How To Avoid The Many Anti-Aging Scams

For today’s consumer, the internet has both been a blessing and a bane. The anonymity, the convenience, and the control that the consumer has while shopping online is incredible. You, the consumer, have complete control over what and when you buy, and the ability to educate yourself completely before committing to a purchase; in this case, an anti-aging cream.

Or do you?

Between Google search results, paid advertisements, and beauty industry scams, the internet shopper is often left super-confused and mislead. How is one supposed to sort out what is truth and what is false? Pure and simple: you need help.

I like to be in control and educated as the next consumer, and have created this page to share with you some tips and hints I’ve learned on how to avoid anti-wrinkle scams. Then, you can take the information and use it to make an educated and empowered decision for yourself.

Scam 1: Before and After Pictures

It is very common to see “real” before and after pictures on a site advertising a wrinkle cream:  the "before" shows an old crone and the "after" a dewy youth. You think, “This product has got to work, how else did they do that?”

It’s pretty simple, actually. The easiest technique is taking the first picture with a slight smile and the other is a relaxed face. You see this all the time, especially when the picture is zoomed in on the eye. Also, lighting and makeup do wonders to “erase” the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Another method anybody with Adobe Photoshop can do is cloning the wrinkles off. You can usually spot this when one picture has normal texture on the skin and the other pic is soft and fuzzy. They look airbrushed.

Scam 2: Fraudulent Review Sites

This is where a site is set up to look like a trustworthy review site, but they never do any research. They are almost always owned by the company that manufactures the number one product. This sneaky technique is rampant on the internet, and I for one, think it is terrible. What better way to sucker someone into buying something when the consumer thinks they are doing credible research?

These fraudulent reviews will often use words like, "Our Top Product," or, "200? Top Pick," to make things look like they really reviewed the product. They will even give a little mini review of their "so-called" top product making it look even more official. These sites make it hard for legitimate reviewers, like us, to build trust with the internet audience.

So how do you determine fake review sites from the real review sites?

Look for things like, "About Us," and privacy pages, or articles that actually educate you.  If a site has nothing but a bunch of reviews, and everything points to one product, you are probably looking at a fake review site.

Also, if they don't disclose that they make commissions, there may be a problem. Almost every site on the internet is there to make money in some way, shape or form. Our, "About Us," fully discloses the fact that we make commissions on this site. However, we spend the time and money to get the research done right.

Scam 3: Selling Moisturizer as an Anti-Wrinkle Cream

This is the most common trick used to get in your wallet, and is simply done by changing the moisturizing ingredients to make them seem thicker. When you put it around your eyes you will see results, because there is more moisture in the area, but this doesn't actually get rid of wrinkles.  Most of these products will make your face look greasy or very dewy looking.

One sure fire way to spot these fake products is by looking at the price. They will usually be only slightly higher in price than a moisturizer. Another way to tell is by looking at the ingredients. Go read the article called, "Ingredients 101," to learn what ingredients actually work in the wrinkle industry. You will also see these products on shelves at large discount stores and they are usually manufactured by large name brand companies that just want to cash in on the anti-wrinkle craze.

Scam 4: Peeling Off Layers of Skin

There are a staggering number of these alpha hydroxy type products and dermabrasion products out there that claim to remove wrinkles and fine lines. Can I just tell you that skin is not designed to be peeled off on a regular basis? It is a protective organ, and if you peel off the outermost squamous layer, you are going to expose layers that are not ready for the harsh environment of free radicals, UV radiation, and pollution.

Yes, it does remove fine lines and wrinkles to some extent, but haven't you noticed women that do the chemical peels at 40? Sure, it's gonna look great today, but that outer layer of skin is our natural sun protection. If that's taken off, the sun will have its way with your face. By age 50, these women look 10 years older rather than looking 10 years younger! If they keep doing it, they will look 100 by the time they are 65. This is not a good long-term treatment plan to reduce the signs of aging.

Scam 5: The Use of Silicon Dioxide

The secret ingredient to get instant reduction of wrinkles is silicon dioxide. Basically, silicon dioxide fills in the wrinkles and makes a prism effect, bringing light into the shadows of the wrinkles, thus making them seemingly disappear. However, if the only ingredient that makes wrinkles disappear is silicon dioxide, then you have a temporary fix only and not a long term solution. When you wash your face, your wrinkles will be back!

Silicon dioxide in itself is not bad, it's just that the results are temporary. Some of the best products like LifeCell have silicon dioxide in it as well. LifeCell covers all the bases by having an instant results ingredient, but also has the latest, greatest ingredients to achieve long term anti-aging results as well.

Scam 6:  Ingredient Gaps

This one is more difficult to spot, and often requires pharmacology or biochemistry training to elucidate. Basically, an ingredient gap is when a product uses a small amount of one fantastic age fighting ingredient, fills in the rest of the ingredient list with “fillers” (i.e. ingredients that aren’t clinically proven to do anything) and calls it great.

There is no one wrinkle fighting ingredient out there that will fight all the signs of aging. An ingredient that is great at reducing age spots may not be as great at treating wrinkles. Conversely, a product that is a slam dunk at reducing dark under eye circles may not do a thing to boost collagen production.

It takes the right combination and right amounts of high quality ingredients to make a really great product. Be skeptical when a product puts all its proverbial eggs in one ingredient’s basket.

Semi-Scam 7: Autoship Program

Many people complain about autoship programs: that they didn’t sign up for it, they got ripped off, blah, blah, blah. This may sound a little harsh, but it’s all there in writing people! And this is where I call upon you, the empowered consumer to take responsibility for what you sign up for. A company cannot sell you a program without full disclosure – it’s the law!

It is up to you to read the fine print. The method of giving away a product teaser or selling at a reduced price to entice the buyer to sign up for autoship is sound and legitimate marketing. However, it does require us, as the empowered consumer, to read the fine print and know what we are getting into.

There you have it! This is my best effort and helping you to sort through the lies and scams that are out there.

Now go. Be the change. Use this knowledge to make informed decisions that will enrich your life and discourage shady marketing techniques used by the cosmetic industry.