Posted by Dr. Teri Dourmashkin
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of skin care products that are out there? Walk into any department store and most if not all sales people will try to sell you a skin care regimen that includes several products, and that doesn't even include the basics such as a cleanser and toner. And, while it is true that these aggressive sales tactics are likely the result of a sales person just trying to make a living (many work on commissions), some shoppers are left feeling intimated and pressured to buy products they very well do not need or want.
For example, a day time regimen might include a serum, a moisturizer and an anti-aging cream which may be one of those temporary wrinkle fix creams that are supposed to have a similar, albeit less drastic effect than Botox. Then comes an eye serum followed by a specialty eye cream. So, just as with fragrance, the idea the skin care industry is trying to promote is that you should layer your skin care products as well. Who has the money, time or inclination to participate in such complicated regimens? If you want great skincare without the complications, here are some easy guidelines you can follow:
1) Start with skin care that is safe and non-toxic. Look for natural ingredients when possible. Many natural ingredients have better safety records than their commercially synthetic counterparts, but don't take this at face value. There are some natural ingredients which may not be safe, so do your homework. Research the ingredients that you choose to put on your skin. There are some organizations that rate the toxicity of skin care products that you can find on-line.
2) Go simple - try to avoid products that have over 25 ingredients listed on the product label. Remember, the more ingredients that go into a product, the greater your risk for irritation, allergic reactions or breakouts. Irritated skin with breakouts is not the look we are after. Going fragrance free will also reduce the risk of irritation and other possible reactions. These days, a typical ingredient panel often has 50 or more ingredients listed.
3) Keep your product count to a minimum--use only what you need to get the job done and no more. Find a high quality skin cream that combines anti-aging ingredients with great hydrating properties. This way you only need one product to accomplish both. Hyaluronic acid has great hydrating and anti-aging benefits. Some powerful anti-aging antioxidants include green tea, white tea, vitamin C, R-Lipoic Acid, pomegranate, and olive Leaf extract. You may also find that some skin creams can also double up as an eye cream. Streamlining will not only save you time, but your skin and pocket book will like you better for it as well. Always remember to include a good quality sunscreen/sun block with a minimum of SPF 15 if your skin cream does not include it in the formulation.
4) Always use pH balanced skin care- avoid using products that are too alkaline. They can strip skin, leaving it feel try taut and dry. You do not want to strip your skin's acid mantle which has a vital role in protecting your skin from bacteria and even possible infection.
5) Look for products that include natural oils - many are loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. Some lighter ones include sesame seed oil, apricot kernel oil and jojoba oil (which is similar to our skin's own sebum). Drier skins may prefer heavier oils such as macadamia, avocado, evening primrose, etc. Natural oils tend to absorb better than mineral oil, petroleum or lanolin. Some of the lighter oils can even be used by some oily skin types. If not, then you can always opt for oil-free. While many naturally based skin care companies use a variety of natural oils, you can find some that are oil-free. Just do a Google search and see what you come up with.
Skin Care does not need to be complicated, onerous and prohibitively expensive. Remember, less is more!