- Ben Fuchs
The skin care business is, like many other businesses, steeped in and dependent on consumerism and marketing. Rather than having real effects, products have come to rely much more on sizzle; many purchases are the result of nothing more than hype and buying decisions are often functions of ignorance and ads. The world of cosmetic products as we know it today was birthed in the late 19th and early 20th century, at the same time that business enterprises were beginning to understand Freudian psychological theories of human motivations and buying behaviors and how to use them to exploit and manipulate consumer minds and emotions. No business has leveraged human desires and vulnerabilities via sales and advertising more than the business of beauty. We are endlessly manipulated and contorted into spending our hard earned cash via celebrity sales pitches, advertising slogans and the recommendations of dubious department store “advisers”.
But that all changed with the active ingredients dubbed “cosma-ceuticals” which worked as powerfully as prescriptions but were only regulated as cosmetics. The father of the cosmaceutical, Dr. Albert Kligman coined the term to distinguish inactive and superficial ingredients from those that went “…beyond mere camouflage…” and could achieve real and often long-term results. While it’s true that everything including water will inevitably alter the skin in some way, only true cosmaceuticals can provide the kind of performance most consumers expect and are (mis-)led to believe they’ll get when they purchase and apply their cream, lotion, toner and treatment skin care preparations and products.