When compared to the average Jane, American supermodel Cindy Crawford has certainly stayed fresher and firmer than most. Perhaps it’s luck of the genetic-draw. However, Crawford is claiming that the most meaningful secret in her bag of beauty tricks is actually a melon—or, at least, the enzyme extracted from one.
Now she’s teaming up with her long-time dermatologist, Dr. Sebagh, to make your beauty their business with Meaningful Beauty Ultra, the “ultimate youth-enhancing system.”
If you’re tempted by the promise of learning Crawford’s youth-enhancing secrets, join us for a closer look at Meaningful Beauty.
What Does Meaningful Beauty Do?
Meaningful Beauty claims to do all the stuff your run-of-the-mill anti-aging line promises to achieve—but with a revolutionary formula, of course.
According to the brand’s website, regular use of Meaningful Beauty products will help to reduce visible signs of the natural aging process. These include the effects of free radicals, environmental damage, and dryness.
“Your skin needs to be fed on a daily basis–just as you feed your body,” claims the brand in their How It Works section. That’s right, Meaningful Beauty claims to be a veritable (fruit) salad for your skin, providing nutrition that helps it appear radiant and youthful.
Urging potential shoppers to “remember your future,” Meaningful Beauty elaborates on the promised effects of their products. Used as directed, they’re supposed to:
- Help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Brighten your complexion
- Preserve skin's existing youthful vibrancy
- Protect skin from environmental aggression and free radical damage
And, according to their website, those using Meaningful Beauty can see a difference in as little as four weeks.
What’s In Meaningful Beauty’s Formula?
The brand’s website claims that Meaningful Beauty is formulated with a "first generation" antioxidant complex.
Sounds fancy, right? Get a load of this: The primary ingredient of this first-generation antioxidant complex is “SOD.”
SOD, which is one letter off from what I’d like to call whoever makes this stuff up, is supposedly a powerful super-antioxidant called superoxide dismutase.
Where does it come from? Sebagh discovered SOD in a rare melon.
That’s right, not just any melon. A rare melon.
How rare remains ambiguous. While the brand’s website claims that “the secret behind Meaningful Beauty lies in a remote region in the south of France,” potential customers are left in the dark as to what the name of this magical melon might be. We assume that’s to stop you from simply running to the farmer’s market to find some less expensive SOD.
Along with a super-powered antioxidant whose acronym sounds like plain old dirt, Meaningful Beauty’s first-generation complex also includes coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, and minerals—all combined in a formula that’s designed to help restore skin's youthful radiance.
One might think that maybe it’s all this radiance that’s helping the special melons grow, but I digress.
Now that you’re thoroughly versed in the brand’s list of ingredients, here’s a rundown of how much a Meaningful Beauty kit costs and what each includes.
How Much Meaningful Beauty Costs
Meaningful Beauty skincare systems include multiple products that are meant to be used concurrently. Shoppers can choose from three systems.
The 5-Piece System claims to provide comprehensive anti-aging benefits. It costs $39.95, plus $6.99 shipping and handling, totaling $46.94. The 5-piece system includes:
- Créme de Sèrum
- Skin Softening Cleanser
- Antioxidant Day Créme Broad Spectrum SPF 20
- Ultra Lifting and Filling Treatment
- Lifting Eye Créme - Advanced Formula
Next, Meaningful Beauty’s 7-Piece Skin Restoring System costs $49.95, plus $6.99 shipping and handling, totaling $56.94 and includes:
- Pore Refining Toner
- Firming Serum
The 7-Piece Youth Enhancing System costs $49.95, plus $6.99 shipping and handling, totaling $56.94 and includes:
- Glowing Serum
- Eye Enhancing Serum
Each purchase includes a two-product gift; shoppers can choose between the Ultimate Radiance or Glamour and Glow duos.
Warning! Meaningful Beauty forces you to sign up for their auto-ship program at time of purchase.
What does that mean? Approximately 4 weeks after your first order is shipped, and then approximately every 12 weeks thereafter, you will be sent a new 90 day supply of Meaningful Beauty—even if you don’t want it.
Each shipment will be charged to the card you provide at time of purchase. The charges will be $39.95 or $49.95 (whichever the cost of your original kit) per month, plus an additional $4.99 for shipping.
