Evidence Based Skin Care
Do you want results from your skin care? Of course you do! These days if it doesn’t firm, tone, brighten, protect, prevent, roll-back and revive it is just too….. well, too darn lazy by half! And don’t be thinking that we have time to wait for these things to work, we want it now, yesterday in fact and we want it to make us feel like we are saving the world from imminent DOOM.
Well, maybe we don’t all want those things but I have to admit, it does sound exciting!
So when I received the Bio Effects EGF serum the other week (which I quickly blogged about) I was excited to hear that it could tick most of the above boxes but rather than fall off my chair in the excitement of it all I wanted to see the evidence.
Evidence comes in number of formats and usually depends on how much time, money and understanding the product owner has at their disposal. Here are some examples of how evidence to support claims is collected by the brand owner.
- The raw material supplier supplies it. This evidence is usually just supporting the active and may be based on tests carried out in vitro (in a test tube), in vivo (real life) or in both. If an ingredient only has in vitro evidence I tend to walk away, especially if it is very expensive as it is widely understood that while these results are interesting, they are long way from proving a measurable effect when applied to a real persons skin.
- The raw material supplier helps you to collect it. This does happen but not very often. Basically during the development process the raw material supplier may hook up with a brand owner to co-develop a system. The brand owner then gets to have their formulation tested in conjunction with the active. This is very useful and can save money but often the time that goes into validating a test method eats into the money and time saved on the free tests.
- The product owner commissions laboratory tests. Usually at this stage the tests are in-vivo as the product owner has created a whole system and wants to use the test evidence to write the pack copy. Testing commonly takes two routes – the questionnaire approach where a panel are given a product to try (blind trials are best – the panel don’t know what they are getting) OR laboratory tests which can consist of things like irritation potential, SPF, measuring moisture levels, skin hydration, skin elasticity, hair shine etc. Both of these types of tests can result in a great deal of useful information.
- A meta analysis of all data available for the given actives, system and combination. This basically means that the brand owners will review every bit of evidence they can find from all sources. This will then be ranked for its relevance to their product and its robustness and scored. This, plus some of the other methods above (where the sponsor gathers primary evidence) is then used to support their claims.
- A survey of 72 people found that over 95% of people who applied the serum regularly noticed that their skin looked fresher than before.
- A skin hydration test on human subjects found that the serum significantly increased the skins hydration levels after twice daily application over four weeks.
- A significant increase in skin elasticity was found in the same test.
- Photographic evidence supported a wrinkle-reduction claim.
- And most importantly, an ongoing clinical study based on longer term usage of the product is showing remarkable improvements in skin hydration, reduction of wrinkle depth and improvement of general skin tone.