Consumer Council

Attention, moisturiser users: HK$108 cream as effective as HK$2,700 product, watchdog finds

Consumer Council efficacy test covered 17 offerings available in local market

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2016, 4:14pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2016, 10:36pm

A jar of a French brand of moisturising gel worth HK$2,700 is as effective as a cream priced at HK$108, Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog has found, as it warned against believing beauty products’ elaborate advertisements.

The test, jointly conducted by the Consumer Council and the global consortium International Consumer Research and Testing, involved about 530 women aged between 25 and 66. It revealed that more expensive moisturisers did not necessarily work better than cheaper offerings.

“Those with higher prices or those seeming to give a better feeling after application do not necessarily mean better results,” council vice-chairman Philip Leung Kwong-hon said.

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In total, 17 moisturisers available in Hong Kong were tested, and their prices ranged from HK$108 to HK$2,700. Of the 17, 14 scored 3.5 points out of five – a result the researchers considered acceptable.

However, the most expensive tested model – a HK$2,700 moisturising gel from luxury beauty brand La Mer – received the same score of 2.5 points as the cheapest tested brand, Nivea’s Aqua Sensation Invigorating Day Cream, which at HK$108 was one-twentieth the French brand’s price.

The poorest hydration score belonged to Laneige’s Water Bank Gel Cream Ex, which only achieved 1.5 points despite an extensive marketing campaign in Hong Kong and high scores based on user ratings.

Leung said discrepancies existed between users’ reviews and the results of the moisturising test. He said consumers generally preferred products that presented “more refreshing feelings”.

Some products that felt relatively greasy and sticky in texture performed well on the test, he added.

“Don’t blindly believe the claims that appear on advertisements,” Leung said. He encouraged consumers to study a product’s ingredients to ascertain whether a moisturiser contained substances that truly kept one’s skin hydrated.