London (England) – French cosmetics firm Clarins is in hot water after the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) criticized its ads for a mobile phone radiation blocking spray. Clarins claims that its Expertise 3P spray can prevent skin damage by blocking harmful electromagnetic radiation from modern electronics. The ASA says those claims have no reasonable scientific basis.
Clarins describes the spray as a “ultra-sheer screen mist containing a combination of plant extracts” which can protect the user from both “indoor and outdoor” air pollution. The spray contains a “magnetic defense complex” made of Rhodiola Rosea and Thermus Thermophillus that supposedly can block EM radiation. 100 milliliters of the spray sells for about 20 British Pounds. You can read Clarins product page here.
The ASA took issue with a national magazine and newspaper ad that linked EM radiation and accelerated aging. The bureau also was alarmed at Clarins wording in the ad which started, “If electromagnetic waves can penetrate walls, imagine what they can do to your skin.” The ASA said the ad was an “undue appeal to consumers fear of the harm.”
Clarins did send studies to the ASA to back its claims. Those studies outlined the effects of electromagnetic radiation – specifically waves in the 900 MHz band - on the skin, but those studies tracked continuous exposure over six and 24 hours straight. The ASA concluded that those weren’t representative of the “typical consumer experience” meaning that people don’t usually hold a phone up to their faces for hours on end.
The ASA has told Clarins not to claim that electromagnetic waves can damage or age skin unless it had “robust scientific evidence”. You can read the entire text of the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision here.