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How Truthful Are Makeup Ads?

The name of the game for advertising too often means misleading claims and statements. 

When it comes to ads geared toward women, they can be particularly damaging in creating deceptive claims, TIME reports. Beauty ads in particular strive to alter or dramatically improve women's appearances, and can be especially deceiving.

According to a new study published by the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, most cosmetic ads publicize false information, with only 18 percent of all claims featured in both commercials and ads for cosmetics considered trustworthy.

The study made note of the misguided language widely used in such ads like "clinically proven" or "inspired by groundbreaking DNA research," claiming that the majority of these claims are vague and at most, fabricated. 

For the analysis, researchers gathered 289 cosmetics ads in publications like Marie Claire and Vogue for makeup, skincare, and fragrance products. The remainder of the experiment resulted in organizing claims by categories such as "environmental claims" or "endorsement claims," and subsequently ranking them as "acceptable," "vague," "omission" or "outright lie."

Researchers concluded that claims of "well-being and happiness" associated with certain products were also not proven to be true. The authors of the study stated, "Those who back the claims with scientific evidence and consumer testing often use questionable methodologies for their substantiation."

Learn more about the influence of advertising toward women by watching media educator and MAKER Jean Kilbourne in the video above.

NEXT: Advertising Campaigns That Wouldn’t Have Been Possible Without Creative Women »

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Photo Credit: Jose Luis Stephens via Getty Images