How do you choose the right skin care products?

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not a dermatologist, but a couple of years ago an ABC News reporterconducted a survey in connection with doctors to see if the commonly held belief that the more one pays for a skin care cream/product, the more effective it must be. The study involved two women in their 40s who wanted to prevent aging and improve the quality of their facial skin. One woman bought the most expensive skin cream she could find at a department store (it cost a little over $400), and another woman received a prescription from her doctor for a cream that contains retinal.  I believe that she paid around $60 to have the prescription filled.  After technicians used computer imaging and a high-tech camera to take before images of the ladies' skin, the women tried the products for three months.  At the end of the three months, no change appeared in the woman using the $400 cream (not even in images from the close-up computer imaging camera), but the woman who used the prescribed cream saw significant reduction in dark spots on her face and a tightening of her facial skin which reduced the appearance of wrinkles.  After the survey was conducted, the dermatologist advised that it is always better to establish a sunscreen regimen and to consult a doctor about products rather than talking to a salesperson who makes a commission from selling expensive skin care products.  This report appeared on a 20/20 episode entitled "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity."

In general, you have to establish what your goal is from establishing a skin care routine.  Do you want to reduce oil? Do you want protection from skin cancer? Do you want to prevent or reverse aging?  All of these questions can best be answered by making an appointment with a dermatologist.

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