Clinically tested :: The truth behind the buzzword
What products should I use and what will this product do for ME?
These are the most common questions I hear from patients. Simply recommending a skin care regimen to a patient is never enough. Any recommendation should come with an explanation of how the product works, the expected benefits, and finally, any clinically supported scientific evidence.
A lot of products are advertised as "clinically-tested."
Is this just the latest buzzword to sell products, or does it actually mean something?
The definition of “clinically-tested” can range from a product simply being applied once on a patient’s skin in a clinician’s office to a scientifically sound clinical study. What is a “scientifically sound” clinical study? It generally includes various objective and subjective assessments or measurements that are designed to demonstrate whether or not a product works and if it may cause skin irritation. These studies will support benefit claims and help identify safety issues (i.e. applying the product twice a day resulted in visible improvements). Here are a few examples of different types of study designs:
- Investigator-blinded (The person evaluating or conducting the assessments do not know which treatment the patient is receiving. This helps to keep the assessments as objective as possible)
- Double-blinded (When both the patient and the investigator have no idea which treatment they are using. This helps to minimize patient bias.)
- Control the patient population that is allowed to participate in the study (i.e. patients with known allergies to ingredients in the test product are not allowed to enroll)
- Control the study treatment and limit use to study products (i.e. if we are studying a cream, we do not want study participants to be using other creams at the same time.)