Today, we are spoilt for choice, and when it comes to skin care brands, you are REALY spoilt for choice. It is just one of the areas of the beauty industry that is booming even in challenging economical periods. In my 11 years in the beauty industry, I have often seen clients stand staring blankly at shelves filled with all sorts of skin care products beautifully packaged. They do not know where to start. Does this sound like you?
Here is my personal and professional opinion on how to choose the perfect skin care for your individual needs:
1. Determine your skin type.
Typically, you get 3 skin types namely, dry, oily and normal. You may also be a combination of more than one of these skin types in which case your skin care range will need to be adaptive to the various needs. Your skin type is primarily determined by genetics. Environmental factors, also play a role. Dry skin lacks oil (sebum) content and may appear flakey. The skin texture is mostly fine and may have visible lines. Oily skin has an over production of oil (sebum) and often appear shiny. Typically an oily skin will also have areas of enlarged pores and are more prone to black heads (open comedones) and break outs. Normal skin has none of these issues and will appear smooth and supple. That is it. Dry. Oily. Normal or combination.
2. But, what if the skin care brand was not developed in my country?
Whether you live in China, the North Pole or South Africa- skin types stay the same world-wide as described above. For this reason, other than looking out for countries that do not allow animal testing, it does not make a difference where your skin care brand has been developed. There is no such thing as a South African brand is more or less suitable for a South African skin. Skin care formulations focus on skin types as described above and skin conditions as described below. Your country of residence and its climate will only affect those conditions.
3. Identify your skin conditions.
In addition to a skin type, a skin care professional will help you identify your skin conditions. Typically that could be dehydration (a lack of water), maturity (aging) , sensitivity, hyper pigmentation (an over production if melanin), hypo pigmentation (an under production of melanin and acne. There are more. Once your skin care professional has determined your skin type and conditions, you can decide which you would like to focus on.
4. Decide on your long and short-term goals.
A short term goal is something that can be achieved immediately in one or two facial treatments. A good example will be increasing hydration (which will plump up fine lines). Another example is removing black heads (open comedones) or milia (little white pearls of that form typically around the eye area). A Long term goal would be something such as sensitivity or hyper pigmentation on an area. A long term goal may take months of dedication to achieve and will require commitment to both in salon treatments as well as home care products. Ask your skin care professional to work out a package for you in this case. A package of several treatments and products may work out cheaper.
5. Stay with in your budget.
Do not blow your bonus on the best and biggest skin care range if you cannot sustain it through out the year. What will end up happening is that you brand hop between cheap (not always good) alternatives the rest of the year. This often ends up doing more harm to your skin than good. I recommend chatting to your skin care specialist and giving her a realistic budget that you have available. That specialist can then realistically offer you a suitable range that is sustainable over a period of time. This way, you can realistically achieve results. Also, you won’t be wasting your money.
6. Do not skip toner.
Your skin optimally functions at an acidic pH. Our water is not an acidic base. Your make up you are washing off may not be either. Even if your cleanser is pH balanced, most clients do not cleanse long enough or effectively enough- if at all. A toner’s primary function is to balance out the pH of your skin to be slightly acidic. Only at this balancing point can your skin optimally function and actually absorb the serums , masks and creams you apply next. If you do not tone, your skin cannot optimally use the active ingredients in these products. For the most part, you are just wasting good product by not toning.
7. A cosma- what?
There are a few trending descriptions to look out for. A cosmetic product and brand refers to products using ingredients that beautify the epidermal (top outer layer of the skin). These products work only in this superficial layer of the skin and do not go deeper than that. A cosmaceauticals and pharmaceauticles refer to products and brands which penetrate the epidermis, traveling down to the dermal (living) layer of the skin where they can improve the functions of the skin from within the deepest layers. The latter will be the better choice brands to go for. They may be more pricy but will deliver longer lasting more effective results especially on conditions such as aging and pigmentation issues. Often, you need to use less of these products at a time. Trust me it’s worth it. My personal favorite is ANESI skin care. Read more on Anesi at http://www.nov-u.co.za/ourproducts.php.
8. Lastly, commit.
You will not lose weight if you do not commit to a meal and exercise plan, in the same way you will not achieve your skin care goals if you do not stick to a professional and home care plan using a suitable brand. It’s that simple. Your skin care plan will include recommended professional treatments, home care products and life style changes. A client once told me that her Somatologist/ Beauty Therapist is as important and personal choice to her as choosing her Gynea. Well there you have it.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org should you need a referral to a good skin care therapist. There are many fantastic Ladies I can refer you to.