While the Daily Mail is carrying a couple of stories about Rodial’s Arm Sculpt, The Daily Express sees fit to describe it as a ‘cream to give you arms just like Michelle’s (Obama)’. Michelle is extremely toned around the arm area and there is no way in the world a cream can be the cause of this, just in case you wondered. It’s down to gym time, pure and simple. What a cream can do is give you smoother skin, get rid of KP (that causes those little bumps) and make the area look more hydrated and possibly more toned. It won’t give you muscles. No way, no how. So, any thoughts of slapping on a cream and developing a presidential profile – banish them. Bearing in mind that the ASA gave Rodial a slap on the wrist for their Tummy Tuck Sticks earlier in the year, you’d think that maybe toning down the promises might have been high on the agenda. It promises to retexture and resculpt (but not, I might add, give muscle). I get the retexture bit, but not the resculpt. One of the ASA’s clear rules stated in their CAP code is that ads that should not contain claims that weight or fat can be lost from specific parts of the body. As far as I can tell, it’s the mainstream press who have given this product it’s airing and there aren’t any ads that I can find for it, so despite going against an ASA ruling, because there is no ad, there is no infringement. So, fair enough. And, in fairness, Rodial themselves haven’t said their cream gives you arms like Michelle O; it’s the media pictures of Mrs O next to pictures of Arm Sculpt that have and that lies at the door of the gushing press. And, the product does contain ingredients to deal with skin bumps, although their own stats claim that it only reduces skin roughness by 43%. Also from their site is this claim ‘Caffeine and coenzyme A stimulate the transformation of fat and transportation of fatty acids to firm and sculpt the upper arm area.’ I don’t actually know how to translate that into something meaningful. Fat transformation? I’ve never heard of it. 

Believe it or not, this post didn’t start off about the Arm Sculpt – there’s a newer product sitting on their site called Skin Bleach. Now, any right thinking person knows that the words skin and bleach when used in one sentence don’t really add up to anything desirable (in fact, all I can think about is poor Katie Piper but I will point out that was acid not bleach). But to be honest, it isn’t just Rodial who is on this whitening kick. Hyperpigmentation wasn’t even a word used in beauty when I started out. I think we’re crazy to even buy into it from any brand. Skin Bleach, when I researched the trademarking, comes under the US Trademark classification:

001, 004, 006, 050, 051, 052
Primary Class: Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices.

I don’t know enough about the intricacies of trademarking and product description to make a comment – this is for factual information only and is readily available on www.trademarkia.com. But, back on the Rodial site, there are no clinicals or stats to be seen. It’s a big name for a product that has yet to prove itself. 

Even if whitening treatments worked on skin, who wants a face devoid of any pigmentation at all? Eerie, washed out faces mistakenly confusing white skin for youthful skin. It’s all wrong to me. Pigmentation is normal; some people can end up with excessive pigmentation problems due to over-sunning but that is never anything that a cream alone can deal with. I have some freckles, some pigmentation marking and I don’t care! Really do not care. They’re just part of my face. 

Before it was hyperpigmentation, it was skin redness. Brands were careful not to label their products as a cure for rosacea, but ultimately that’s what they were getting at in their roundabout way. So, what’s the next flaw? We’re not luminous enough, white enough, tanned enough, thin enough or unwrinkled enough. We are, however, too red, too blotchy, too pigmented, too crinkled, too pale, too tanned and too, er, normal. Sometimes I despair.

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