It’s hard to say no to creams and lotions that, as marketers often say, can turn back the clock and make wrinkles vanish, isn’t it?
Bellalabs, a facial cream manufacturer, claims their product can achieve visibly younger looking skin, smooth out stubborn wrinkles and restore radiant, firmer skin.
That sounds great to us…we’ve got a few wrinkles of our own. But we want to know if Bellalabs lives up to their claims, what other people are saying about their products and if their cream is truly as unique as they say it is.
During the next few minutes, we’re going to address each of these issues so you can make an informed decision about their product.
Does their facial cream really turn back the clock?
Bellalabs claims that their cream improves your skin, brightens it and firms it up through “whole collagen molecules” that rebuild and rejuvenate it. The website also speaks to the pain points of youthful appearance, noting that you can get the look you want without having to undergo surgery, injections or laser treatments.
These claims sound pretty amazing, so we did some research to see if there was any scientific evidence that whole collagen molecules actually helped.
But before we get to the science of it, we want to point out that collagen is the most abundant protein in the animal kingdom. It’s the framework for our skin. Scientists have found at least 16 different kinds of collagen, although the human body is home to three main types.
Now, back to the research. We found a 2013 German study that said a specific type of collagen (collagen hydrolysate) improved skin elasticity in a group of women between the ages of 33 and 55.
At first, the study seems to support Bellalabs’ claims, but we think this is misleading because there’s no way to know if the collagen used in their cream is the same type of collagen used in the German study. Also, the collagen in this study was administered by pill, not through a topical cream.
Another study with a positive title, “Collagen-like peptide exhibits a remarkable anti-wrinkle effect on the skin when topically applied,” was funded by a research company with close ties to cosmetics manufacturer Ashland. Based on this evidence, we believe the results of this study are questionable and are one of the red flags we talk about in our guide to identifying fake science.
We’re of the opinion that there isn’t much legitimate research to support Bellalabs’ claim that their whole-collagen cream can produce anti-aging effects.
While the research doesn’t give a lot of support for the cream, we were curious about reviews and responses of Bellalabs customers because they provide first-hand experiences with the product.
What are other people saying about Bellalabs?
To find out what types of reviews exist for Bellalabs facial cream, we headed to the Better Business Bureau’s page for this company. We discovered the company is based in Del Mar, Calif., and is registered at an address that is also shared by several other products including Ripped Muscle Extreme (muscle builder), Miracle Alert (emergency alert system) and TNT Fat Loss Solution (fat loss supplement).
While Bellalabs’ owners seem to be busy with several different products, according to the BBB, they haven’t been busy keeping some of their customers happy. Bellalabs received a “C” grade, logging 198 complaints in the past three years.
Many customers complained about the company’s auto-ship program (click here to read why you should avoid auto-ship programs. Basically, if you don’t return the cream within 14 days of buying it, Bellalabs will automatically send you another jar for $87.63 and will continue to do so every month until you tell them to stop. And it’s not unheard of for these products to take 4-7 business days to arrive on your doorstep, leaving very little time for you to try it before needing to cancel your trial.
However, we feel as though Bellalabs’ auto-enroll tactics aren’t meant to be clear in the hopes that, by the time you realize you want to return the product, the 14-day trial is over and you’ve been charged for another month. One customer noted that he or she cancelled within the 14 days, only to have a collection agency contact them for payment. According to the complaint thread on BBB, the issue was resolved. But, we don’t think the complaints on the site indicate a transparent free trial program.
Of the 16 reviews on the page, 15 are negative and one is positive. Furthermore, on May 1, 2013, the BBB sent a letter to Bellalabs asking them to back up their claims about the facial cream. The company responded less than a month later. The response, the BBB noted, “remains inadequate to substantiate their health and result claims.”
Based on the evidence we found through the BBB, we are of the opinion that Bellalabs’ cream most likely does not provide the benefits they claim it does, and that their billing practices are not in the best interest of the consumer.
Is Bellalabs’ facial cream as unique as they say it is?
Just to take another step further in our review of the product, we Googled some of the sentences used on the site to see if they came up in another place. Mainly, we wanted to know if the product was unique.
When we Googled one of the benefits of the cream, “Boosts skin immunity and prevents damaging effects of free radicals. Eliminates debris that makes skin dull and discolored,” we noticed the results included a product called Bella Vita.
When we went to the site, we were surprised to find BellaVita and Bellalabs are identical websites with just a few minor differences. Bella Vita is selling a “serum” while Bellalabs is selling a “cream”. Both claim anti-aging abilities based on whole-molecule collagen. So far, BellaVita has a 1.2-star rating from 111 reviews on Highya.
The similarity of the two sites and BellaVita’s poor rating on Highya is a big red flag for us.
Our observations about the trustworthiness of Bellalabs facial cream
Based on all the research we’ve done, we don’t have a lot of confidence in Bellalabs’ business practices. We feel that their auto-ship plan is meant to mislead consumers, as evidenced by the company’s C rating from the Better Business Bureau and the numerous complaints customers have voiced.
As for the cream itself, we are hard-pressed to say that it will provide any benefit above what you could find in a local grocery store. We base this conclusion on what we consider to be paltry evidence supporting the company’s claims that their facial cream can restore and rejuvenate your skin. We believe this conclusion is reinforced by the BBB’s position that Bellalabs has not provided adequate evidence to back up their claims.
But fear not; you don’t have to end your search for the Fountain of Youth. Even though, in our opinion, Bellalabs facial cream is a questionable product at best, we still want to help you find a proven method or steps to help you have fabulous skin.
Now, we’re warning you … science-supported skin care isn’t as easy as applying some face cream to your cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. Here are a few tips from Mayo Clinic’s skincare website:
- Cut back on your smoking – Cigarette and cigar smoke constricts the blood vessels in your face, which means your skin isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to look fresh and young.
- Practice sun protection – Sunscreen and protective clothing are keys in keeping your skin free of wrinkles and age spots.
- Keep your stress in check – In some people, big amounts of stress can trigger skin problems like acne.
In the meantime, if you want to become a savvy shopper for facial creams and cosmetics, take a look at an article we wrote titled “Learning To Read Your Cosmetics Label Can Save You Cash.” It will help you decipher ingredients, claims and other important factors as you head to the supermarket for your next purchase.