Aussie skin care brand calls out ‘dubious claims’ and inflated prices preying on consumers’ insecurities

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

E.S.K is set on developing products that are supported by science, rather than following trends, fads or even demands. [E.S.K]
E.S.K is set on developing products that are supported by science, rather than following trends, fads or even demands. [E.S.K]

Related tags Australia claims Evidence Science

Australian skin care brand E.S.K says that the market is rife with products with false or unsubstantiated claims and unbefitting prices, which capitalise on people’s insecurities about their skin.

Sparked by a gap in the market for science-backed skin care, Dr Ginni Mansberg launched E.S.K, which stands for Evidence Skincare, in 2012.

The situation, she believes, is exacerbated by “dubious claims that prey on people’s insecurities and their wallets”​ but are not backed by scientific evidence.

“In the skin care industry, we often hear claims of products ‘curing’ skin issues. One that springs to mind is products that claim to eradicate wrinkles, stretch marks or cellulite. The truth is, there is little to no data that suggests any topical cream or lotion works effectively.

“Another example would be collagen creams that claim to impact depleting collagen levels. Collagen molecules are too large to enter the skin, and therefore creams promoting that they are made from collagen and will affect the deeper layers of the skin are simply false claims,” ​the founder of E.S.K told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​.

At the same time, Dr Mansberg frowned on menopause-specific products in the market.

“While menopause accelerates sensitivity and collagen loss, the treatment of those is the same whether you are going through menopause or a 60-year-old man. To double the price and target women’s insecurities seems unconscionable to me.”

Dr Mansberg added that while retinaldehyde is the most effective and least irritating form of vitamin A ingredients that have shown the strongest anti-ageing evidence, it is retinol, the less effective and more irritating form, that is most commonly found in anti-ageing products.

Rather than following trends, fads or even demands, E.S.K is focused on developing products that are supported by science.

“We believe that the only way to address skin needs is with scientific evidence. Theoretical thinking, or studies on three mice or 14 friends just don’t cut it. Multiple independent studies that are peer-reviewed and published in major medical journals — these get us excited, and are what we use to formulate, update, and create new products.

“I write a monthly review of the latest scientific studies on skin concerns. Our customers like to be kept in the loop of new innovations and growing evidence.”

Noteworthy innovations

The brand’s newly released Gentle Glow PHA Serum contains polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), which are modified alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that are increasingly popular in skin care application.

PHAs reportedly have the benefits of AHAs, but as they are absorbed into the skin at a slower rate, they do not cause irritation. This resolves the existing issue faced by sensitive skin users of AHAs.

“PHAs are a new generation of exfoliating acids that are ridiculously underrated. Studies have shown that they not only have antioxidant and moisturising properties, but they also improve the skin barrier function, help reduce pigmentation, and build collagen by inhibiting the enzymes that break it down.

“They make a great option for a brightening, acne, or gentle exfoliating serum, filling a gap for people with sensitive skin that are looking for exfoliation and skin smoothing without the irritation. PHAs can be used daily in the most sensitive of skin types, including rosacea skin.”

The brand’s bestsellers include Ageless Microneedle Patches, which are said to provide an at-home alternative to in-salon microneedling.

“They are a convenient solution to help reduce fine lines, combat pigmentation, and increase skin elasticity without having to visit a salon for microneedling, which can be painful and uncomfortable for many people. There​ have been instances where we couldn’t keep up with the demand, but thankfully we’ve been able to restock quickly!” ​Dr Mansberg shared.

Each patch contains 2,600 dissolvable high molecular weight microneedles embedded with retinal, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, copper peptide, ferulic acid, resveratrol, and more. These microneedles melt under the surface of the skin for improved delivery of active ingredients.

E.S.K’s products are available on its website, and stocked at selected dermatology clinics and salons in Australia.

With a focus on e-commerce, the brand offers international shipping. Its biggest customer base comes from the domestic market, while it has also garnered returning customers from the US, UK, New Zealand, and various parts of Asia.

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