How to Shop Like a Skin Care Insider
Ever looked at the rows and rows of cosmetics on a shelf and wondered how on earth you were meant to choose between them?
You’re not alone – the skin care world can definitely be baffling!
If you want to ensure that you always make the best choices, here are some tips on how to shop like a true skin care insider.
Know Which Ingredients to Look For
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different skin care ingredients out there, and each product will feature its own unique combination of some of these.
You should never buy a skin care product without looking at the ingredient list first, and making sure that it contains the ingredients you need.
Which ingredients does your skin need?
This all depends on your skin type, as well as the skin issues you are trying to treat.
Here are some helpful ingredients for each skin type, but don’t forget that there are so many more equally powerful ingredients out there:
- Dry Skin – look for products containing: urea, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamin E, antioxidants, glycerin and sunflower seed oil
- Oily Skin – look for products containing some of the following: salicylic acid, retinol, niacinamide, clay, hyaluronic acid, tea tree oil
- Combination Skin – you will need to treat the dry and oily parts of your skin separately. Use some of the ingredients mentioned above for each of those skin types on the corresponding parts of your face
- Normal Skin – you are lucky enough to be able to experiment with a wide range of different ingredients. The next section, on ingredients that are best avoided, will be more relevant to you
- Sensitive Skin – look for gentle ingredients such as: chamomile, oatmeal, arnica extract, cucumber seed oil, shea butter, calendula extract and honey
- Mature Skin – beneficial ingredients include: ceramides, hyaluronic acid, retinol, green tea, caffeine, peptides and vitamin C
It is so important to understand how different ingredients will affect your skin. For example, if you have dry skin and use a product designed for oily skin, this will only end up drying your skin out even further, since this action is required by oily skin types.
Of course, if you are trying to target specific skin concerns, then you need to make sure that the product you are choosing contains ingredients that are able to do just that.
Here are some beneficial ingredients for some of the most common skin concerns:
- Acne – look for oil-absorbing and bacteria-destroying ingredients, such as: salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, clay, tea tree oil, sulfur and charcoal
- Hyperpigmentation – look for skin lightening and brightening ingredients, such as: kojic acid, retinoids, vitamin C, azelaic acid, niacinimide, and mandelic acid
- Fine lines and wrinkles – beneficial ingredients include: retinol, tea extracts, antioxidants, fatty acids, and peptides
- Facial redness – look for anti-inflammatory ingredients such as: squalane, niacinimide, ceramides and hyaluronic acid
Know Which Ingredients to Avoid
Another reason as to why you should always look at the ingredient list before purchasing a new skin care product is so that you can make sure that the product does not contain any harmful ingredients.
You are probably thinking…
Why would a product designed for the largest organ in my body contain harmful ingredients?
Well, certain ingredients are often necessary for different reasons. For example, preservatives are required in order for a product to have a longer shelf life, but these preservatives can sometimes be quite harmful.
Here are a few ingredients that you are best off avoiding:
- Parabens – from methylparaben to butylparaben, there are so many different chemicals that fall under the paraben umbrella. All of them should be avoided, as parabens are known for mimicking estrogen in the body and disrupting the way in which the body’s natural hormones work. They have also been connected to breast cancer and fertility problems
- Phthalates – these have been banned from many children’s products. Even if you aren’t a child, phthalates can still cause endocrine disruptions, along with birth defects
- Fragrance – the term fragrance can refer to hundreds of different fragrant chemicals, meaning that if a product contains a fragrance, you won’t ever really know which chemicals have actually been used
- BHA and BHT – both of these are synthetic antioxidants that act as a preservative, but have been linked to the development of cancer, as well as liver damage
- Sodium Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES) – these have been linked to skin irritations, a disruption in sebum production, allergies and cystic acne
Make Sure that the Packaging is Suitable
Packaging can often sway people when it comes to deciding whether or not to buy a product, but this is often for the wrong reasons.
Rather than opting for a product due to its pretty and attractive packaging, you need to be basing your decision on a few other factors instead…
To begin with, you want your skin care to be packaged in a container that does not allow too much air to enter within it each time it is opened.
Because oxygen degrades the majority of skin care ingredients, rendering them less effective each time they are exposed to oxygen.
This means that a pump or tube dispenser would be better than a tub.
