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Interested in a product that erases wrinkles or reduces pore size?

Read on for some buyer tips.

Cosmetic company insiders have noted that the most reliable claim on a package is the product size, as this can be objectively measured. Other claims can be exaggerated based on limited or non-product-specific data or, in rare cases, based on nothing at all. Also keep in mind that even when products are tested by a company, the study may be conducted under unrealistic conditions or with such tight controls that it is unlikely that a consumer’s actual use will produce similar effects. For example, a product may claim improvement in wrinkles based on the fact that 51% of consumers report a self-assessed benefit; however, this translates only into a 50/50 chance of a given consumer seeing a benefit.

Still, well-formulated products can yield benefits. “Clinically proven” claims supported by research and development studies with independent dermatologists are very strong indicators of potential product efficacy. Brand name products with strong research and development organizations are most likely to carry these claims. Patients should beware or be cautious with generic store brands that state "compare to X product…” These products are working off of the reputation or the “innovator” and are unlikely to have been involved with studies. They may contain the same or similar ingredients as another brand product, but the manufacturing process is rarely duplicated.

Consumers should consider the history and reputation of the company selling the product and note the efficacy claimed. In general, larger companies will do clinical research and testing that can verify claims. Smaller companies are less likely to be scrutinized and therefore can more easily get away with less scrupulous claims. 

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