Top 5 Tips for Buying Skin Care Products
1. KNOWLEDGE IS KING…AND IT WILL SAVE YOUR SKIN!
Before buying skin care products understand the top 5 tips for buying skin care products, this includes the marketing jargon! How you buy skin care products will depend on your knowledge of the frequently used terms and claims by cosmetic companies. YOU, as a consumer should get some education on and not just blindly accept all the marketing hype. This could save you a lot of disappointment and save you a chunk of your money too!
In this fast moving world we are too busy to spend a little bit of time researching what the inclusion of certain ingredients mean and what truth (if any) are in the product’s claim….after all we are choosing to apply that product to our skin, so isn’t it easier to just believe the advertising and marketing hype?
2. Hard Work Researching Such a Complex Skin Care Industry…Not So!
Don’t despair, in Australia you can search the Australian Government’s Health Department specific to this area called the Therapeutic Goods Administration, their website is found at: www.tga.gov.au
In the USA you can visit the US Food & Drug Administration at: www.fda.gov
Central authorities in Asia and Europe also provide guidelines for cosmetic products. Essentially all these government bodies provide the manufacturer and consumer guidelines on labeling such as therapeutic claims and ingredients and what is approved or unapproved under various jurisdictions.
3. MARKETING JARGON – TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW (guideline only)
- All Natural: Natural claims are not regulated by the FDA and in Australia ‘natural’ products are regulated as ‘industrial chemicals’, they are assessed for their safety to the consumer, not for their ‘natural’ ingredients (source:tga.gov.au/cosmetics).
There is no convincing evidence that ‘natural ingredients’ or ‘chemical free’ ingredients are better for skin than synthetic versions. These terms IMPLY that they are SAFER than cosmetics with chemicals!
But note that when a plant product is added to a cosmetic and is preserved, stabilised and mixed with other ingredients, loses most, if not all of its natural content….not much ‘natural’ about that is it? (source: fda.gov/cosmetics/scienceresearch/default.htm).
- Hypoallergenic: this term implies that the product is less likely to cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivities. But there are no standard testing rules for determining whether a product qualifies for meeting this claim, hence the labeling may not be based on any proof. The same applies to terms such as ‘dermatologist-tested’, or ‘allergy tested’ because there are no standardised guidelines.
- Alcohol Free: This generally means that a product does not contain denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol or SD alcohol, all of which are akin to grain alcohol, which is very drying and irritating to the skin. However, many cosmetics may contain other ‘alcohol’ com
pounds such as cetyl alcohol, stearyl or lanolin alcohol, also known as fatty alcohols. Not all alcohols are bad, it all depends how high in content they are so why say alcohol-free when in fact they are not!
- Fragrance Free: Despite this labeling, many cosmetics use fragrant plant oils and extracts that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. They may be added to mask any offensive odour originating from the raw materials used. ‘Fragrance free’ is not a regulated term and ends up being meaningless on a product’s label….and another reason why it should be your duty to know the ingredients that go into your skin care products!
4. SEARCHING FOR SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?
TIP – EXPENSIVE DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN BETTER!
The amount of money you spend on your skin care will not have any major impact on how your skin looks and feels. You need to implement my suggestions on my various pages and blogs here on this site to see you succeed.
Cosmetic products alone will NOT help you, LIFESTYLE will….furthermore if you have the money for surgery, go for it….but remember, if you don’t change your lifestyle and how you go about treating your skin with QUALITY products, it will only catch up with you quicker than you think!!
An expensive bar of soap such as Plank’s Cor Soap will set you back $125 per bar! Really you ask…YES really I say, because of some very rare ingredients that makes this soap bar extra special!! Cor contains shitosan, sericin, and four types of collagen. It also contains silver, which is supposed to act as an antibacterial agent. Critics argue that Cor doesn’t cleanse better than normal soap so why not use an inexpensive bar of soap instead? In reality I would only recommend soap to cleanse your skin if you have nothing else, because soap is too irritating and drying for all skin types, no matter what all the hype and brilliant marketing is telling you!
So my point is spending less doesn’t hurt your skin and spending more doesn’t necessarily help it…it all depends on the ingredients and how you live your life!
5. A FEW SIMPLE RULES TO LIVE BY:
- Find a gentle, water-soluble cleanser that doesn’t dry out the skin or leave it feeling greasy and that can remove most types of eye makeup without irritating your eyes. I suggested that very product “micellar water” on one of my recent posts, click here to read the review.
- There is no such thing as a safe, wrinkle free or non-skin damaging sun tan. Unprotected exposure or greater than 10 minutes of exposure to the sun will damage your skin and age you beyond your wildest dreams. I have some gorgeous girlfriends from junior school who should look like they are in their 40s but instead they look like they are in their 60s. Their skin is leathery and for some strange reason they continue to sunbake thinking they look great! Each to their own I say.
- Irritation is a problem for skin health. The more sources of irritation you try to eliminate the better. Some skin irritations are caused by products that contain plant extracts by way of an added fragrance to a product, so look out for them in the ingredients if you particularly have sensitive skin.
- Regular exfoliation (e.g. gentle scrubs or using a simple wash cloth with diluted apple cider vinegar) is beneficial for all skin types.
- Your skin type changes throughout your life’s journey and so should your skin care regime. I was a pimply, oily faced girl, but now in my 50s I’m still trying to work it out! As strange as it sounds hormones play a major part in what our skin feels and looks like and what we need to do to address it….something I will cover in another post!
- Battling blemishes, no matter what age, requires experimenting to find the right combination of products, though a gentle cleanser, exfoliate and topical disinfectant are the basics.
- Antioxidants provide substantial benefit to the skin, they can protect your skin from free radical damage. Please read my post on this topic by clicking here. If people don’t get enough antioxidant protection, either from the body’s production, from dietary sources (food or vitamin supplements) or from other sources, such as antioxidant application on your skin, then free radical damage continues to cause cells to break down and destroy their ability to function normally, leading to wrinkles. I will post more on this point at a later date……
- By trial and error (namely a recommended time line you should use to test a products effectiveness on your skin should be around 6 months) you can choose a skin care regime that is suited to your skin without wasting money and buying products that live up to their claims!
Lastly, remember these top 5 tips that may save your skin and money!
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Here’s great health and happiness to you!
*Additional source: “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me”, Paula Begoun, 6th Edition 2003