Unfortunately, oxygen isn’t the only thing that can affect the quality of skin care products…
You also need to be cautious of how much light the packaging allows in. Just like oxygen, light will degrade a number of ingredients, especially active ones. For this reason, dark colored, opaque packaging is so much more beneficial than light or transparent packaging.
Try Before You Buy
No matter how tempted you may be to purchase a full-sized skin care product, you are always going to be better off trying that specific formula first.
Many brands will offer in-store testers, but always ask whether they also have small sample-sized versions of the product for you to take home and try. This way, you can incorporate the product into your existing skin care routine and get a much better idea as to how it works with your skin.
Many brands offer customers the chance to purchase sample-sized products online, meaning that you can easily try before you buy a full-sized version.
When trying a new skin care product for the first time, always perform a patch test first.
What is a patch test?
It basically means applying the product to a small part of your skin and then waiting for 24 to 48 hours. If your skin reacts negatively to the product, then it is best to find this out with a small part of skin, rather than your entire face. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin that is prone to irritation.
Don’t Believe Any Miracle Claims
Found a product that promises to banish all of your wrinkles in a matter of weeks?
If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is…
Regulations are lacking when it comes to the cosmetic industry, meaning that it is quite easy for companies to splash false claims all over their packaging.
This is a trap that so many people fall into, simply believing what the packaging says rather than looking into the product a little deeper.
How do you know whether a claim is true or not?
You have a couple of options…
Firstly, take a look at the ingredient list. As mentioned earlier, a product needs to contain specific ingredients in order to target various skin issues. If a product promises to help with wrinkles but doesn’t contain any anti-aging ingredients, then you immediately know not to believe these claims.
You can also look into the brand a little further…
Make sure that the brand is a reputable one, and don’t forget to take a look at online reviews as well. These can be quite telling when it comes to learning more about the way in which a product works. Of course, everybody’s skin is different, so you will never know how a product will work on your skin just from reading reviews, but these are still good for learning about how true the claims that a product makes are.
Know When to Invest
The price of a product is often a deciding factor when it comes to whether or not that specific product is purchased.
While there may be so many effective, high end skin care lines out there, not everybody wants to spend a huge amount of money on their skin.
This is when it pays to be smart about which products you invest in…
When you are looking for a product to target specific skin concerns, and need it to have a good concentration of active ingredients, this is the time to splurge. Many of these potent ingredient are quite costly themselves, which is why the price of certain products are bumped up.
For example, retinol is such a powerful anti-aging ingredient, but using this at an effective concentration in a formula can make that product quite expensive. However, using a product that contains a miniscule amount of retinol is pretty much pointless, making this an ingredient worth spending some money on.
On the other hand, some products, such as cleansers, don’t remain on the face for very long. So long as you make sure that the cleanser you pick doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, then this is an area where you can likely save quite a bit of money.
One more thing to keep in mind when it comes to the price of a product…
Just because a product is accompanied with a high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that it is an effective product. Once again, you will need to check out the ingredient list to make sure that the formula contains ingredients that justify its high price tag.
Buy Your Skincare Products from the Right Places
Found a great deal on Amazon or eBay for your favorite skin care products?
Don’t be tempted by this!
Even if it states that the manufacturer is the actual brand itself, you still shouldn’t believe this outright.
Many of the skin care products sold online on websites such as those are from third party sellers.
What’s wrong with that?
Well, you never quite know where the product has actually come from. Even if it isn’t a fake, which is highly likely since there are so many fake products circulating around out there, you still won’t know how the product has been stored by the third party seller. If they have kept it in unsuitable temperatures or exposed it to high amounts of light, this immediately means that your product won’t last for as long as it otherwise would have.
Wondering why a third party seller would store a product in the wrong environment?
Because they don’t have the same responsibilities as the original manufacturer when it comes to ensuring that a product is delivered to you in the best condition possible.
Many companies also forbid their products from being sold on third party sites for this very reason, as third-party sellers making alterations to skin care products is also an increasing problem.
So, where should you be buying your skin care products from?
Ideally, directly from the brand itself, whether this may be in-store or online. You can also speak to your dermatologist about the various products sold through them, as not only will those be original products, but you will also be able to get some advice on the best ways in which to use those products on your skin.
Buying skin care products can be tricky, as there are so many different aspects to this that you need to be aware of. By taking into consideration everything from ingredients to packaging to price, you will be able to shop like a true skin care insider the next time you set out to buy yourself some new products.