Proctor and Gamble is arguably the biggest company in the beauty business. They also spend the most money on research and development which results in the creation of products that are preferred by the most number of people. Of course, they have many of the same limitations that any cosmetic formulator will have so they resort to creative claims to convince people to buy. Let’s take a look at their Olay Wrinkle Smoothing Cream to see how they do it.
Cosmetic Claim Analysis
When analyzing claims here’s the process we follow.
Step 1 – Get the label copy and ingredient list
Step 2 – Figure out what claims need to be supported
Step 3 - Figure out how they might be supported
Cosmetic Label Copy – Step 1
The label copy comes straight from our good friends at Drugstore.com.
New Olay Professional Pro-X is a scientifically advanced line of skin care products created by an inspired partnership of P&G Beauty scientists and renowned dermatologists.
Together, they took advantage of the very latest research, technology, ingredients, and thinking to create these advanced anti-aging products.
Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream is professionally designed to smooth uneven textures with moisture, combating the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
And as with all Pro-X products, it has been designed and tested to resignal skin to perform more like it did when it was younger.* And younger-acting skin means younger-looking skin. Guaranteed***
Olay’s new Professional line of skin care products
Professionally designed by an inspired partnership of P&G Beauty scientists and a renowned team of dermatologists
Anti-aging technology resignals skin to perform more like it did when it was younger*
Wrinkle Smoothing Cream smoothes uneven texture with moisture, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Clinically proven anti-aging results in 28 days.** Guaranteed***
Prescribed Protocol for Maximum Results
skin in the morning with Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30
skin with Pro-X Specialized Treatment for your area of concern
skin at night with Wrinkle Soothing Cream by smoothing over the face and neck
Professional Skin Expertise
Olay Professional is at the forefront of science and anti-aging technology. Leading dermatologists and Olay skin scientists have partnered to establish the Olay Professional Advisory Panel. This team has professionally designed and professionally tested these products by selecting anti-aging ingredients to treat your specific skin care concerns. Through this partnership, Pro-X was created to bring you prescribed regimens to Protect, Treat, and Transform your skin’s appearance.
Olay Professional Promise
We promise your satisfaction with this product or we’ll refund your money. Guaranteed. Call 1-866-511-OLAY (6529) for information on the guarantee or visit olayprofessional.com for information and regimen tips.
*Resignals skin by increasing surface turnover and repairing the moisture barrier.
**Discoloration Fighting Concentrate reduces appearance of discoloration in eight weeks.
***Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
And the ingredient list.
Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Isostearate, Dimethiconol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Carnosine, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 4, Elastin, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, PEG 100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Laureth 7, Stearic Acid, PEG 4 Dilaurate, PEG 4 Laurate, Decyl Glucoside, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Mica
Before moving on to the claims, this formula is interesting. In my estimation the 1% line is right after the Dimethicone. The only thing that causes me pause is that other things like Cetearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, etc., which are usually above 1% in emulsions are below that line. Still, it is highly unlikely that they would produce this product with Niacinamide or Panthenol above 1% so that’s probably where it is. They use a standard Stearic Acid emulsification system and a Polyacrylate for stability. To support the SPF claims, they have included Titanium Dioxide. Overall, a slightly more complicated but effective formulation.
Cosmetic claims – Step 2 & 3
As far as the claims goes, wow, those P&G writer are wordy. Wonder how they fit it all on the bottle.
Since there are so many, I figure we’ll only tackle the most interesting of their claims.
1. “…created by…P&G Beauty scientists and renowned dermatologists.” – I don’t know who these dermatologists are but the claim is supported simply by hiring some dermatologists and getting them to participate in some brainstorming effort or something. Simple.
2. “…designed to smooth uneven textures with moisture.” – This is what every moisturizing cream does.
3. “…combating the look of fine lines and wrinkles.” – Notice they only talk about changing the look of the wrinkles, not actually combating the wrinkles. Easily supported with consumer panel tests.
4. “…designed & tested to resignal skin to perform more like it did when it was younger.” – This is interesting. They tell you how they qualified the claim by defining resignal as increasing surface turnover and repairing the moisture barrier. Could be proven using a Kligman Regression study.
These asterists are helpful when trying to figure out a claim.
5. “Clinically proven anti-aging results in 28 days.” That’s how long they ran the Kligman Regression study. Pretty standard.
6. “Guaranteed” – If you are unsatisfied they’ll give you your money back. While this claim is compelling it doesn’t actually mean much except that you can get your money back.
Overall, there are no incredible claims in this product and it is likely to perform as well as any other skin moisturizer. Since it is a P&G product however, you can bet that they’ve done a number of blinded consumer tests and have created a product that will appeal to the greatest number of people.
Got a product you want us to review? Leave a comment below (ideally with a product link) and we’ll take a look.