In this article you will learn how to shop for the best skin care products with our expert guide. From understanding your skin type to deciphering confusing product labels, we’ll help you make informed decisions and find the perfect skin care routine for a glowing, healthy complexion.
Dr Dennis Gross Dr Gross skincare
Science-washing is inaccurately using science to prove trends for marketing purposes, with the intent to encourage purchasing.
Science washing in skin care is rampant. Companies make all sorts of false and misleading claims like, if you use this product for two weeks you will suddenly look 12. OK, I’m being a little facetious. Having said that, some of their claims are not far from that! Because I’ve been in this industry for so long both in front of the camera and behind it, I’m very sensitive to this sort of hogwash. But how can you, the consumer, educate yourself in a way that makes you more aware of these types of misalignment’s of the truth, and be able to shop like a savvy consumer? With that in mind, I spoke to the wonderful Ben Fuchs from Truth Treatments Skin Care on this topic. Ben is a registered pharmacist, nutritionist and skin care chemist and for the past 35 years, and, full disclosure, I carry his brand on my website because I love it.
Know How the Body Works
Skin is an organ and it is in fact the largest organ in your body! We are taught by the medical establishment to separate each part of our body into components. In other words, if you’re having problems with your liver, you take a liver medicine. There’s a pill for nearly everything, and it does not necessarily take into account your entire body. I am much more a fan of eastern medicine, that is both ancient and looks at the entire person including our mental and emotional state.
When looking at your skin, you are looking at the state of health for your entire body. In the video, Ben goes into a discussion about the workings of nutrients, vitamins, diet, and exercise and how it influences the largest organ in your body. In order to have great skin, you must first of all take great care of your body! For example, avoiding things like sugar, preservatives and additives, smoking, and anything else that doesn’t benefit your health will transform your skin. My personally favorite nutrients for the skin are omega 3.6.9, vitamin C, vitamin D, and iodine. (See below for links to my interviews with Ben on supplements). If you have questions on what supplements you need, I recommend going to a naturopath who can have the proper tests done in order to evaluate your general health.
Know How Skin Works
Knowing how your skin operates is crucial to avoid science washing. In order to have your skin look it’s best, a form of exfoliation is needed. Alpha hydroxy acids, retinol, and vitamin C, are the three top ingredients that help with giving your skin the nutrients that it needs to encourage cell turnover. Things like retinol and alpha hydroxy acids help to remove the top dead skin layer that we all have and the more you use them, the more you encourage cell turnover, and your skin brightens, wrinkles are diminished, and you look better. Fat soluble topical vitamin C is one of the number one in nutrients you can use to strengthen your skin and give it the food it needs. Other treatments like micro dermabrasion and peels can greatly assist in this as well. Therefore, the most recent amazing discovery in ingredients that so many lines tout will not benefit you very much unless it contains some aspect of those three ingredients.
Understanding Your Skin Type
The first step in selecting skincare products is understanding your skin type. There are four main skin types: oily, dry, combination, and normal. Oily skin tends to produce excess oil and is prone to acne, while dry skin lacks moisture and can be flaky and itchy. Combination skin is a mix of oily and dry, while normal skin is well-balanced and neither too oily nor too dry.
To determine your skin type, wash your face and let it dry completely. After an hour, examine your skin in the mirror. If your skin looks shiny and feels greasy, you likely have oily skin. If it feels tight, dry, or itchy, you may have dry skin. If your skin is oily in some areas (like the T-zone) and dry in others, you likely have combination skin. If your skin looks well-balanced and feels comfortable, you likely have normal skin.
Choosing Skincare Products by Your Skin Type
Once you’ve determined your skin type, you can start selecting skincare products that are best suited for your needs. Here are some tips:
- Oily Skin: Look for lightweight, oil-free products that won’t clog pores. Ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and clay can help control oil production and prevent breakouts.
- Dry Skin: Look for rich, hydrating products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides. Avoid products that contain alcohol or other drying ingredients.
- Combination Skin: Look for products that are gentle and balanced, like a mild cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer. Avoid heavy creams or products that are too drying or too oily.
- Normal Skin: Look for products that maintain your skin’s natural balance, like a gentle cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer. You can also use products that target specific concerns, like dark spots or fine lines.
Know How to Read an Ingredient Deck
Knowing how to read ingredients both in the grocery store and on skin care bottles is a very valuable skill set. In other words, understanding how an ingredient deck is set up and what ingredients to look for will completely transform your purchasing power. The higher on an ingredient deck and ingredient appears the more of it is in the bottle. Therefore, if the top three to five ingredients make it smell nice, look nice, and feel nice, (I call them fluff ingredients) then you should start getting worried. For example, if you’re buying a vitamin C serum, and the type of vitamin C shows up at number 15, and there are 20 ingredients in the deck, you’re not getting very much of the main active ingredient. Please visit this blog I wrote about vitamin C in order to have a deeper understanding of the different types of vitamin C and what they do.
Quick Link For Vitamin Serum:
When shopping for skincare products, it’s important to read the labels carefully. Look for products that contain active ingredients that are known to be effective for your skin concerns. Also, be aware of any ingredients that your skin may be sensitive to, like fragrance or essential oils.
Here are some common skincare ingredients and what they do:
- Retinoids: Help stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Vitamin C: Helps brighten skin and even out skin tone.
- Hyaluronic acid: A powerful humectant that helps hydrate and plump the skin.
- Salicylic acid: An exfoliating ingredient that helps unclog pores and prevent acne.
- Benzoyl peroxide: Helps kill acne-causing bacteria and prevent breakouts.
Retinol, or vitamin A, is a fabulous ingredient to encourage cell turnover and exfoliate the top layer of your skin. However, you want a smaller amount of retinol because too much of it will cause irritation. So, if retinol appears lower down on the ingredient deck, then it will cause less irritation in your skin. Please visit this blog I wrote about retinol for more information.
The most important aspects of avoiding science washing in skin care is to understand how the body works, how your skin works, and how to read an ingredient deck. I recommend you break out a Google search and look at each ingredient in any product before you buy in order to familiarize yourself with ingredients. I’m also a fan of the website EWG.org (Environmental Working Group), that gives you a thorough explanation of not only ingredients, but the level of toxicity of each one. If you have sensitivities this is a must have!
In conclusion, selecting the right skincare products for your skin type and concerns can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding your skin type, choosing products that are well-suited to your needs, and reading skincare labels, you can create a personalized skincare routine that will help you achieve your desired results. Remember, consistency is key, so be patient and give your skin time to adjust to any new products you introduce.
More From Ben and The Beauty Shaman
For more information on health and the skin, visit my YouTube channel and the many incredible interviews I have done with Ben Fuchs including crepey skin, vitamin C, supplements for great skin, melasma, dry skin, and the truth about the skin care industry.
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