Strengths: Provides complete product ingredient lists on their Web site; several fragrance-free products.
Weaknesses: Expensive; disappointing cleansers and toners; daytime moisturizers don’t go much beyond basic sun protection; jar packaging for some antioxidant-rich products; needless irritants included in a few otherwise good options.
Osmotics wants you to believe they are leaders in the world of skin care, using “the latest breakthroughs and advanced thinking,… developed at a leading medical research university.” They go on to say that their products are “the intelligent choice for ageless beauty” and that they “conceived and developed the first transdermal patch for treating and preventing lines and wrinkles.” From their statements you would think that every other company was running around just trying to keep up with their advanced formulations. As you might expect, that isn’t even remotely the case, but it does make for good advertising copy. All of the Osmotics products contain ingredients that are found in products from other lines and for a lot less money, or with better formularies (at any price). For example, their blue copper is available in Neutrogena’s Visibly Firm products. Their kinetin products are not unique either, as products from Kinerase and The Body Shop contain the same thing in equally good formulations. Similarly, their vitamin C product is matched by those of numerous other companies, from Jan Marini Skin Research to Skinceuticals, and despite Osmotics’ claim that theirs is the only stable vitamin C option, that isn’t what the research shows.
Perhaps the most wow-inducing statement from Osmotics is that all of their product claims have been validated through independent clinical testing, “a first in this industry.” Although it is possible that they were the first to run clinical tests on every single product, in the cosmetics industry, and in the case of Osmotics, such testing falls under the umbrella of claim substantiation. Basically, there are many companies that exist solely to run clinical tests for cosmetics companies who want to “prove” that their product does what it says. The glitch is that these “tests” are always designed so that whatever product is being tested comes out looking great. By the way, when we asked Osmotics to see their studies they turned us down. Now that would really have been a “first” if they had let us see what their studies really indicated.
Why, you ask, was Osmotics (or any of numerous other companies) unwilling to share their “clinical studies” with us? Because Osmotics (and the others) know that when evaluated objectively the results won’t hold water because the “test procedures” are so scientifically flawed that they have nothing in common with science or objective research. Consumers may find (as the cosmetics companies intend) the “clinical results” impressive, but those on the inside know how little significance these results have, beyond selling more products and, in some instances, being able to get away with making certain claims. What really counts when it comes to supporting a claim is independent, peer-reviewed research on specific ingredients or combinations thereof. Osmotics includes links to such studies on their Web site, but their sources range from actual studies to company-produced newsletters and, believe it or not, beauty chat rooms, where consumers can write whatever they want about their experience with a product. This strange blend of scientific, pseudo-scientific, and anecdotal information isn’t the best way to convince people to take your products seriously though. As is the case for most skin-care lines, Osmotics has a few products definitely worth considering, but it is absolutely not a line ahead of its time.
For more information about Osmotics, call (800) 440-1411 or visit www.osmotics.com