I remember feeling so disillusioned when I discovered that the name of a product was just that, a name, and didn’t necessarily describe the quality of the product.

For example, if you see Tree Ripened Oranges, it doesn’t mean they were ripened on the tree. The brand is Tree Ripened.

I always think about that when I buy hot dogs for my husband. If they’re called All Beef Weiners, does that mean they’re only made from beef meat? Not necessarily, if All Beef is the brand name. And not to mention that hot dogs are where all the bits and pieces of the animal go that aren’t suitable for the table so everything gets ground up, guts, gristle and all, and made into hot dogs.

Sometimes I like to play a little game of guessing what the name really means. For instance, I got an email from Sephora this morning that touted Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara. The copy in the ad states that it contains 100% Pure Argan Oil (sic). Does that mean Pure Argan Oil is a brand name? I’m not sure. The use of capitals could indicate a brand rather than the generic ingredient since the rest of the copy was capitalized.

And why do they call it Argan Black Oil? Argan Oil isn’t black and they state that they add iron oxides to make the mascara black. Maybe the name is supposed to make you picture yourself applying black oil to your lashes? That doesn’t appeal to me, sorry.

The copy on the website implies that this mascara is made of argan oil, bamboo extract and iron oxides — just like the Egyptians used to use! (The Egyptians also used cow dung cosmetically but let’s not go there.)

Here’s the ingredient list:

Water, Beeswax, Sucrose Stearate, Propanediol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Rice Bran Wax, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Copolymer, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Myrica Pubescens Fruit Cera (Myrica Pubescens Fruit Wax), Silica, Panthenol, Organic Argan Kernel Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-21, Glycerin, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Potassium Sorbate. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77499).

Organic Argan Kernel Oil is in there, at #15. Myrica pubescens fruit wax comes before argan oil. (Myrica pubescens is a fruit tree in the bayberry family.) So why didn’t they call it Myrica Black Oil Mascara?

Bamboo comes in at #19.

The listing of the iron oxides is weird. Why does it say May Contain: Iron Oxides last? Being last implies that it is the ingredient in the lowest concentration. Wouldn’t that make your lashes grey instead of blackest black? I don’t see anything else on the ingredient list that looks like a black pigment so I presume the iron oxides have to be present.

This mascara may be completely fine and safe for your lashes but it certainly isn’t the compound that the ad copy touts it to be. The benefits of the product may well be due to the other ingredients rather than the argan oil and bamboo extract. Silica and panthenol (vitamin B5) are nutrients that improve hair, after all.

What I like about the products that I offer here at Advanced Rejuvenation is that they all have science backing them up. I am given the scientific data with the concentrations of the star ingredients and data on the effects of the products in real people. Because the products are medical-grade, they fall under the supervision of Health Canada and are required to contain clinically-effective concentrations.

Less hype, more proof. That’s why I like.