Saturday, December 6, 2014

Shark Tank Featured "S.W.A.G. Bar" Preview

SW&G 3-in-1 S.W.A.G. Bars
Price: $15 per 4 oz bar
(As Seen on Shark Tank)

If you routinely watch ABC's Shark Tank like I do, you may have seen last nights episode which featured a new type of skincare for men- S.W.A.G. Bar Soap.

The creator of S.W.A.G. Bars says she has more than 8 years experience & was asked to create a product that would prevent razor burn by her brother- a barber.

She certainly came up with some unique ideas which she employed in the creation of her miracle soap; but there are some red flags as well that should be seriously considered before ordering...

SW&G (which cleverly stands for Soap, Washing and Grooimg- aka S.W.A.G.) claims their 3-in-1 bar is:
  • Not Just a Soap...It's a Miracle that shook up the grooming industry & no other product on the market that can do what it does!
  • Creates a lather for the smoothest overall shaving experience ever, works miracles on razor bumps & ingrown hairs with lightning speed results.
  • Directions: Cleanse, exfoliate and disinfect w/ one product w/one easy use.
  • Ingredients: 100% Natural Glycerin, Proprietary Blend. 
  • Clears acne & dark spots.
  • Save for Sensitive Skin
  • Additional GREAT Uses:
    • Entire Body for antibacterial cleanse.
    • On foot calluses and athlete's foot. (caution: do not reuse on face)
    • Scalp as shampoo bar for dandruff and psoriasis.
    • Back of neck for irritation after clippers/trim. 
  • Master Barber Tested & Physician Recommended.

Essentially the SW&G 3-in-1 is a bar of soap with a twist. Housed inside each bar is a loofah* which will allow men to exfoliate as they wash; and because exfoliation helps prevent razor've got the gist.

I think the idea of putting a loofah inside a bar of soap is a good idea, (particularly for men who seem to have an allergic reaction to using multiple products). The problem is that soap in bar form isn't really all that great for your skin, and perhaps even more concerning is the fact that we can't really be sure if the S.W.A.G. bar IS "just" soap!

The creator of SW&G claims that she utilized 8 years as an esthetician to create her 3-in-1 bars and she has included more than 63 ingredients in her formula.

Yeah but that's a good thing isn't is? 63 ingredients? It MUST cover everything...

63 ingredients could very well be fantastic. If someone was very careful to include only the latest & greatest, clinically proven skincare ingredients than of course it could be good. 

One would have to be incredibly careful to study any interactions these ingredients may have with eachother because the chances of finding sixty three ingredients that only help the performance of eachother is highly unlikely and the chances of having at least a FEW negative interactions is more than highly probably.

The problem is that the creator of SW&G does't tell us what ingredients she used in creating her 3-in-1 miracle!

When she was asked on Shark Tank if she had a patent, she replied that she refused to apply for a patent because she didn't want to disclose the ingredient list!

Many of you are probably wondering WHY she doesn't HAVE to disclose her ingredients like every other skincare and cosmetic product in the country and the answer drifts towards a legal-loop-hole and regulatory gray area,

Because she only discloses the ingredients as "glycerin & a proprietary blend" we can probably assume two things
  1.  that the "proprietary ingredients" make up a very small percentage of the total net weight; and
  2. that she absolutely positively doesn't use anything which the FDA would categorize as an "Active Ingredient" (such as benzonyl peroxide or salicylic acid which are clinically proven acne fighters and anti-bacterial agents.)
Sure, there are plenty of natural ingredients that have anti-bacterial properties in them, but that doesn't mean they're safe to use and at the very least skincare companies have a moral obligation to disclose these ingredients to consumers valentines day.

I find the argument of not applying for a patent extremely offensive as a potential buyer. If you have a patent, you have a patent. Sure other companies can try to copy what you created but if you're product if really that special and unique they shouldn't be able to come close to the real deal once they begin substituting ingredients!

Even if SW&G had decided to list the ingredients alphabetically (which is certainly allowed), they would be disclosing what was in the soap without revealing how much of what was where. This isn't an ideal move for skincare companies and it's still a bit deceptive in most cases but it certainly better than labeling ingredients "proprietary blend" and glycerin!

By not including the list of ingredients, SW&G is expecting consumers to put a great deal of trust in them. Yes, the creator is an esthetician; but No, estheticians are not guaranteed to know everything there is to know about every ingredient.

I get that SW&G says their bar is safe for sensitive skin, but how do we know? The long and short of it is: We Don't. Period. We have absolutely no way of knowing if there are any ingredients in the soap that will interact with the other ingredients in the soap or with ingredients in other products we may be using.

All I can think of is Kathy Bates on American Horror Story: The Coven with her "special blend" which turned out to be the fresh blood of her husband's illegitimate newborn son.

(I hope that SW&G hasn't resorted to something as drastic as Kathy Bates did, but I would really like to KNOW that that's not the case.)

For that reason, I will be holding off on ordering the 3-in-1 SWAG Bar, or any of the other SW&G products that don't disclose ingredients until they do. I firmly believe that ensuring customer safety should come before ensuring company secrets; particularly when they have the option of applying for a patent and protecting their formula!

***If you're looking for a skincare product for the men in your life, you should certainly take a look at Paula Begoun's PC4Men Skincare line. I purchased several of the products for my husband and brother and they adore them. They have a 60 day guarantee and each of the ingredients is safe and proven effective.***

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