Article by: Perry Romanowski

Very clever summary of how to spot quackery. In the cosmetic industry, you can find examples of people selling products using all of these methods.

Here is a list of their Red Flags of Quackery. If you see them in a cosmetic ad, it might be quackery.

1. Testimonials
2. Helps your body
3. Celebrity Doctor
4. Ancient Wisdom
5. Secret/Conspiracy
6. Buy my book
7. Miracle ingredient
8. Non-MD Doctor
9. Natural
10. Quantum
11. Toxins
12. Energy
13. Magnets
14. Hostility to criticism
15. Western Medicine

Perhaps in a future post, I’ll list examples of cosmetic products sold using these red flags.  Some of these apply more to health products but lots of cosmetic products are marketed using these quacky techniques.


Unfortunately, they often work.



  1. Avatar

    LOL Perry!
    Now I have mentioned your site to some people that believe in this kind of stuff. One reply was: ‘but Perry also sells books and his site is also a business’? Does that fall under no 14? 😉

    1. Avatar

      Funny. That probably does follow #14. I like their skepticism though. Now, if they would only apply it to all areas of their lives.

      You should note that just because something is a red flag doesn’t automatically mean it is quackery. Not all books are the same for example and there are plenty of non-MD doctors who have useful things to share.

      This is a list of things that should raise your skeptical sensors. And the more red flags, the more skeptical you should be.

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