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Your Guide to Understanding Skincare Claims

Shopping for skincare can be overwhelming with millions of products available from various brands, all claiming to do different things for your complexion. In order for skincare brands to help their products stand out, they often create claims about their products’ formulas or effects, sometimes through clinical trials. These claims are intended to communicate the value of a brand or product, but they can be confusing or vague.

What are the most common kinds of claims?

Skincare claims tend to fall into one of three main categories:

  1. Chemical and physio characteristics: These kinds of claims relate to the actual ingredients and chemical makeup of a skincare product, though they can also pertain to the physical attributes of a product such as texture and scent.

  2. Performance and effects: This type of claim often comes from clinical trials, they often appear as numeric results such as “85% reported less redness and blemishes.”

  3. User experiences and preferences: These claims are an overall summation of the experience users of a skincare product should have. These can be the result of consumer perception studies or other clinical trials, and they tend to involve broader statements about the general effect of a product. For example, a serum may claim to “support skin health and provide brightening effects.”

Where do skincare claims come from?

Skincare claims are usually the result of clinical trials on a product. These trials can range in rigor and do not necessarily indicate extensive dermatological testing. Some of the less time-consuming clinical trial methods include consumer perception studies, which allow participants to give feedback on their experience with a product, and can sometimes involve features such as before and after complexion photos.

Other types of skincare clinical trials include single-group observational trials, wherein every participant uses the skincare product as directed for an intervention period, and completes quantitative surveys on their skin concerns and product experience at certain timepoints throughout the trial.

Regardless of the rigor of the clinical research method, any effort by a brand to engage with clinical testing in order to create their product claims demonstrates a desire to scientifically support their products’ performance and ingredients. Skincare claims that are marketed as “clinically tested” have therefore undergone some form of a clinical trial, and may be more robust.

Want to create your own clinical trial?

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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