Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Off Topic Made one big mistake….

  • Made one big mistake….

    Posted by Bo77 on February 16, 2022 at 5:23 am

    I went to check Instagram  :D Never been there, my small company is on it, but I have a person taking care of social media. I hate social media. Ok, so… long story short. Some woman (aesthetician ) running her small business starts to bash Cetaphil for using SLS, ok. I never used Cetaphil , probably will never use it in the future, but went to check their INCI in their cleanser. No SLS, no parabens, they changed the formula. She has audacity to say she rolls her eyes when she hears some people use it. Putting people who use it down. And continue to bash company by stating that she will never believe them that they changed their formula bc they used SLS already before. Like WTF? And she has bachelor’s in science, use company who’s using heavily EO in each and every product and using normal synthetics, but not SLS and parabens. I innocently  o:) asked her if her customers don’t complain about irritation from all the EO they putting inside. She didn’t reply.  :D It’s just sooo annoying. I have nothing against different point of view. Different marketing , different believes, but why would I accuse another company of something, or not believe it. I believe that Cetaphil would think twice before they lie on something that frivolous. 
    Ok, vent over. I apologize but I had to take out my frustration. People are so nonsense these days. So many idiots on such a tiny platform, that’s how I would describe Instagram. 

    PhilGeis replied 2 years, 3 months ago 5 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Hopefully here we don’t have to write the list of all ingredients on label so we are protected from such people.

  • Bo77

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Abdullah said:

    Hopefully here we don’t have to write the list of all ingredients on label so we are protected from such people.

    Abdullah, I believe in transparency and education. Education (may it be self or institution) is important and great. Fear mongering is not. What internet spitting at us these days is extremely not helpful, in a lot of cases extremely dangerous. People who think they know, and they don’t know crap. And others listen to them. I don’t necessary like regulations ( free spirit :D) but I understand why they are placed in specific fields. We have ours here in US. And I go by these regulations. Big companies go by these regulations. What people believe that big companies will give them, poison? I can’t be on social media, time for me to go back to my hermit lifestyle :D

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    I’ve a lot against the BS marketing.  Puffery to snake oil to fear mongering - I know the crappy preservative systems put consumers at risk.

  • OldPerry

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 2:50 pm
    Of course Cetaphil is perfectly fine and so is using products that contain SLS & parabens.
    I don’t think there are any easy fixes to the problems of social media, but there are two potential ways to combat the problem of the spread of misinformation.
    1. Regulation of commercial speech. We already do this to some extent on TV, radio, etc. And there are regulations related to websites and influencers. They are just not enforced very well.
    But the more important approach…
    2. Make consumers better thinkers. The only reason morons can get on social media and say moronic, false things is because there is an audience ready, willing and able to believe them. In what world should a consumer be taking seriously the advice of an aesthetician about ingredient toxicology? Are people going to start taking medical advice from hot dog stand vendors?
    Some thinking tips…
    1. If someone is trying to sell you something, be highly skeptical of the claims they make. This isn’t to say they are lying. It’s just that you shouldn’t automatically believe what is claimed.
    2. If someone is bashing a competitor’s product & offering their own product instead, assume they are lying. Maybe they are not but it’s highly likely they aren’t telling you the whole truth.
    3. If someone doesn’t have the appropriate background in a subject, you can disregard what they say. This doesn’t mean everything they say is wrong but you should find other sources.
    4. Start with the assumption that everything on social media is wrong. This is especially true if it is something that you want to be true.
  • Bo77

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Perry, point 2 is what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to educate consumers, but it’s so freaking hard. This bs is everywhere. Now, take it from our perspective - small business one. If I don’t change my preservative, I will not have customers. Since the beginning I present my company as ” naturally derived and safe synthetics combined”. I did not go with green, natural etc. I want to stay honest, transparent as much as possible and still give consumers a great product. I stopped with Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate bc people go crazy against FR, you can try to educate people but as a small company you will lose. I’m still trying. Started something like glossary on my website, but it takes time which I don’t have much of. 
    Marketing- I’m not against all marketing, most companies are not honest with their studies, of course. I get that. I’m trying a different approach. I’m trying my best to be honest, also using peptides and actives which don’t have any real, independent studies behind, but in which I believe bc when my final product is done, I’m extremely happy with it and believe in it. And people who test my products are happy with it. I would never sell something what I would not back up 100%. What started as a hobby for me many years ago ended up as my business. 
    :D   
    But back to the fear mongering- my social media person warns me not to get into bs “fights” 
    :D but you would assume that aesthetician should know better and not to bash company and not to roll her (beauty filter altered) eyes at people who’s using this product.  I just hate that. Slap in the face to people who’s using it. 

