Consumer's best beauty products: The good, the bad and the ugly

Consumer's best beauty products: The good, the bad and the ugly

There are lots of beauty products on the market, promising big results.

But are you really getting your money's worth.

What's the most you've ever paid for skin cream?

How about $425 -- for one made of white caviar?

Or one for a $1,000 -- for one with platinum?

Then there's a product for nearly $3,000, it's nearly complete with fermented seaweed.

But what's really amusing is the one ingredient many designer creams never list: all the gold dust, Swiss apple stems and rare Japanese milk.

One even has roses!

"It seems like it would cause an allergic reaction to some patients," said one consumer.

Doctor Greg Herbich is the former president of the State Dermatological Society.

"There's no magic potion. A lot of these creams don't work any better than ordinary sunscreens and moisturizers," said Dr. Herbich. "None of them are really better than Vaseline."

The Food and Drug Administration has ordered dozens of companies, including Avon, Chanel, Estee Lauder and Loreal to stop suggesting their creams can actually change the skin.

If they could do that they'd be regulated as drugs -- subject to clinical testing.

Dozens of skin lighteners, manufactured overseas have even tested positive for mercury.

People have been hospitalized.

One common ingredient is Alpha Hydroxy Acid. It makes the skin more sensitive to the sun.

Aha's eat away at old skin cells to expose the underlying layers so skin appears luminescent.

There's a buzz word: luminescent.

But the FDA reports cases of burning, rashes, skin discoloration and peeling.

"It has happened to me before, it just got all blotchy and red than it peeled and it was not fun," said another consumer.

So in a sea of questionable marketing and dubious claims what's a consumer to do?

Some patients that are relatively unsophisticated scientifically would think that if it costs more they're probably better but my strong advice is don't pay too much for these products and what is too much?

"Something that you can use on a daily basis for no more than $20," said Dr. Herbich.

Dr. Herbich says look for a product that's fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic, and won't cause acne.

And just as important, use sunblock. The best sunblocks are the physical sunblocks like zinc and titanium.

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.