The Skin Care Arena
by Madeleine Arena, B.S., M.B.A.
Magazines are filled with product ads making irresistible claims. Knowing which products will work for you can be a daunting task. Although it is possible to go it alone, you need to learn a great deal about specific skin care ingredients, what they can do for your skin, and how to use them properly. The advise of a skin care professional such as a cosmetic dermatologist or esthetician can be invaluable in setting you on the proper path as you chart your course.
There are many advantages to working with a professional. They will begin by educating you about your skin type and its special needs, while helping you set goals for its improvement. These specialists are skilled at working with you to establish an effective skin care routine with the right products for your skin type and/or skin problems.
According to the American Society for Dermtalogic Surgery (ASDS):
“Looking for a quick fix to erase wrinkles, tighten skin, reduce the signs of aging or treat acne could be as easy as a trip down to the local drug store. However, with so many over-the-counter products available, the beauty aisle can be overwhelming. Some skin care products are overpriced and make claims they can’t support. Other products that claim to take years off your face could be misleading and ineffective.’
When searching for an over-the-counter product, follow these tips:
● Know your skin type
● Establish a daily skin care routine: The key to success with most skin care products is continuity. Establishing a daily routine is important, especially with anti-aging creams. Don’t be discouraged, it may be six to eight weeks before seeing improvements with over-the-counter remedies.
● Be cautious of “miracle” products: Skin care products that seem “too good to be true” probably are, so use your best judgment. Reputable product lines are the best bet and likely to be most effective and safe.
● Research products before you buy them: When considering a purchase of products, research the product and its ingredients to find the products that work best for your specific skin type. If there are ingredients that are unfamiliar, look them up to find out how they work. For example, products claiming to have Botox® like results, could be deceptive as Botox® is only effective when injected directly into the underlying muscle. The most expensive products are not always the right products for certain skin types.”
Be patient. It may take six to eight weeks before you see improvement, especially with over-the-counter products. It’s important to remember that for the most part, department store brands are not strong enough to treat advanced anti-aging problems. Manufacturers of these products compromise by developing products with lower concentrations of ingredients that can be safely used by most people without negative side effects.
Always use a sunscreen on a daily basis. It’s the most important step in not only preventing premature aging, but also in maintaining skin health. If your skin is sensitive, and tends to react poorly to certain products, look for a sunblock whose first active ingredient is zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Madeleine Arena s a Cosmetic Chemist who develops private label skin and hair products through her company, The Skin Source.
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