There's something in the water...or not.
Okay, you know I am candid with you when it comes to product reviews. Always have been and always will be. You also know that if I am trying a less than stellar product, I still try to find the positive in it. I also don't recommend products unless I truly like them. I don't like to bad mouth something though, either. This time, however, I am nearly speechless that this product is being sold for such a crazy price....and extremely irked by health claims made on the company's blog.
This product is different than any other product I've reviewed. It is billed as "the first ingredient-free cosmetic!" by a company called AquaLiv. This company offers ionized water products. The product I'm reviewing is called i n f o t o n e Face Mist. It's a little glass bottle of water with a ceramic bead inside.
Here is what their website says about the miracle product (AKA bottled water with a white bead floating in it):
- The i n f o t o n e face mister contains a ceramic ball that uses an advanced memory technology to program the naturally occurring ion compounds in water for healing benefits without chemical additives.
- Water exposed to the ceramic ball becomes a powerful tonic that when misted over the face encourages optimal hydration and clear, youthful, glowing skin.
- Users simply keep the mister in their beauty cabinet or carry it in their purse to refresh and rejuvenate skin.
- The i n f o t o n e face mister can be reused for one year simply by refilling it with a chemical-free mineral water (purified tap water or natural spring water, pH 7 optimal).
(source: Aqua Liv website)
This new product is going to be launched in a few short weeks in the neighborhood of $50 (website predicts it'll debut for $49.95). That's right--a 2 ounce bottle of water for 50 bucks.
So what can this extra special water do for the skin? AquaLiv claims that "clinical studies performed at the Osaka Beauty Center confirm that i n f o t o n e heals and rejuvenates the skin of both women and men. i n f o t o n e eliminates factors that damage skin while simultaneously activating skin cells. Researchers observed improved hydration, suppleness, firmness, and texture and reduced dryness, oxidation, wrinkles, skin pigmentation, and blemishes."
Obviously, this girl was extremely skeptical of these claims. In all fairness, though, there weren't nasty chemicals in here so I gave it a shot. After one week of regular use, I can tell you that this did NOTHING for my skin. I don't look younger, brighter, firmer, etc.
The literature from the company also stated that I could alleviate my red or tired eyes my misting the water in them. This didn't work. It also said that I could inhale the mist through my nose "for relief during allergy or cold season." I had a terrible cold last week and let me tell you that this did nothing for my nose.
I had to chuckle because the website states: "Detoxifying and calming- troubled skin will rejoice!" My skin didn't rejoice....Folks, this is WATER. Another thing about this product that ticked me off was the statement about what to do when the water's gone: "Don't worry about running out- the i n f o t o n e mister can be refilled for up to a year with common spring water."
When you've sprayed the 2 ounces of water out, they want you to go buy a bottle of Evian, Fiji, Volvic (they're named on site) or fill with filtered tap water....yet they claim you can only refill it for a year because that revolutionary ceramic bead will no longer be effective. Never fear, though, for only $49.95, you can buy another 2 ounce bottle of plain old water.
The press release from AquaLiv says that the i n f o t o n e mister "promises to revolutionize the skin care industry."
Rest assured, readers, you are NOT missing out on anything if you do not want to shell out $50 for a tiny bottle of water. This is quackery at its worst (or best?).
What is extremely troubling to me is the company in general. Compared to the crazy skin care claims, there is much more disconcerting drivel on the AquaLiv website. When I was looking at the facial mist product on the their website, there was a side column link to the company's blog. They have a post called "Cure Cancer Naturally in 30 Days." In this blog post, in a section called "The cure for cancer in three steps", one of three steps to cure cancer says to "drink copious amounts of AquaLiv to aid in detoxification and to reduce the harm of the inevitable future exposure to solvent compounds".
Are you kidding me? The water they sell will cure cancer???? REALLY?
I'll tell you something. There are many things we can do to be our own best health advocates. We can eat well, avoid harmful chemicals and processed foods, exercise, drink plenty of fluids, etc....but that does not mean we will always be able to avoid cancer. When my dad was dying of pancreatic cancer, there were some really greedy people out there wanting nothing but money who promised to rid him of his Stage IV metastatic cancer. My stepmother, a wonderful women who only wanted some more hope, fell for many scams promising to make Dad better.
There was the special far infrared blanket. Then there was the college professor in Fargo at North Dakota State U who sold Mannatech glyconutrients and told my dad that if he bought as many bottles as he could afford, his cancer would be cured...the Limu juice....the person who said to have him stare into the bright sun....the coffee enemas from the protocol Dad was doing with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez in NY at Columbia Presbyterian. Dad knew logically and from the numerous binders of research he collected that he would not survive, but he tried anything, I think, to give hope to family members. You name it, there's quack out there who will promise a cure in the name of making a profit. Not much gets me really worked up, but I get really pissed off when someone gives deathly ill people a sense of false hope in order to pad their wallets. It makes me sick to think about it.
Ionized water is a scam. You can find plenty of info about alkaline/ionized water over on Quackwatch. There has been NO credible scientific evidence--NONE--to support these claims. There is nothing to back up AquaLiv's claims by the FDA, the CDC or the EPA. The problem is--like with crazy cosmetics claims--is that there is NO regulation of this industry. This is nothing more than another snake oil scam.
I am sorry to be so hard on this company, but promoting a $50 bottle of plain old water with a piece of ceramic in it is one thing. Claiming your company can cure cancer is another. SHAME ON YOU!
THE BOTTOM LINE:
In case you're unsure of my opinion of this product, I do not recommend it.
I am not opposed to using a fine water mist to set makeup. While it won't make you look younger, I actually like it over mineral makeup. A mist works well for this as does Evian mist. You can buy the Evian for $10 for 5 fl. ounces and I much prefer the fine mist of this spray to the $50 (for 2 ounces) "miracle" reviewed above when it comes to setting makeup.
As an aside, I did a bit of searching and cannot find the Osaka Beauty Center, as mentioned as the source for their research. The only thing with a similar name is a marketplace that sells cosmetics.
*Added 11.12.10 @ 7:40pm: I was given this information from the media contact about the research:
"The Osaka Beauty Center is a research arm of Shiseido Cosmetics. The infotone technology was researched and developed by Dr. Takemi Ichimura, now AquaLiv’s Chief Science Officer."
I did a bit of research and found a listing of the dozens of Shiseido subsidiaries. Nearly all are in eastern Asia and I could not find one with the same name given on their website and in company literature.
I can find no information to indicate whether Aqua Liv is affiliated at all with Shiseido. I could find no credible research regarding "infotone" technology.
Disclosure: I was sent this product at no cost for review. This in no way has influenced the outcome of this review.