A common practice of adding a very small amount of a popular, easily recognizable active ingredient to a cosmetic product that is too little (not enough) to cause any cosmetic effect or benefit. This active ingredient then becomes the focus of advertising and promotion for the product, generating lots of interest, making us very eager to try the product.
A big thank you to Dr Mike Thair of Indochine Natural Sdn Bhd, who shared a PDF article (Have Your Body Care Products been Angel Dusted?) in which he compiled regarding angel dusting and made available to me. I thought it would be very helpful and useful to share this with you, my readers. Angel dusting does not only occur for the cosmetic products we use, in fact, it also occurs in the daily food we consume.
The following are extracted from the PDF article as shared with me by Dr Mike Thair. I highlighted some points which are important information for us to note.
ANGEL DUSTING WITH VITAMIN C
Angel dusting with vitamin C in skin care products is common. There are good vibes around this ingredient and you don’t have to go too far to find products boasting Vitamin C Skin Boost, etc. etc.
But did you know that a skin cream must contain at least 10% vitamin C for it to have any possible impact on the skin? Also, Vitamin C is not very stable in skin care products and can become oxidized when exposed to air and light, which will cause it to lose its efficacy.
ANGEL DUSTING WITH COLLAGEN
When products suggest that collagen can penetrate the skin and work miracles, we need to be skeptical. The fact is that collagen molecules are too large and too well bound to penetrate the stratum corneum.
If however they can somehow pass into the underlying tissue, they would be unable to participate in the complex biosynthetic activities that are required for collagen deposition in tissue. The fact then is that while collagen is structurally important for the integrity of our skin (this is the marketing focus), what the advertising fails to mention is that the molecule itself in creams is far too large to pass through the skin.
HOW TO AVOID ANGEL DUSTING TRICKERY
It is very simple – READ THE INGREDIENTS LIST.
By law, manufacturers must list ingredients in descending order of concentration on product labels.
You can avoid buying products that have been angel dusted by carefully reading the ingredients list. If the popular ingredient (for example vitamin C or collagen) that caught your eye is near the bottom of the ingredients list, chances are that this ingredient doesn’t provide the therapeutic benefit it claims to.
MORE ANGEL DUSTING TRICKERY
Manufacturers must list ingredients in descending order of concentration on product labels. But what some manufacturers are doing is listing in large font in front of the main ingredients list what they call “Key Ingredients” or “Active Ingredients,” and of course these include attractive ingredients such as citrus fruit extracts, honey, cucumber, Aloe Vera, etc. This is to create the illusion of the product being packed full with these wonderful natural ingredients.
In reality, these ingredients are usually of such miniscule quantities in the product that any beneficial effect is virtually impossible.
As educated consumers, we must really take note and make sure that we read the ingredient list on the products before we purchase them. Too often, we rely on the slick marketing gimmicks we are fed on by the industry which is sales driven. While all may look good on the outside, it is all the more important to pay attention to the inside of the products (i.e. the ingredients).
As consumers, we must especially take note of what we are paying for. For the hard-earned cash we are paying, the general rule-of-thumb is:-
For every dollar paid in the mass-market skin care industry, 60 cents goes to the manufacturer, 40 cents goes to the retailer.
Manufacturers pay for production, packaging, storage and transportation.
For 18 cents, they hire smart marketing advisers who tell them how to make women pay $50 for 1 ounce of petrochemicals, perservatives and synthetic fragrances. These marketing geniuses hire celebrities or well-known personas to market the product to 40-year-olds.
11 cents goes towards packaging: a team of artists are picked to design a stylish, expensive-looking bottle.
2 cents pays for interest and other boring things.
18 cents pays salaries and covers administrative expenses.
That makes up 49 cents out of the 60 cents.
For the remainder of the amount that goes to the manufacturer…
4 cents covers the production – the process of mixing, whipping and pouring.
AND, only 7 cents will pay the real cost of the ingredients.
The retailer pays the rent, designs attractive window displays, and gives gifts bags to the media to make them write about the new store event. 40 cents pays salaries to salespeople, bookkeepers and security guys.
Simply put, the remaining money feeds the army of professionals who do nothing to improve the quality of the beauty product.
To read more about how these costs came about, please refer to this book:
Once again, this article would not have been possible without the email advice & guidance of Dr Mike Thair of Indochine Natural Sdn Bhd. Thank you Dr Mike for the eye-opening lesson to the cosmetic industry. 🙂
More about Indochine Natural Sdn Bhd:
The founders of Indochine Natural, a Vietnamese fashion designer and an Australian scientist, have merged their talents to create a unique dynamic that embraces the rich exotic fragrances and ingredients of the Orient to enhance the essence of healthy clean skin and hair.