  • OldPerry

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 3:49 pm
    I don’t really have any great answers to the problem of online BS. And I agree with you, it’s certainly a hard problem.
    I will say, I think people likely overestimate the importance of social media and consumer feedback from social media when it comes to product sales.
    What convinced you that you wouldn’t have any customers if you didn’t change your preservative? Huge brands like Pantene, Suave, Neutrogena, Olay, etc. still use parabens and even formaldehyde donors and they continue to sell well. In truth, the majority of consumers don’t even look at ingredients or care what they are. If your brand marketing position depends on consumers that scrutinize ingredient lists, you’ve got bigger problems.
    In my opinion, clean beauty or claims about what your products “don’t contain” is a losing marketing position. Chasing clean beauty is not a game anyone can win for very long because EVERYONE can claim it. We even see big companies making the claim & being sulfate free, etc. So, then you have to compete on price and big companies will kill small companies in a price war.
    Fear mongering is used because it is effective in the short term. But if you build your brand on it, you will eventually lose, unless you are like Drunk Elephant and get big enough, fast enough to be bought out by a big corporation.
    Ultimately, consumers do not primarily care about the ingredients in their products. They care about results, how the product makes them feel, and how well they identify with the brand.
    The cosmetic industry is hard because there is no easy way to set your products apart in terms of technology. With very few exceptions anyone can make a product that works as well as anyone else’s product. So the only place you can really compete is in your branding and storytelling. If you can make your consumers like you, then you can build a brand that appeals to them. Don’t go chasing after the people that don’t like you.
    I wholeheartedly agree, don’t get into online fights. It’s a complete waste of time & energy.
  • grapefruit22

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 4:02 pm
    I completely understand your frustration. But maybe it’s worth considering what is causing the problem. I don’t think the point is that people are gullible, but on the contrary, they don’t trust companies. One sentence caught my attention: What people believe that big companies will give them poison?
    There have been cases where big companies haven’t tested their products well. As a big company, I mean companies that sell all over the world to the largest retailers.
    Examples that come to mind quickly:
    - no tests of the effectiveness of sunscreens, where after the tests it turned out that the product had lower protection than declared by the manufacturer
    - releasing the entire batch of the product that burned people’s faces, the reaction from manufacturer was a few months after the first customer reports
    - companies do not answer customer questions about whether their products can be used during pregnancy - they advise to ask your doctor. Doctors, depending on whom you ask, will advise you against using anything, some will say that you can use anything. One doctor advised against using products with fruit extracts.

    If a company does not perform basic product testing, why would customers believe that their products are safe to use long term? Is it possible to fully confirm that any substance is safe, if it can depend on many variables, such as interactions with other products, ingredients, and mainly on whether the ingredient is used in one rinse-off product or in five products applied by the customer to damaged skin?
    As for the legal regulations, they differ depending on the country - there are different regulations in the USA, different in Japan, Europe, Australia. Which one is correct?
    Why should the customer rely on regulations if they change over time? The substance is legal for years, then suddenly is not legal anymore.
    For clarification, I do not expect answers to the questions mentioned above, it is more an attempt to understand people who are being attacked from all sides with contradictory information.
  • OldPerry

    Member
    February 16, 2022 at 8:25 pm
    There is no one single thing causing the problem but lack of critical thinking is a significant contributor. I agree that some people (many people?) don’t trust big companies. But why would anyone trust a small company? You go to a farmer’s market and see someone selling lotion that they made in their kitchen and trust that they used GMP and safety tested their products? That’s being gullible in my opinion.

    @grapefruit22 - While I won’t claim that big companies always behave properly, the examples of big companies behaving badly you’ve listed seem dubious.

    A big company would not conduct “no test” on the effectiveness of sunscreens. That would be illegal and they would be easily fined. The story of sunscreens not meeting SPF values claimed is more a reflection of the variance and inconsistency of the test method. It’s not proof that a company didn’t run a test. And this problem is true for small sunscreen manufacturers too. Purito which got in trouble is one small company example.
    Yes, it’s possible to determine product safety, at least professional toxicologists think so.
    And big companies DO perform basic safety testing. It’s small companies that don’t do safety testing and are the ones people have to worry about. The biggest difference is that consumers can take big companies to court and possibly get a settlement if they are harmed by products. If you try to take a small company to court they simply declare bankruptcy, close up shop and start a new company. 

