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Misleading Beauty Claims to Avoid, and Resources for Brands


As a consumer brand operating in the beauty industry, the importance of maintaining trust and credibility cannot be overstated. Misleading beauty claims can not only harm your brand's reputation but also lead to legal issues and loss of customer loyalty. To ensure you create valid product claims, here are some key points to consider and types of claims to avoid.


We have also collected official resources that your brand can refer to for any further details on the legal or scientific validity of these kinds of claims. Further, these resources can be shared with your customers to empower them to better understand the research underpinning your product claims!


Exaggerated "Patented Technology" Claims:

When claiming "Patented Technology," provide comprehensive information about the specific innovation that sets your product apart. Back up your claims with details on how the patented features address consumers' needs and offer a unique advantage. Avoid vague language that might give the impression of superiority without substantial evidence.


Citruslabs Cites: Learn more about the patent process and how to search for existing patents through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) -. (Website: www.uspto.gov)


Ambiguous "Maximum Strength" or "Clinical Strength" Claims:

Consumers often look for products with higher potency, but it's crucial to define what "Maximum Strength" or "Clinical Strength" means in practical terms. Conduct thorough testing and research to substantiate these claims. Use scientific data and clinical studies to back up your assertions, providing a clear understanding of the product's effectiveness.


CItruslabs Cites: While you’ve already done extensive research into your ingredients pre-formulation, it can always be helpful to stay up to date on the latest clinical studies and science papers being released about skincare ingredients and their strengths. (Website: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)


Generic "For All Skin Types" Claims:

Avoid making overly broad claims like "For All Skin Types." Different skin types have varying needs and sensitivities. Tailor your claims to address specific skin concerns, such as "Suitable for Sensitive Skin" or "Ideal for Oily Skin." Clearly communicate any potential allergens or irritants to help consumers make informed decisions.


Citruslabs Cites: It may be helpful to refer your customers to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Get insights into various skin types and conditions to tailor your product claims accordingly. (Website: www.aad.org)


Misinterpretation of "FDA Approved":

Be cautious when using "FDA Approved" claims for skincare products. Understand that FDA approval does not imply the product's effectiveness, but rather its safety when used as directed. Clearly communicate the extent of FDA approval and refrain from making misleading statements about the product's superiority based solely on this approval. This is incredibly important in skincare and cosmetics products, where products are technically regulated by the FDA -- not approved by them.


Citruslabs Cites: Stay updated on the FDA regulations for cosmetic products to ensure compliance. (Website: www.fda.gov)


Unrealistic "Anti-Aging, Revitalizing, or Age Defying" Claims:

Avoid making exaggerated promises of reversing the aging process. Instead, focus on the realistic benefits your product offers, such as "Boosts Collagen Production" or "Promotes Skin Radiance." Be transparent about the limitations of your product and its impact on the aging process.


Citruslabs Cites: International Journal of Cosmetic Science (IJCS) - Access scientific research on various anti-aging ingredients and their efficacy. (Website: www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/ics)


Deceptive Packaging:

Steer clear of packaging that imitates medical items or prescription labels, as this can create a false sense of credibility. Be honest and straightforward in your packaging design, clearly conveying essential product information without misleading consumers.


Citruslabs Cites: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - Learn about deceptive packaging practices and how to comply with FTC guidelines. (Website: www.ftc.gov)


Inaccurate "Botanical" Claims:

Be precise when using the term "botanical." If your product contains botanical ingredients, provide accurate information about their origin, properties, and benefits. Avoid using "botanical" to describe synthetic ingredients that merely mimic natural ones.


Citruslabs Cites: Check out the Natural Medicines Database to verify the authenticity and properties of botanical ingredients used in your products. (Website: www.naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com)


Unsupported Claims:

As always, the most important factor in product claims for consumer brands from every industry is their basis on research. It is essential to base your claims on concrete evidence. This can involve conducting consumer surveys, clinical trials, and scientific research to support your product claims. Or, pursue consumer perception studies to incorporate real data and customer testimonials validating the effectiveness of your product.


Wrapping Up

Overall, as a beauty or skincare brand, maintaining transparency and authenticity in your product claims is crucial. By avoiding misleading marketing tactics and providing evidence-based information, you can establish trust with your target audience and cultivate a loyal customer base. Always ensure your claims are supported by clinical evidence, and consider the included resources for updated research on your ingredients as well as to provide helpful insight to users of your products.


Want to create your own product claims?

Citruslabs provides a simple and affordable way to prove that your products actually work. At Citruslabs, we design a clinical trial that is right for you and your budget, so you can start sharing research-backed product claims without spending a fortune. We offer the cohesive planning and management required to conduct successful clinical trials, from start to finish. Ready to get started? Let's talk! You can contact us here.

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