Whenever one goes surfing on the Internet, or just by looking at the pictures used to advertise the services of some skincare product, you would most likely see before and after pictures. Skincare product reviews often have these pictures as well, often showing dramatic change occurring after the use of the advertised or reviewed product. In concept, these things are good ideas because they advertise the positive effects of the treatment while also giving consumers a better, more visual look than what typical skincare product reviews give. However, in practice, there might be a problem or two with this concept. This is especially true in the modern world and on the Internet, where technology can easily be used to manipulate the presentation.

For starters, these pictures only show what the condition was before the skincare treatment and what happened after using it. Take note that there is no set time interval listed between these two, and most skincare product reviews don’t really mention it either. The truth here is that, contrary to the impression that the pictures might give, using any sort of skincare product is unlikely to produce instant and immediate results. The pictures show the effects, but conveniently ignore the time interval that the medication needs to achieve the effect shown in the picture. It is best to keep one’s expectations of the effects realistic, and not jump to conclusions about what the drug can do and in what time it can be done in.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pictures can be doctored, with everything being produced, edited, and exhibited on a digital level nowadays. All one really needs is a computer, the original picture, the right software, and a little bit of know-how. There are several programs out there that are designed for the specific purpose of manipulating pictures, and not all of them are expensive pieces of software like Adobe Photoshop. Less-than-honest businesses and skincare product reviews sites can easily slip in a doctored photo into the after section, making the treatment look more effective than it actually is. Another tactic is to put a doctored picture in the before section, with the picture modified to look much worse than the actual condition of the skin. This can make it so that the positive effects of the medication are exaggerated.

Pictures that are used in these advertisements or infomercials, even if they aren’t doctored or manipulated, are taken from the best-case scenarios of the product. That means that the pictures may not necessarily reflect the average user of the product, who might not have had results as good as the pictures would lead consumers to believe. It is natural to show pictures of the best results, of course, because it wouldn’t make marketing sense to do so otherwise. However, people tend to take these pictures as representations of the typical result, which leads to them feeling misled and disappointed when expectations aren’t fulfilled. One should keep in mind that different bodies may react to medication differently, and how effective a drug is for one person does not always reflect how effective it would be for someone else.

Finally, while it is a relatively simple matter to fake pictures or use various tricks to make the product more appealing, not all skincare product reviews and dermatologists resort to this sort of false advertising. While it is prudent to always exercise caution and not get caught up in the pictures, there is always the chance that the pictures are real and reflect what the treatment is capable of.

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