses, coyly, and she may even flutter a lash or give those tendrils a generous toss while apparently rubbing stem cells all over herself? Sometimes she spins, gleefully, with her toothy smile agleam. She’s trying to indicate that having diminished pores and being flush with naturally rosy cheeks is so fun and uplifting, that it inspires you to be a kid again. Well, this may or may not come as a surprise, but the majority of beauty ads are lying out the wazoo.
Researchers at Valdosta State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln decided to look at the science claims of 289 beauty ads found in popular magazines like Elle and Vogue. Before poring over each claim, the ads were divided into four categories by three female judges: outright lie; omission; vague; and acceptable.
According to this study, women deem most scientific claims as too vague, and note that important information is often omitted. The report also revealed that “three quarters of claims made in wrinkle advertisements were less than acceptable, with 23 per cent deemed to be an outright lie.”
And consumer perception is important to highlight, because without loyalty and trust, a brand cannot flourish. The study also reported that ‘superiority claims’ such as ‘award-winning’ were often found to be false.” And that’s a pretty damning discovery, considering people seek out the best, and often rely on packaging to answer questions for them.
So, are you really surprised that the beauty industry can be deceptive? Or is this just another instance of “tell me something I don’t know”?
Check out the video above to hear a former beauty industry bigwig tell you all the lies you’re being told, if you’re not yet convinced. It’s pretty eye-opening.