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The Truth Behind Clinical Trials

You probably hear the term “clinically proven” thrown around a lot when it comes to skincare promises. But what exactly constitutes proof, and how can we trust the results? To understand the science behind the stats, we consulted New York dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, who told us, “Clinical trials are very beneficial with skincare in helping to determine whether a product is is safe and effective.” With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at three clinically tested products that have been shown to improve your complexion:

Test Subject: Supergoop! Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream SPF 37, a soothing eye cream that hydrates and firms delicate undereye skin.

The Objective: To assess whether a natural oat peptide complex, a key ingredient in the eye cream formula, stimulates collagen production, moisturizes skin, and improves firmness.

The Trial: A group of women of various ages and backgrounds applied the product around both eyes once daily for eight weeks. Clinicians observed any changes in skin elasticity, and participants completed in-depth surveys.

The Results: All participants said the skin around their eyes felt more hydrated, and 80% saw improvements in their skin texture and firmness. No one experienced any redness or irritation.

The Dermatologist’s Take: Collecting feedback is essential to a successful trial. Survey questions can help researchers determine, for example, whether participants are experiencing any negative side effects, Dr. Jaliman explains.

Test Subject: Evologie® Stay Clear Cream and Intensive Blemish Serum, an acne-fighting combo that prevents breakouts while hydrating skin.

The Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of YS3 COMPLEX™, a patent-pending solution that carries acne-fighting ingredients deeper into the epidermis, tackling blemishes where they begin: the sebaceous glands.

The Trial: A group of 107 participants applied the two products once a day over the course of three months and were photographed with state-of-the-art imaging technology at regular intervals. Founder Dr. Robert Nagel used the high-tech pictures, which can precisely line up images of the participants faces, so his team could monitor any changes in skin clarity.

The Results: The face scans revealed a 98% reduction in blemish size and 97% reduced inflammation. Beyond the empirical data, many participants gave heart-felt testimonials vouching for the products’ effectiveness. (One woman raved, “I put it on and pimple is gone the next day.”)

The Dermatologist’s Take: There’s no way to overexaggerate the results with this type of high-tech imaging. “If you just looked at a person's skin before and after using the treatment, it would be more subjective,” says Dr. Jaliman. “This is a very scientific way to determine whether there is a change the skin.”

Test Subject: StriVectin-AR™ Advanced Retinol Eye Treatment, a gentle multitasker that smooths the appearance of wrinkles and minimizes dark circles and puffiness.

The Objective: To assess whether StriVectin’s patented NIA-114™ molecule improves the performance of Retinol’s age-fighting properties without any irritating side effects.

The Trial: Researchers conducted a randomized baseline controlled trial, where a control group of participants did not use the treatment and another group regularly used the formula for 12 weeks. Both groups were observed by expert clinical graders (translation: people with advanced biology or physical science degrees) at regular intervals.

The Results: The expert graders observed that the skin around participants’ eyes was firmer, and there was a decrease in the appearance of crow’s feet and deep creases. Skin also appeared brighter, smoother, and more hydrated.

The Dermatologist’s Take: According to Dr. Jaliman, “Randomized controlled studies are considered the gold standard in research. It's like tossing a coin so it minimizes any bias.”

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