Fake Science vs. Real Science: Optimizing Your Wellness Journey

Fake Science vs. Real Science: Optimizing Your Wellness Journey

From Tik-Tok to “articles” with little to no scientific backing, there’s a wellness culture trend happening—emphasis on the cult. But how do you know the tips, tricks, products, and techniques are actually good for you? It’s easy—look to your medical providers like those at RefinedMD. We are a clinic that bridges the gap between cosmetic and medical dermatology, skin care, and elective surgery. Home to leading board-certified surgeons and certified estheticians, if you really want to achieve your goals quickly, safely, and effectively, schedule a consultation for a customized regimen.

First, let’s consider the term “wellness.” What does that have to do with cosmetic surgery or dermatological care? Quite a bit! Wellness is holistic, encompassing the body, emotional health, and mental health. And, contrary to what some may say, plastic surgery can indeed be part of a wellness journey. Consider a facelift or eyelid lift for example. Can such a procedure help you look better and, in turn, feel better? Can it optimize your self-esteem? Absolutely! The same goes for chemical peels, fillers, Botox, and more. Also remember that your skin is an organ. In fact, it’s the biggest organ that you have. Taking care of it is inherently a means of practicing wellness.

Fake It Til You Buy It

Now, let’s take a look at the fake science wellness materials that have been making headlines and going viral as of late. One of the most common buzzwords is “medical grade” and, make no mistake, that’s a real thing. But if you see such labels in grocery stores or even high-end department stores, beware. Only clinics (like RefinedMD) can legally sell products that are truly medical grade. These products have the best ingredients in the highest concentrations, which is also why they are relatively small compared to what you often find in stores. A little really does go a long way.

This highlights marketers’ dependency on buzzwords to make a sale. One researcher from the University of Alberta coined the phrase “scienceploitation” to describe how marketing teams take language from state of the art studies and science to sell products that haven’t been proven to work yet. Scienceploitation has always been a “thing” but it has become much more common in recent years. You’ll find these buzzwords everywhere, including in search engine results, social media, and of course from influencers. Buzzwords also serve to confuse consumers because everyone wants products that come with scientific evidence. Since many people don’t know the ins and outs of scientific studies, this is relatively easy to do. One 2021 study showed that those who trust the alleged science behind a product are a lot more likely to share these products or claims compared to sharing products that don’t have such buzzword-rich descriptions.

Protecting Consumers

Less than one year ago, the Federal Trade Commission revisited its guidelines for what is dubbed “health-related products” to push companies reporting science-backed claims with “high quality, randomized, controlled human clinical trials.” However, this was just an encouragement—not a requirement. Plus, the FTC simply can’t monitor every single company’s product. It’s not feasible financially or in terms of the time required to do so. So, we are left having to do our own research. Fortunately, you can bypass this work and consult directly with the experts at RefinedMD to determine which products and procedures are actually scientifically-backed.

Self-education is also paramount. Keep an eye out for buzzwords that are vague like “supports” or “promotes.” These are positive words at first blush, but they aren’t quantifiable. This is true of both topicals and things like vitamins (the latter of which does not have to report effectiveness to the Food and Drug Administration). Take a close look at anything you’re considering purchasing for any disclaimers. You will often see, particularly on vitamins, something like “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” In other words, it’s suggested that the product works, but then goes on to state there is no real evidence that it does.

Another strategy is to look for studies that seem questionable. Was a “study” commissioned by the company? Is it only available on the company’s website? If so, that’s a red flag. However, if you don’t have the time to do all of this homework yourself, no worries. We’ve done that for you! For real science-backed treatments and products, get in touch with RefinedMD today. Give us a call during business hours or complete the online contact form today to schedule a consultation or appointment.