The post “Look you’ve done it!” went viral, and with good reason.
But that viral video, and a few hundred others like it, weren’t exactly a revelation for dermatologists who have been pushing the limits of the scientific method in dermatology for decades.
The makeup world is full of the same sort of scientific errors and pseudoscience that make up most of today’s popular beauty products, including those marketed as “natural.”
And for many of us, this stuff just doesn’t work.
Here are five of the most egregious.
The myth of a natural skin color When it comes to skin, our skin is pretty much a uniform shade of white.
Our skin tone, our color, even our hair is all made up of a mix of different tones.
And yet, people have been talking about the “natural” part of our skin color for decades, with claims like, “I have a natural, neutral skin color.”
Even a cursory look at the scientific literature on this topic is enough to give you a general idea of what a natural-looking skin is.
The fact is, we are very sensitive to the effects of sun, light, and other external influences.
This means that our skin can look a lot like a colorless white, which is why people who have oily skin or a combination of both have been using sunscreens that mask the appearance of these “tan” or “reddish” pigments.
And even if the skin color you want to apply to your skin is actually a combination, the idea that you can get a natural look by simply using sunscreen is nonsense.
Most natural-color cosmetics, including cosmetics that contain vitamin C, are actually synthetic pigments and therefore can make your skin look like a completely different shade of brown.
In fact, some researchers have even been claiming that a synthetic pigmented moisturizer can actually make you look “green.”
The problem is that this is a myth, and the science that supports it is weak at best.
According to a 2014 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, “no studies support the claim that natural skin tones are an ‘indelible’ or ‘unique’ skin color, but a significant number of studies suggest that natural colors appear to have a greater impact on skin texture than synthetic colors.”
The study also found that the appearance and function of skin is influenced by factors other than skin color.
A 2013 study in The American Journal of Derma also found no evidence that “natural colors, particularly the ‘cool’ variety, affect skin texture.”
Instead, researchers found that “the effects of the ‘brown’ and ‘yellow’ pigments are more pronounced on the skin surface and in the subcutaneous tissues than on the surface of the skin itself.”
So there’s really nothing to the idea of using natural-sounding “natural color” cosmetics to make your face look “natural,” or to make it look “cool” in the first place.
The idea that natural-skin-color products work to hide skin imperfections That claim is especially misleading, since even the most “natural-looking” natural-colored cosmetics don’t always mask skin imperfection.
For instance, the “Cool Skin” product marketed by beauty brand MAC has been criticized for “making skin look brown” by making it appear as if the product is tinted with a whitish color.
In a 2014 review in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at the University of Iowa Medical Center reported that MAC’s “Cool skin” moisturizer had “no discernible whitening effect.”
But MAC didn’t make the product “cool,” because the skin was actually “warm.”
So it doesn’t look like the skin looks as if it’s brown.
The belief that skin whitening products work by covering up skin imperfectations When it all comes down to it, there are really only two ways that skin can actually get whitened: through sun exposure or through the effects or interaction of chemicals and chemicals that have been present in the skin.
In contrast to this, cosmetic products that claim to whiten skin are designed to be effective at whitening skin, but the effects they are supposed to have are often poorly understood.
A 2016 review of 20 studies published in the journal Nature Cosmetic concluded that “many cosmetic products do not provide any whitening effects,” while a study in Dermatological Practice found that many “natural and artificial whitening ingredients do not affect skin whiteness.”
The same was true of a 2016 review in Dermal Pharmacology that also found some cosmetic products could actually make skin appear darker, with the authors concluding that “some cosmetic products may increase skin whitness through the use of whitening agents.”
In addition, some cosmetic ingredients are designed so that they work in concert with other chemicals and products that have already been applied to the skin to cause the skin