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Every day people are inundated with advertising hype about the next ‘miracle’ product in skin care. We would all like to believe that this one must be it. As reality sets in, it becomes apparent that not only do any two people have the same skin and, skin care is not an exact science.

Our job as professionals is to suggest what is best for each client and foster realistic expectations. The over-the-counter market can provide perhaps a better solution than you already use, but no one as yet has found that single ‘miracle in a jar’. Every so often the beauty industry seems to create a new term or buzz word to sell more product. For instance hyaluronic acid has been used in our industry for at least 20 years whereas tv advertisements would have you think it is a new ingredient. We were using glycolic acids in the 80’s but the public at large was introduced to them in the early 2000’s.

Alas, the choices are overwhelming and many times the sale is based on color and packaging style. Sad, isn’t it? One of my very dear clients has worked for a well-known cosmetics company. Her job was to travel to Europe in search for eye catching containers and in many cases, the jar was worth more than its contents. So why do we insist on repeating the same type of OTC purchasing? If you are happy with the results, keep doing it. If you are unhappy with what you are seeing in your mirror daily, change your pattern!

My visit to a natural practitioner recently where an etching on the mirror caught my eyer, It read, ‘You can have results or excuses, not both’. Definitely something to ponder! Again, our job as professionals is to help our clients do better in making choices regarding their skin and body care.

Understanding your jar contents can be challenging so I’ve complied a simpler method for assessment. Active ingredients: should have an effect on the skin and are added to a product to carry out that action. Inactive ingredients: are included to help deliver the active ingredients, preserve your product and make it aesthetically pleasing. These include buffers, coloring agents, emulsifying agents, fragrances, solvents, thickeners and vehicles. (Vehicles help deliver a single or complex ingredient.)

The inactive ingredients make up most of your jar content. However, they each have their own function in making the product effective. Keeping in mind, that the top layer of skin is to protect the internal organs and keep out potentially harmful bacteria while keeping moisture in. Product penetration happens three different ways: (1) it breaks through the skin between the cells, (2) this route delivers products directly through each cell, (3) deposits through your oil duct openings is the less preferred method. You, the consumer may think you can buy a $100 serum and try to make it last longer by using half the recommended dose; however this will simply give half of the active ingredient needed.

The new wave of ‘at home’ use handheld equipment is being distributed mainly from tv and the internet. In an attempt to achieve whatever that line professes within its scope of use can be better enhanced if the correct product is used as well. Not all products are capable of penetration. The pole (negative vs positive) and its encapsulation and molecular structure are at play here. So, beware and cautious with your product use.

Keeping the skin well hydrated at all times enhances the ability of your product to be used best. Consistency of use is the second best advice I can offer to you. If your skin concern has been evident a few years, it wouldn’t be prudent to expect one week of product use to correct it. Be smart, be effective, become knowledgeable and get the most from your skin care purchases. There is always a professional around to do the things you can’t. Enjoy your life!

DESIRED IMAGE SKIN CARE CLINIC – 871 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, NY 14226 (716)-834-1123


By Brenda Romanow

Brenda Romanow is the owner of Desired Image Skin Care Clinic, a Buffalo based business of over 22 years. Brenda has been in education for over 10 years for the New York State Education Committee for esthetics and is also a New York State examiner for esthetics. She started teaching in several school’s continuing education class on subjects such as Anti-Aging, Personal Image, Makeup application as well as Cosmetic Ingredients (what’s in a jar). 834-1123.