1. “OUR STUDIES SHOW …”: Ignore anything that follows. It will almost always be false or unsubstantiated. Cosmetics company-sponsored studies are usually designed to show positive results, and are rarely peer-reviewed or even conducted scientifically.
2. WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Also ignore “dermatologist-tested.” Cosmetics companies hire dermatologists to “study” their products. The results of those studies are never negative. Suspicious?
3. EYE NO!: Despite hype, eye creams aren’t necessary. Face products for wrinkles, sagging, or dark circles work just as well in the eye area.
4. JARRING PROBLEM: Innumerable important ingredients break down in the presence of air and bacteria. Open the jar or stick your fingers in and the product starts degrading.
5. SUN SENSE: Sunlight (not just sunshine!) is one of the biggest causes of wrinkles, discoloration and sagging. So don’t skip sunscreen — even when cloudy.
6. RATING MATTERS: SPF ratings represent UVB protection; but not UVA, which causes the most damage. For UVA protection, look for specific ingredients.
7. IT’S NATURAL: Partial to natural ingredients? The word “natural” is loosely regulated. Also, it may come from nature, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for skin.
8. ESSENTIALLY, STAY AWAY: There’s no difference between oils and “essential” oils. What’s more, they’re not essential to your health and can even be harmful.
9. SMELLS FISHY: Fragrances (like essential oils) are irritating, often volatile compounds. Especially problematic? Rose, orange, pine or lavender oils.
10. AT WHAT COST?: Higher price does not equal higher quality. Effective and ineffective products can be found in every price range.
To see how your skin, hair or makeup products hold up, make sure Paula Begoun is on your radar by downloading her “Beautypedia” app, or getting a hold of one of her best-selling books online; PaulasChoice.com.