Any Sunday Riley fans wondering why their website has been down for several months? explains that the brand is the subject of a class action in the USA for ‘marketing (Bionic Cream) as if it were an FDA-approved drug that could change the physical structure and function of skin itself’.  Bionic Cream is no longer for sale but I do remember feeling really disappointed that Luna Oil attributed the shade of the oil to Blue Tansy Oil when in reality, it was greatly enhanced by colouring agents (CI61565 and CI60725 – thank you Paula’s Choice!).

My only surprise in this is that more brands haven’t been challenged for doing exactly the same thing – remember Rodial Skinny Beach Sticks – “Two weeks before you go on holiday and you want a slim, toned, ready-to tan body!” -(for that, read a tan enhancing supplement that would help you tan quicker and therefore look slimmer??)? That’s just one example of literally thousands where beauty brands skirt the margins of truth in the interests of marketing.

Rodial Skinny Beach Sticks

The two women filing the class action are Helena Armstrong and Lynn Moore and they’re symbolic of a growing number of women who are just saying no to bullshit. Enough is enough. I reported a while back on the case of St Ives Apricot Scrub – again brought by two women, who claim that far from it being deliciously exfoliating, the scrub could actually damage skin.

So, what we’re seeing is the extreme end of intelligent, beauty educated women questioning claims and being very much prepared to take it as far as they can. And, I think it’s the tip of the iceberg. Allusions to grand tests (number of subject denoted in the tiniest possible writing in the hopes that nobody of the target age group bothers to get their bi-focals out and can be as few as 10 people!), claims wrapped in clever language that makes them believeable but in reality they’re shrouded in ambiguity and not open to disection, and throwing the ‘problem’ (ageing, usually) on the front of the box so that you’re immediately, as a consumer, on the backfoot and feeling rotten about yourself. ‘Has been proven to..’ is another one to look out for ingredient wise. Ingredients may have been proven to, let’s say, plump the skin, but what were the testing conditions, the age range, the skin issues – or even whether it was human skin at all… no box tells you that. Examples of questionable claims (taken from within the filing are, “loaded with active ingredients that activate your body’s ability to extend the lifespan of your skin” and “repair and restore collagen.” Well, that’s every anti-ageing beauty product I can think of in one marketing guise or another.

First we had Johnson & Johnson, next St Ives, now Sunday Riley. Surely this must be ringing alarm bells within the beauty industry? Because I can tell you straight that there are a lot of angry older women out there, incredibly tired of being told that they can’t be beautiful unless they’re pursuing youth as the ultimate goal and who are prepared to make their point in a court of law. Where they go, others will follow, and I feel Sunday Riley is being used as a wider example of a bullshit in beauty epidemic. Go, ladies!

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