Skincare Marketing BS Example

By Seppo | Quackery

14

This is just a quick post about the need to keep your BS detector working when evaluating marketing claims, a blinding flash of the obvious if there ever was one :)

A quick example to show why. The other day I came across this a line of Oxygenetix products promoted by Dr. Yael Halaas, a plastic surgeon practicing in New York.

Normally I don’t criticize companies for their marketing babble, but after reading what this doc claims I suffered a repeated head-desk injury. It’s also a perfect example of how companies fool you by appealing to common sense.

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Here’s what they claim:

Most moisturizers sink into the skin or sit on the surface, which can suffocate your skin by blocking the vital flow of oxygen. Oxygenetix Face Moisturizer forms a breathable “second skin” to provide instant hydration while reducing the signs of procedure.

Quite literally, everything in that short paragraphs is wrong! But notice how they appeal to common sense by talking about ‘vital flow of oxygen’ and ‘breathable second skin’. Oxygen of course is vital for most life on earth. And people commonly talk about allowing skin to breathe.

I’m sure you can guess what’s wrong with this. Your skin of course doesn’t breathe, that’s what you have nose and lungs for. There’s no oxygen flowing through the skin, in fact were that to happen it would be very, very bad for your skin. If air would pass freely though it, you would probably die fairly quickly. Because it would also mean that moisture would escape through the skin. Retaining water is one of the most important functions of the skin barrier function.

Not to mention that oxygen is a very dangerous substance. It’s a highly active free radical and causes oxidative damage. The very same kind of damage that kicks off the acne formation process. That’s why you need antioxidants to protect your skin.

I’m sure that the good doctor knows all this. It’s just marketing babble designed to fool people who are not familiar with these things and have put their trust on the doctor. It’s just an unfortunate reality that some doctors use their authority and credibility to hawk pure nonsense.

And it’s a good reminder why you need to develop skeptical attitude and hone your critical thinking skills. Otherwise it’s too easy to fall prey to this kind of nonsense.

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Seppo Puusa, a.k.a. AcneEinstein shares rational advice about natural and alternative acne treatments. Read more about me and my acne struggles at the page.

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(14) comments

Mark October 9, 2013

Have you looked into HDL levels and acne? personally I have low HDL and there are a lot of correlations between HDL and acne: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22447309
Also: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6214714
Here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2934279

I am personally doing all I can to raise HDL: be it more healthy fats, green tea, garlic, alcohol:), etc.
Also reducing trigylcerides is a biggie.

Reply
    Seppo October 10, 2013

    Mark, I’ve seen papers like that, but I haven’t specifically looked into this. My reading has always been correlation != causation and that both acne and HDL are signs of insulin resistance and/or systemic inflammation. Anyway, all the action items you mentioned are also good for acne.

    Reply
      Mark October 11, 2013

      HDL in itself is anti-inflammatory: http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/95/8/764.long. You are right about the insulin resistance though, as insulin resistance go hand in hand with trigylcerides, which decrease HDL cholesterol.

      Reply
      Mark Dittman October 13, 2013

      I would be interested if your readers with acne tend to have low hdl. Having my genetics sequenced, I can tell you that my hdl levels are genetically about 5 points lower than average. It is something to look into anyway. Paul Jaminet has an article on the importance of high hdl, and the best methods for increasing it.

      Reply
        Seppo October 14, 2013

        Just out of curiosity, do the recommendations for increasing HDL differ markedly from normal Paleo/ Perfect Health Diet recommendations? I try to keep things as simple as possible and would like to avoid telling people to worry about HDL if it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. In the studies that I’ve looked at, improvements in HDL usually go hand in hand with improvements in insulin resistance and inflammation.

        Reply
          Mark October 14, 2013

          Technically they do differ a little. For example if you take testosterone injections, all the insulin resistance markers will improve yet hdl will decrease.
          Some people like me have a predisposition to lower hdl levels, yet I am still in fairly good shape and my fasting blood glucose is usually around 85. I have yet to get an oral glucose tolerance test done, but I would like to.
          The recommendations don’t seem much different though, just more of a focus on monounsaturated fats, more alcohol, and possibly intermittent fasting.
          This is an article you might like: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/04/hdl-higher-is-good-but-is-highest-best/

          Reply
          Seppo October 15, 2013

          Thanks for the link to Paul’s article. I have to more what he writes about HDL and look into this in more detail.

