Great skin is an achievable goal for anyone. I truly believe that. But there is no magic potion to take that will fix your face overnight. If you want results, you have to commit to the regimen, and invest the money in products with the best quality and quantity of ingredients.
In skincare products, the higher the quality of the performance ingredients, the better they’ll work–that seems obvious. Higher quality ingredients–preferably pharmaceutical grade–also carry a lower risk of irritant or allergic reactions due to impurities or contaminants.
Of course, higher quality ingredients carry a higher price tag, and there must be enough of the ingredient in a formulation to actually provide benefit to the skin.
This?brings us to quantity.
Is more of an ingredient really better??When I say “quantity of ingredients,” I’m not referring to ?the number of ingredients listed on the label. I mean the percentage and concentration of the ingredients. If the product doesn’t contain enough of the actual ingredient for the ingredient to be able to work, then honestly, it might as well not even be in the product.
So many products on the market claim to contain whatever the big ingredient of the day is that is getting a lot of press for treating whatever skin condition. And they’re available right at your corner drugstore or at your favorite makeup counter at the mall. Some of them do very convincing (and entertaining…I won’t lie) infomercials that entice you to just pick up the phone (within the next ten seconds or the offer will expire) and have them shipped right to your doorstep (for an arm and a leg).
But do these products actually perform the “miracle” as advertised? The answer is often no. So then, frustrated, you go to a spa or dermatologist’s office to get “professional” or “clinical” strength products. You pick up a bottle and notice that the products contain many of the same ingredients (with much higher price tags) as the ones from TV or the drugstore, which leaves you confused. Why would a doctor suggest an ingredient that is also in an ineffective drugstore product?
It’s all in the quality and quantity.
Over-the-counter (OTC) products often only contain high enough percentages of expensive ingredients to make it legal for the manufacturer to use that ingredient as a selling point–but it’s not a high enough percentage of the ingredient to actually provide any benefit to the skin. This deceptive marketing practice is sometimes referred to as “angel dusting.” And for those low prices, you can also be sure the ingredient isn’t a high quality, pharmaceutical grade–it’s more likely cosmetic grade or even the lower industrial grade (which you wouldn’t want to use on your skin!).
Department store products may use a slightly higher percentage of the ingredient so they can charge higher prices to pay for their higher-end ad campaigns and celebrity endorsers. These products might work slightly better than drugstore products, but still won’t work as well as they should for what people pay for them.
Are professional strength products better?
Most product lines offered at spas, skincare clinics, and doctors’ offices aren’t familiar to the general public. This is because most of them market directly to doctors and aestheticians, rather than to the general public. These product lines are able to offer you higher quality ingredients, in high enough concentrations to be effective, for prices similar to those in department stores or specialty stores.
These product manufacturers can do this because they are not spending millions and millions of dollars on advertising and marketing. They are counting on the fact that you trust your doctor or aesthetician enough that you’ll use a product because they say it is a good match for your individual skin type, and they have educated you about what results you can realistically expect if you commit to the regimen. I believe that professional strength products are better than most drugstore and department store brands. However…
The best way to ensure that quality and quantity of ingredients is to make your own products.
Professional products are often still mass produced, and contain high amounts of water; and therefore preservatives and other additives to hold the products together. When you make your own products, you’ll use far less water–if any at all–and have the choice of either refrigerating your products or choosing a milder natural preservation system.
If you’re wondering if you can really make your own products that are as effective as professional strength products, I’m here to tell you ABSOLUTELY–and most likely you already have excellent quality ingredients already in your own home.
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*Image 2 credit:?Royal Siam Beauty. Image 3 courtesy of ASCP