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Hocus-pocus won’t keep you young

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Posted: 7 am ET

I read a research report this week that said the market for anti-aging products is on a tear. The report said the market was worth $122.3 billion in 2013, and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent to $191.7 billion in 2019.

The main customers are baby boomers, with 8,000 of them turning 65 daily, and the main products and services include anti-wrinkle formulas, dermal fillers and Botox, hair color, dark-spot treatments, liposuction, tummy tucks, breast reduction, chemical peels, eyelid surgery, hair restoration treatment and anti-cellulite treatments.

Seems like only yesterday that we boomers were trying to pawn off fake IDs proving we were older than we were. How times change. Now, we're on the verge of retirement and eager to look as young as we can.

The National Institutes of Health, or NIH, says aging is natural and warns against claims of miracle cures, including emails offering "overnight magic. ... Sadly, older people are often the target of such scams," it says.

Of course, not that every anti-aging product is fraudulent, but before you spend a lot of your hard-earned retirement planning dollars, the NIH advises caution and says look for these red flags in ads or other promotional material.

  • Promises of quick and painless cures.
  • Claims that the product is made with a "special," "secret" or "ancient" formula.
  • Products and services delivered by mail from only one untrackable source.
  • Products whose marketing relies heavily on testimonials from "satisfied" customers.
  • Anything that claims to cure a wide variety of ailments.
  • Products that claim to cure a disease that medical science hasn't, such as arthritis or Alzheimer's.

If you have doubts about the safety or usefulness of a product, don't buy it without checking it out. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.

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