          Reply
    Kameron March 12, 2014

    Hello,

    After reading your article I have come to the conclusion you have done ZERO research about this product because most everything you bring up is incorrect. This company is not fooling anybody and has put in a lot of time and effort to help people.

    Oxygenetix is the ONLY foundation to be used on burn victims by non other than “The World Burn Congress” AND “Grossman Burn Centers” The largest non-profit burn ward in the WORLD. Now these companies may I add did extensive testing on this product and currently provide to patients with SEVERVE burn. Now tell me sir how does a product go through years of testing with the TOP tier in this industry and become the ONLY foundation to pass? Would love to hear your thoughts…

    When talking about the ‘vital flow of oxygen’ the company is referring to a moisturizer that allows air to pass thourgh. So after a procedure whether that be a Co2 laser, chemical peel, micro dermabrssion, etc the skin receives oxygen. If you have just gotten a laser treatment that gives you a 2nd degree burn and you put a foundation or moisturizer on that contain oils it will suffocate the skin. BUT…. Since this breathes it allows the skin to get the oxygen it need to heal while being concealed.

    I can see you have done ZERO research on this product because you not once mention what its for. Oxygenetix is only sold through medical professional such as plastic surgeons, dermatologists, Hospitals (including Hoag, Scripts, UCLA Medical and many more) to be used as post treatment care.

    Also you stated “Your skin of course doean’t breathe, that’s what you have nose and lungs for. There is no oxygen flowing through the skin, in fact were that to happen it would be very very bad for your skin”

    I just did research and the company NO WHERE states what you just did above. All they state is that this moisturizer and there foundation allows oxygen to flow through THE PRODUCT not THE SKIN so after a procedure when the wound is healing it is not being depleted of Oxygen and camouflages at the same time.

    I can tell from your writing you are quite young. But please next time before you go on a rant please understand the product and actually do research. Because now you just look like a fool.

    Reply
      Seppo March 13, 2014

      I was talking about the product as marketed by Dr. Yael Halaas on his website. I assumed it’s a product he developed, but clearly I was wrong on that point.

      You are probably right on all the points you raise. And I wasn’t criticizing the product. I was criticizing how Dr. Halaas markets it, as in that case it’s clearly aimed at the anti-aging market. Had he talked about its use after laser treatment I would have never written this post. But he talks about it as an anti-aging product, in which case the babble about breathable second skin or vital flow of oxygen is pure nonsense.

      I can tell from your writing that you are quite upset. But please next time take some time to understand what was written before you post your rant. Because now you just look like a fool.

      Reply
Adel-Alexander Aldilemi October 10, 2013

When you said that breathing air causes oxidative stress/damage, but that oxygen is crucial part of life and that’s why too many antioxidants are bad. Was this what you were referring too? That antioxidants would have some effect on the air we breath in a negative way?

Reply
    Seppo October 11, 2013

    Hmm.. I’m not quite sure what you mean. Oxygen is used in cellular metabolism and that process creates free radicals. The immune system also creates and uses free radicals to kill pathogens. Loading your body with excess antioxidants could have some negative effect on those processes. But I don’t know the details of exactly how too many antioxidants is harmful.

    Reply
      Adel-Alexander Aldilemi October 11, 2013

      I just didn’t really know what you meant by taking too many antioxidants could be a risk for, what you just explained does make some sense I suppose.

      Reply
amy January 14, 2014

The products do not allow your skin to “breathe”, they allow oxygen to the cell by not occluding the skin. There are many studies and data that supports the effect of ambient oxygen aiding healing, to wounds especially.

Reply
    Seppo January 16, 2014

    The skin does not take in oxygen. Furthermore, ‘allowing oxygen into cells’ would be a very bad idea since oxygen, by definition, is highly reactive and damaging to tissues – that’s why inflammatory damage is oxidation. It’s true that they probably mean the product doesn’t occlude the skin, but then again, neither do most other moisturizers. It’s only mineral oils, vaselin and other such heavy moisturizers that do that.

    Reply
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