The website states that there is no commitment, and you can cancel anytime by calling at 1-800-927-0047. However, many customers complain that service is non-existent and experience extreme difficulty when attempting to cancel their auto-ship programs.
Does Meaningful Beauty Work?
Meaningful Beauty has been around for quite some time, so evidently the brand has amassed enough of a loyal following to keep farming those melons. Either that, or there’s a decade worth of auto-ship customers that are still on hold to cancel.
But, what of their claims of a unique formula that helps slow signs of aging and reduce wrinkles—does Meaningful Beauty really deliver a meaningful difference?
Watch Out For Wishy-Washy Language
Notice how Meaningful Beauty’s claims skirt just shy of promising anything meaningful? Everything is “helps” this or “brightens” that. I mean, how does one go about measuring increased radiance, anyway?
You can’t—that’s important because it’s easy for companies to use carefully crafted claims to imply that their product does something without directly saying it. And that’s one way you can be tricked into buying something that may not really be worth the money.
It’s also important to note the exact wording of the claim. Meaningful Beauty’s website states the following:
“Meaningful Beauty is formulated with a "first generation" antioxidant complex that includes SOD along with such skin rejuvenating ingredients as coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, and minerals designed to help restore skin's youthful radiance.”
First, when companies reference a “complex,” it often means that they mixed a couple of ingredients together so they can talk about the ingredients in a way that sounds more advanced.
Also, notice that they’re simply stating a property of the ingredients themselves—that they are skin rejuvenating. What Meaningful Beauty isn’t doing is making a claim about the finished product. This is a little sneaky, but it’s done all the time in the cosmetic industry.
Why would a beauty brand have to skirt the issue of what their product can or can’t do? Because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t allow any product classified as a cosmetic to make meaningful and lasting changes to the skin. Very simply, if something can really alter your cells, you’re going to need to see a doctor to get it.
Speaking Of Language...
In 2006 The Daily Mail, a UK-based web periodical, quoted Crawford with the following statement made to Gala magazine:
“I'm not going to lie to myself: past a certain age, creams work on the texture of your skin but, in order to restore elasticity, all I can really count on is vitamin injections, Botox and collagen.”
Crawford followed the statement by saying she truly believes that Meaningful Beauty is among the best skincare available. But, the statement rings hollow after listening to the brand’s infomercials which heavy-handedly state just how meaningful she’s found these products in achieving her youthful appearance.
While Crawford’s statement is bound to come as something of a surprise to the hundreds of thousands of women who have bought Meaningful Beauty products over the years, perhaps we’re the one’s missing the mark. One might conclude that it’s really the residual income from endorsing Meaningful Beauty that’s helped Crawford maintain her fabulous radiance—not some mystery melon.
Additionally, Consumer Advocate Legal Update warns that enough consumers have complained about Meaningful Beauty to result in a potentially meaningful lawsuit:
“Consumer complaints suggest that, contrary to these claims, the Meaningful Beauty products are not safe for all skin types and users do not experience dramatic, visible results. Indeed, many users claim to have suffered serious reactions and have not seen any of the promised results.”
What Does This Info Mean To You?
Perry Romanowski, one of the chemists behind BeautyBrains.com, a site that answers users' questions about science and cosmetics, has the following message for consumers:
“Some skin-care products you can buy in Sephora cost about $2 to make, but then are on sale for $300. Other skincare products can be made for 50 cents and are sold for $2. And, although the actual percentages of the markups are a trade secret that companies don't reveal, in general, these products are not using ingredients so expensive that they would warrant the cost.
No anti-wrinkle cream is worth $150. In fact, any product over $25 is a waste of money.”
Beauty brands are acutely aware of the anxieties you have about aging. They know what your want to hear, and they claim exactly that, even when it isn't true. And, because the cosmetics industry is largely self-regulating, there’s no one there to put those claims in check apart from consumers who take their business elsewhere.
Bottom line, maybe it’s Meaningful Beauty, maybe Botox—it’s certainly not Maybelline. But, something is reducing Crawford and Sebagh’s signs of laughter—because it looks like that’s what they’re doing all the way to the bank.
You may also want to read: Do Cheap Skin Creams Work as Good as Expensive Ones?