The global beauty industry is worth $445 billion while the health and wellness market is touted as ‘the next trillion dollar industry’. This means that not only are millions of Americans aiming to feel and look better, but they are also making gift purchases from these markets. Health and beauty gifts are welcomed regardless of age and gender; moreover, they range vastly in price, with a high-end bottle of perfume costing as little as $50 and a luxury home infrared sauna setting buyers back over $3,000. Because health and beauty products have such an important impact, however, it is important to ensure that what we are buying truly promotes rather than threatens the health of those we love. This means it is important to do research on everything from vitamins to creams, gadgets, and health-centered machines.
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Customer reviews are key
Research shows that around 84% of people read reviews before making a purchase, trusting online reviews to the same extent they would a friend’s opinion. Scammers have caught on to our penchant for independent opinions, however, and today, fake reviews are being posted by numerous companies, while their rivals posting only authentic reviews are having to content themselves with featuring lower on a page. It is tempting to give in and post fake positive reviews about one’s products but this short-term strategy is doomed to fail. In the meantime, buyers can be scammed into choosing items that either do not fulfill their promise or actually harm human health.
Trust objective reviewers only
Recently, it was revealed that there are a plethora of false reviews for home saunas, which fail to include crucial information such as the fact that machines are made in China, or barely efficient when it comes to raising the body’s temperature. When it comes to health-related machines and gadgets, it is vital to ensure they aren’t doing more harm than good. To stick to the above example, there are many saunas which emit high levels of EMFs (electromagnetic fields), far more than the 0.5mg to 2.5mg exposure recommended by The Environmental Protection Agency. Any time health is involved, reviewers should be objective; they should review a wide array of machines (not just one) and should point out the positive and negative features of each rival product. Customers should be clued in to overly positive reviews, or negative ones that simply trash a product without providing greater detail. When relying on online opinions, it also pays to investigate each reviewer, checking out their profiles to see if they seem legitimate.
Research before you buy
It is important to rely on more than customer reviews when making a health and beauty purchase. When buying cosmetics and toiletries, for instance, a good idea is to research into the ingredients contained in creams and serums. Preservatives such as butyl-paraben, methyl-paraben, and propyl-paraben, for instance, damage the DNA of skin cells. Sodium laureth sulfate, meanwhile, found in 90% of personal care products, tend to hamper the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture, thus resulting in premature aging. Sometimes, the best products aren’t those which smell the best or feel the most luscious; consider organic brands and products which are free of the usual list of harmful preservatives. The same applies to health purchases; a study published in May 2018 by researchers at the University of Toronto found that the most commonly consumed vitamins and minerals provide no consistent health benefit or harm.
When making a health or beauty purchase to gift to a loved one, make sure what you are buying will either do no harm or considerably improve health. Research into the benefits of any supplements or creams you are considering, and be especially vigilant with health gadgets that could set you back many hundreds or thousands of dollars. It pays to check out objective, reputed review sites, and to take the time to see if any new studies have been published on the subject of your purchase.
By Lucy Wyndham