"Faker Ingredients": When Cosmetics Fake A Good First Impression

"Fakers" make you believe that a product is "working", by producing superficial & short-term effects. Some are harmless, some may have negative effects in the long run. Don't be cheated. Learn to spot them on product labels.

What are Faker Ingerdients ?

We want results, and we want them fast. If a cosmetic product doesn't work soon, preferably after the first couple of uses, we decide that "it doesn't work" and move on to the next thing. The cosmetic industry knows that we judge products already after first use (often a smear out of a test sample in the store). To give us a good first impression they put in special ingredients in their products that I call "fakers".

These "faker ingredients" are like special effects, they make you believe that the product is working, giving you "instant glow" and all that stuff you dream of. This special effect is short-lasting, and only touches the surface of the skin and hair. They contribute nothing towards the actual repair, moisturising or well-being of the skin. Many of them may even be harmful in the long run.

"Faker ingredients" have another function: they make you reach for the cosmetic more often, since their effect wears off extremely fast. Do you re-apply hand cream or chapstick several times a day ?

Here are a couple of faker ingredients:

* Fake moisturiser: Silicones

It gives that silky smooth feeling, convincing you that now your skin is deeply moisturised. In reality, silicone just coats the skin surface. If the silicone washes off soon, you will be reaching for that moisturiser again ! Other types of silicones don't wash off easily, and they pose another problem: they seal moisture off, and cause product build-up.
Found in: shampoos, conditioners, hair-styling products, creams, moisturisers, etc.
Learn more about which silicones are washed off with water and soap, and which stay put no matter what !

* Dangerous bubbles + harsh cleansing = SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

This harsh detergent thoroughly cleans off grease from oily hair and skin. Instant results : lots of froth and squeaky cleanness ! However SLS is so harsh that it aggravates the oil glands, making them produce more even oil... and so the next day you will be reaching for that shampoo again, because it's the only thing that really cleans your terribly oily hair or face !
Another reason that SLS is used in cleansing products is the pretty froth and bubbles: a lot of people think that if there is no froth, the product isn't working..
Oh, did I mention that SLS is perhaps the most harmful ingredient used in cosmetics ?
Found in: shampoos, bath products, soap, cleansers.
Learn more about SLS, why is it harmful and how to avoid it.

* Menthol: you can actually feel it working !

On a slimming cream I saw the statement: "Upon applying the product, you will experience a tingling sensation on the skin. This is an indication that the product is working." Ah yes, there it is among the ingredients: Menthol. Really gives the feeling that Something Is Happening. In reality, nothing much is happening. May not be good for skin with capillary problems, though. Ooops.
Found in: anything that is "cooling". Shampoos, bath products, cleansers, lip balm, sunscreen, toothpaste, creams & moisturisers, & more. 

* Glycerin: the moisturiser that dries

Glycerin is hygroscopic, it moisturises your skin by attracting water from wet air. And if the air is dry then it draws water from... the deeper layers of the skin. Ooops.
Found in: shampoos, cleansers, moisturisers, sunscreen, anti-aging, foundation, etc.
Learn more about glycerin, as well as it's health concerns.

    Quick-fixes don't last long, and real & lasting solutions take some time to work.
Remember to give cosmetic products some time, it does take some weeks to see the effects of a lot of treatments.
Also, read about skin detox: skin often reacts to better products by purging impurities... and that means "good" breakouts! (or, as good as they can get).

And as always : be smart, read the labels.

Have I missed any "fakers" ? Do let me know !

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