Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Finding the Right Products—for You

Listening to my clients over the years, there seems to be a pattern a lot of people follow: you try a product line, having been seduced by the claim of perfect skin or anti-aging abilities; you invest a lot of money in these miracles in a jar; and you wait for the miraculous results that never come. 

Initially, you see an improvement in your skin. It glows or clears up temporarily, and you think you’ve found the answer to your skin care woes. After a few months, the results start fading away, and you’re faced with the same skin you had before you started this miracle regimen. So you go back to the land of products, usually the department store, and search once again for another product line that claims to produce amazing results. And the cycle continues.

The truth is, it’s hard to find products that work. Considering the number of skin care lines available, you would think a large percentage of them would be effective. Unfortunately for the unknowing consumer, there are many products that are fairly ineffective. The advertisements might have you believing otherwise, but the sad truth is there is a lot of mediocrity in skin care.

You will have to go through a trial and error period with different product lines before you find one that works for you. One product line may work well with your skin, and another may not. This depends on the current condition of your skin, the climate where you live, what your diet consists of, and your skin type. Because of all these factors, I did not include specific product recommendations in my books. That is also true, for the most-part, throughout this blog, although there are many recommendations on how to choose products that are right for you and your skin type.
Whenever possible, I go to the department store and “cruise” the beauty section. As I approach the counter, I am greeted immediately by various salespeople eager to show me the latest miracle in their skin care line—sometimes donning white lab coats, usually wearing inch-thick makeup (covering their skin). I feel as though I have been descended upon by sales-hungry piranha.

I start by asking basic questions about ingredients and how the products work. It is at this point their special sales techniques kick in, but they usually can’t come up with reasonable answers to my basic questions. What I tend to hear is a bunch of sales and skin care mumbo-jumbo. As I probe deeper and ask more complex questions, it is clear these sales people truly are experts in their field—which is sales. If the answer isn’t in their “script,” they are caught off guard, referring back to their selling points. Once in a while I will be surprised by some intelligent (and accurate) answers, but more often than not, the department store’s cosmetic salesperson fails miserably to make any real sense.

I believe the reason for their inability to answer my questions is twofold. As I’ve already said, their knowledge of the skin is limited to what they have learned from the product line they work for. But more importantly when caring for the skin, there are no miracles. Many products make outrageous claims, and the truth is these claims usually don’t hold up. Most products simply cannot produce the results their ads want you to believe. Trying to sell a miracle in a jar where miracles don’t exist is a tough job for anyone—expert or not.

So keep in mind there are no miracles that can dramatically change your skin overnight. Proper and consistent care is the key to healthy skin. Generally, even products with well-worded ad campaigns cannot instantly change your skin’s condition. Nor can they erase a lifetime of neglect or problem skin. It’s a harsh reality perhaps, but going into the department store or anywhere products are sold with this knowledge will save you a lot of money and disappointment.

There are several articles under the category products—finding what’s right with “product recommendations”—that are not filled with specific products I’m recommending. Many are Q&As with clients and their skin issues and how I help them change or find products appropriate for what is going on with their skin.

For more information on products, see: