Pseudoscience is in style

The @NYTimes Style section – soooooo close to the Science section but ohhhhh sooooo faaaaar awaaaaay!  The Style section, which includes @NYTmag, seems to just love pseudoscience.  Last week, the @NYTmag blog ‘Vain Glorious’ introduced readers to ‘Ageless’, a vitamin spray.

You could just pop them, but we were intrigued to hear about a new treatment where vitamins are sprayed onto your face, and whatever body part to which you want to impart a glowing, healthy look. The vitamin spray, called “Ageless,” is by Suvara and applied the same way as a spray tan. The machine breaks down the formula into molecules which the company claims penetrate the first layer of the skin in about 30 minutes to an hour. [excerpt from here]

The article list the vitamins in Ageless…

 The vitamin spray is a cocktail of vitamins A and C (anti-aging, cell renewal and anti-cellulite), B5 and B12 (to protect and boost) and E and F (to moisturize), as well as organic aloe vera and larch-tree extract.  [excerpt from here]

Vain Glorious’ author offers no references to back up these claims about vitamins A, C, B5, B12, E and F.   While one almost expects such baseless claims to be made by the those hawking a product, one expects a product review to dig deeper.  

Vain Glorious does bring in an expert – a Suvara airbrush tanning expert.  Did I mention Suvara is a sunless tanning company?  No?  Any who… The Suvara airbrush tanning expert says of Ageless, “You see the biggest difference in your face, since it makes the skin plump, and look revitalized.”

Hmmmm… I’m not convinced vitamins slathered (or sprayed) on my person will do a damn thing.  Scientists over at @thebeautybrains say “…most vitamins don’t really do much for the skin when applied topically.”  An in-depth look at the science of cosmetics by @COSMOSmagazine showed the evidence in support of scieny cosmetics – also known as ‘cosmeceuticals‘ (cosmetics + pharmaceuticals) – was either thin or non-existent.

At $50 for a face spray or $70 for the entire body, I say skip Ageless and keep the cash.




Editorial Material & MethodsmVitamins in the form of orange bitters were ingested as part of an Old Fashioned during the writing of this post.


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  1. Pingback: @DrRubidium takes on the fashionistas at the @NYTimes |

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