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We all come across these ads with wording that pretty much FORCE you to click on them to see what it is all about. I have been troubled with such an ad on Facebook for days. Today, it said “2 cheap Botox secrets for women over 40 that are making Botox doctors furious.” A few days ago it was something along the lines of “Ordinary mom reveals secret that makes doctors furious.”
Having read enough of these, I feel it’s my duty as a dermatologist to dispel the myths these sites spread, so I decided to explain why many of the claims in the ads are wrong.
The ad takes you to a website (skintherapyreports.com) that describes how an ordinary mom from Texas suffered with her wrinkles for years until she finally came across the secret that Hollywood has been keeping from us. It’s the secret that’s been keeping them looking young and beautiful, and that secret is so simple and cheap you won’t believe it – certainly better than Botox and the horrific side effects that come with it, and so much cheaper! You will look 10 years younger in a month!
Honestly, there is so much drama packed in those few lines that they would make day time soaps envious! The website then provides links to other websites that sell the actual products, which I’ve noticed change regularly. They can direct you to AuraVie and Levela, or DermaPure and Kollagen Intesniv.
First off, “ordinary” mother? I do not appreciate the wording, nor the sensationalization all over this website, but more importantly, where are the facts? Where are the studies? What exactly is in these products? And no, merely putting a picture of a person wearing a white coat and glasses in front of a microscope, and throwing in some medical jargon and a mention of a few nameless studies is not going to convince me. Who conducted these studies? What institutes? How many were included in the studies? Anything?
The main ingredient listed is something called “polymoist-ps”, which is supposed to be a “peptide” that promotes collagen production. That’s all well and good, except I could not find it anywhere in any journal or scientific source I checked.
Then there is the “secret that keeps stars young and healthy.” Surprise surprise, it is not some super secret cream; it is makeup, light and Photoshop. The stars that do still look amazing as they’ve matured are the ones that took good care of their health and their skin, like the rest of us are doing. No magic, no tricks – just pure diligence.
And what about the horrific side effects of Botox? Thousands of people who have enjoyed the benefits of Botox and their doctors and the scientific studies backing Botox up will tell you that, when done correctly by an experienced physician, side effects are very minimal, if at all.
Aside from the lack of studies, even reviews are hard to come by. That is, if you exclude reviews on websites dedicated to these creams (kollagenintensiverevews, kollagenintensivecream, aboutkollagenintesive, dermapure-reviews, and many others) which all, of course, boast about how truly amazing these products are, with direct links to the website selling the product.
As for the “before” and “after” images, the website admits in the fine print at the bottom of the page that the photographs they show for before and after comparisons have been modified. I also happened to notice that a “before” and “after” picture on the Dermapure website is clearly photoshopped.
The website portrays dermatologists as devious monsters who have hidden a secret from the world for years, and that the secret is now out at last, which makes the demons, er dermatologists, very angry. The field of dermatology has expanded to include not only skin diseases, but also cosmetic dermatology; dermatologists remain healers in the first place and still firmly believe that the patient comes first. If something this sensational was discovered, it would have been celebrated in all scientific circles around the world – the fountain of youth at long last!
This is not to say the products are all bad. They claim to collectively include various peptides, antioxidants and moisturizers, so they may do a very good job, but they are not going to work miracles. And they certainly do not mimic Botox, nor will they make anyone look ten years younger in one single month.
With that said; despite all of the trouble the website went through, from dramatic phrasings and modified pictures, to attacks on perfectly good methods of proven efficacy, while having no clear scientific sources to back them up, I would personally never buy nor recommend these products. If a product relies on sensationalism rather than clear, proven data, then it’s probably not the product for me.