The reality and seduction of grocery store and online skin care products referred to as “Over the Counter Skin Care”

People want to look beautiful. Most of us want to look attractive to others and we notice ourselves when we look our best. Often, people are willing to spend significant amounts of money and time to achieve healthy, glowing skin. That’s why the beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, filled with promises, temptations, and allure.

How often are you in a store, and a colorful package with a healthy-looking model grabs your attention? The package might promise “The Revived Fountain of Youth,” and after the kind of day you’ve had, it seems “just what the doctor ordered.” Or what about when a new product appears in your news feed that seems to target the exact skincare issue you’re facing? It’s very tempting to make that purchase.

Let’s Discuss Online Skincare and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Products:

When you buy random skincare products, you are essentially self-diagnosing. You’re taking a guess at what might work or improve your skin. A professional esthetician, on the other hand, analyzes your skin and listens to your concerns before choosing a targeted approach. Making impulse buys from supermarkets or online based on random reviews can result in wasted time, money, and ineffective products. I’ve seen people who, after a period of trial and error, have stripped their skin of essential oils and moisture in an attempt to treat acne rather than balancing their skin and addressing the root issue. Some over-exfoliate, leaving their skin raw, because of promises of a brighter complexion from packaging at the checkout line. It might be faster and more cost-effective to seek a professional skincare analysis and invest in high-quality products that genuinely address and resolve your skin issues. That way, you can foster positive change and maintain the health of your skin more effectively.

Skincare products come with expiration dates. The typical shelf life for professional products ranges from 6 to 18 months. If you purchase from third-party warehouses at a discount, there’s a good chance the product has been stored for an extended period, possibly in hot, humid, suboptimal conditions. When a product’s effectiveness is diminished due to extended storage, it loses its efficacy. There’s also a risk that it might not be the genuine product it claims to be, or it could be diluted. Similarly to processed food, if skincare is mass-produced and inexpensive, it’s likely loaded with preservatives to extend its shelf life.

Over-the-counter products often lack many active ingredients. The term “active ingredient” refers to components that genuinely bring about change and can be utilized by skin cells. These ingredients are more expensive because professional products undergo clinical trials to verify their components, effectiveness, and claims. Over-the-counter products are probably loaded with fillers because they’re cheaper. They sit on the surface of the skin, providing a superficial “feel good” sensation without actually benefiting or addressing underlying skin issues. Additionally, active ingredients require a carrier ingredient, which demands expertise in formulation since it must transport the active elements into the cell wall. Professional products are designed to penetrate the dermal junction, fostering healthy skin growth from within.

In the long run, professional products contain fresh, active ingredients and deliver on their promises, tailored specifically for your skin’s needs. In the short term, they may work faster and cost a bit more for the reasons mentioned. However, when you see a healthier, more beautiful reflection in the mirror, you’ll realize it’s worth the investment.

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