The best thing you can do for the health, appearance and longevity of your skin is to use proper home care products on a daily basis!
With so many options of skin care products on the market I often get asked if professional skin care products work better than the over-the-counter products you can buy at stores like target or the big box beauty stores. My answer is YES, and here are the reasons why.
Professional products contain high quality active ingredients that are known to have proven results and are made in smaller batches to insure those actives are fresh and are more able to work their magic on your skin. Over The Counter (OTC) products are mass produced with profits in mind, as a result they add less quality ingredients along with fillers, preservatives, synthetic fragrances, colors and dyes. Fillers and preservatives are added to extend the shelf life of the products and they do nothing for the health of your skin. In fact high amounts of preservatives and fillers can actually cause irritation on your skin. More often than not OTC product companies spend more money on the advertising and marketing then the actual ingredients that goes into their products. Professional products are formulated to cater to all different skin types and conditions whereas OTC products are formulated for the masses…kind of a one size fits all deal.
Size does matter when talking about skin care products really creating change in your skin. A products active ingredients can only cause real change in your skin if they are molecularly sized to actually penetrate the epidermis (top outer layer of skin) and get down the dermis (lower layer of skin) which is where the cellular change takes place. Most OTC products ingredients have too large of a molecule size to actually do what the manufacturer claims it does on the skin.
Professional products are chirally (pronounced kaɪˈraely) correct. The term chiral is derived from the Greek work for handedness and a molecule is called chiral if it differs from its mirror image. (A simple way to visualize this concept is to think of your right and left hand. You can`t fit your left hand in your right glove, right? That`s because they`re chiral. Chiral compounds and their properties are part of every biochemical process in the human body. Molecules have two sides, right (D) and left (L). The skin can only benefit from one side of the molecule while the other side can cause irritation and issues. For example our skin loves vitamin E (tocopherol) but we can only utilize the right side of the molecule i.e d-alpha tocopherol, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) our skin gets better results and less irritation from L-asborbic acid then from D-asocorbic acid. Professional products take extra steps to make sure their ingredients are chirally correct and use the right molecule to get the best results.
The pH of a product is extremely important to professional skin care formulators, as the skins pH plays an important role in the natural function of the skins barrier. The skins natural pH is slightly more acidic between 4.5 and 5.5. OTC products rarely take pH into account and will leave the skin in an alkaline state. Skin that is left in an alkaline state will allow free radicals (such as pollution) and bacteria to invade the skin, as well as make the skin more prone to sun damage, all which can age the skin more quickly. Let’s face it nobody wants to accelerate the aging process! Professional skin care formulators understand the importance of the skin’s pH balance and take steps to insure their products use pH adjusted ingredients.
This is a big one! No, professional products don’t cost more! Why throw away your money on a serum from Sephora that does nothing for your skin? Instead invest in a product that is formulated to your specific skin type to create real change. I’m amazed at how some of the OTC products are marketed with nothing more than a fancy brand name that has nothing to do with skin care…I saw a cleanser from Givenchy that was $100, you’ve got to be kidding me! Or I see products that are backed by celebrities who probably have never used the product and are masked by makeup and camera editing. Come on now, celebrities go to professional estheticians and dermatologists.
I know that we live in the age of convenience and it is seems so much easier to buy your skin care products from a beauty store while in the mall, buying from your friend that is selling a multi-level marketing (MLM) skin care product, or ordering a few products from Amazon. Sales people and Amazon have no education in skin care, its functions, and what products will actually create the change you are looking for in your skin or what ingredients will cause irritation, pigmentation, or clogged pores for your personal skin type. Licensed estheticians and dermatologist have years of education and experience in skin and skin care. The benefit you get from going to a skin care professional is that it is an esthetician’s job is to create change in your skin and help you achieve your skin care goals. An esthetician’s whole reputation and business is on the line because your skin’s optimal health is their main priority. Estheticians are trained to analyze your skin and give you product and treatment recommendations best suited for your personal skin type and desired results, and sometimes more importantly, what not to use on your skin. An esthetician is a professional who will help you along your journey to better skin. If there is an issue with a particular product or there is a change in your skin, your esthetician can easily make adjustments to your home care regime or treatments, it’s a team effort. With that being said I don’t know why anyone would buy skin care from anyone but an esthetician or dermatologist.
Don’t forget to be patient; creating change at the cellular level takes time and daily use. You can begin to see a difference in your skin at about 30 days but you can really see long term change occur around 90-120 days. Sorry…unfortunately there is no magic cream you can put on your skin and poof (regardless of what you see on QVC).
Daily use of the right professional skin care products for your skin is what is going to give you the apperance you desire with long lasting results that will enhance your skin’s vitality for years to come.