Rant: Companies that prey on uninformed consumers and use marketing to sell products, rather than formulating products that follow the science.
It actually makes me mad to see people asking for routine help here and on other subreddits who have bought exorbitantly expense acne treatment lines or just products from websites that make all these fucking bullshit claims. One post in particular has stuck with me all day.
This person had posted asking for routine help for their friend. Their friend had a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer from this company, Dr. Spiller. The toner markets itself for its "garden cucumber extracts." First of all, what the fuck is a garden cucumber as opposed to a regular cucumber? I actually tried to research this shit, but of course there's nothing I found that says a "garden cucumber" is the name of a specific variety of cucumber. Just shitty marketing. I'm so not surprised. And among all their bullshit claims of this magical garden cucumber extract, they have the balls to say that it reduces pigmentation and has natural bleaching properties. I think I'm pretty knowledgeable about melanin inhibitors and what works. For the curious, what I've verified works in studies are the following: 4-5% niacinamide (4% niacinamide with 2% N-acetyl glucosamine enhanced hyperpigmentation fading than 4% niacinamide alone), 15-20%, vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid, 3% tranexamic acid, 1% arbutin, 1% kojic acid, and 5% licorice root extract. I was into the topic for quite a while and I never, EVER saw a single mention of cucumber anywhere. How the fuck do people make these claims?
So I'm livid that the smallest bottle of this toner costs $36 USD and this poor person somewhere thought oh this brand is Dr. Spiller, that sounds professional and reliable! Oh this toner says it has cucumber with all these benefits, great! I'll buy this! And it's just a big lie. That's so unethical.
And of course I couldn't find the ingredients list on the actual product website. Of course. Just say it has urea and lactic acid, no need to list the ingredients and let consumers make educated guesses at to their concentration and whether or not they would actually be effective! My conspiracy theory is that they don't disclose the ingredients list to prevent informed consumers from protecting the uninformed from this snake oil.
And that's what it is. Snake oil. $36 USD for 200 ml of cucumber water and a probable pittance of urea and lactic acid. Probably doesn't even have an effective pH.
But this happens to people all the time and it's downright sad. It motivates me to keep up my hobby of replying to people who are asking for help. No one should pay so much money for products that don't even work. And now I feel bad for the poster who said her mom bought her this $140 acne treatment system when the products were just a cleanser with SLS, a physical scrub, a glycolic acid chemical exfoliant, and a sulfur mask. A Cosrx low ph cleanser cleanser, konjac sponge, Cosrx AHA, and De La Cruz sulfur ointment cost, what, $40 max? I feel horrible for these people who mean well but get taken for suckers.