    The mistrust of big companies is misplaced and gullibly handed to small companies for no good reason.

    I agree it would be great if regulations were consistent around the world. And for the most part, they aren’t that different. If you followed the EU regulations that would pretty much overlap with everywhere else in the world. 
    But the reasons for different regulations are political, they are not scientific. It’s a bit like asking why one teenager’s parents give them a curfew of 10 pm while another teenager gets a curfew of 10:30pm. Different people in power will develop different rules.
  • Bo77

    Member
    February 17, 2022 at 3:01 am

    Grapefruit22- I understand your point. I’m for education. I stand for awareness, absolutely. Except…. so many people don’t educate themselves, they just repeat what quick google search throws at them. There has to be some line people should not cross. I agree with Perry, big companies are scrutinized more than small ones. I don’t necessary trust big companies marketing but safety? I do trust more than small companies. I’m all for small companies but when I check the safety of some small businesses, I question some decisions. I’m small business but I have to be honest, not all small companies are equal. For one big company screw up, many more small ones are up there. Except we don’t hear about that so much. 

    Perry- I did make business decision to change the preservative system in my products, because of my customers. They did “demand” it. My company is slightly different, and customers do “study” INCI. I can explain them “safe synthetics” but can’t pass FR, or parabens. That’s too deep rooted already lol. I really try to give them “the better option”(for lack of better words). We don’t use certain ingredients, but I don’t do ads on that. I go for transparency, story, sustainability, ecofriendly, better options ingredients but not completely “clean beauty”.

    Perry:
    “Ultimately, consumers do not primarily care about the ingredients in their products. They care about results, how the product makes them feel, and how well they identify with the brand.” this is a big company description, not small company description. We cannot compare with big companies, of course. We have to have our own approach. And for many of us ingredients playing a big role. With other things you mentioned, of course. 

    But anyway, thank you all for our small conversation and thanks for letting me vent lol
    I decided to go back to my hermit nonsocial media world. Don’t want to get heart attack. :D Too young for that (hopefully) lol.

  • grapefruit22

    Member
    February 17, 2022 at 12:57 pm
    In my understanding company sold their products worldwide at popular retailers is not a small company, even if they are not in the world TOP10. In some countries those SPF are still sold.
    Both big and small companies sell products where users report that the they have had an allergic reaction, products burn their faces, or cause stinging to their eyes. I would expect more than basic tests to avoid the above situations, but on the other hand, maybe those short-term side effects are just not “harmful”.
  • Abdullah

    Member
    February 17, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    Bo77 said:

    Grapefruit22- I understand your point. I’m for education. I stand for awareness, absolutely. Except…. so many people don’t educate themselves, they just repeat what quick google search throws at them. There has to be some line people should not cross. I agree with Perry, big companies are scrutinized more than small ones. I don’t necessary trust big companies marketing but safety? I do trust more than small companies. I’m all for small companies but when I check the safety of some small businesses, I question some decisions. I’m small business but I have to be honest, not all small companies are equal. For one big company screw up, many more small ones are up there. Except we don’t hear about that so much… 

    If you you add some phenoxyethanol or sodium benzoate in claim level and when someone asked what is your preservative, tell them phenoxyethanol or sodium benzoate or whatever beautiful name preservative is my preservative. I bet no one will think that something with a good looking name like glycinate is FR or even a preservative.

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    February 17, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    Please understand - it is impossible to assure a complete absence of reaction to any consumer exposed.  Big companies develop products designed and tested globally to sell millions of units for years to diverse consumers around the world.  Potential reactions are followed through consumer comments, reports of dermatologists, etc. 

    Retailers?   Many have gone woke and chemophobic and big companies are conflicted.  Big company managements are as woke as retailers’, but their technical folks know BS when they’re asked to put it in products. 
    Example - preservatives, managements of the big guys got together and funded a greenie org. 3G to search for alternatives. 3G claimed great success (see: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352554120305696).  What is not reported - they found nothing of substance.  But note the BS, typical of parasitic org.s 

    I appreciate the dilemma folks here face.  It’s one thing to parse “natural” but a much more significant to let that constrain preservation.  Just passing USP 51 is very poor to no assurance and you should not sleep at night with e.g. natural eye of new to a few organic acids unless you have great control and monitoring over manuf. quality and barrier packaging.   You’ll likely never hear of the “harmful” effects - but those are reality.

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