Product Junky


Good-looking skin is the icing on the cake to every occasion, including the one where you’re sitting on the sofa with no makeup on. To get naturally impeccable skin, you need impeccable skin care habits, products, a good regimen, products, knowledge of your skin … and products.

The search for those perfect staple products is invigorating, exciting, and absolutely consuming of time and money. Coming from a recovering product junky, I know. I spent several hours in the cosmetic aisles of target buying gimmick, after gimmick, after gimmick only to be rewarded by a highly unattractive allergic reaction.

So, with all the tricks and ploys, how can one possibly be expected to buy proper products that maintain clear, healthy skin? To find out, I headed to the experts – dermatologists.

Turns out that the work starts way before we get to the store. The first step is to get a steady dermatologist. While the visits and medicines can be pricy, if you make the most out of each visit, you won’t have to go often. You and your doctor should assess what kind of skin you have, whether it be normal, dry, oily, combination, or sensitive. Knowing your skin type will help you identify what your skin needs and definitely help to maneuver through different products.

Once you know your skin type it’s safe to head to the store. And so, the hunt begins.

Purposely march into the local Target or Walmart, full speed ahead towards the cosmetic section. At the sight of the long aisle with all its illuminated shelves, take a deep breath. I know the cutest bottles are the most tempting, but restrain yourself fellow product junkies. Just because the bottle is oval shaped doesn’t mean that it’ll mesh well with your skin. Just because the company claims that the product has been “dermatologist recommended” does not mean that you should pay special attention to it, it does not even mean that it has been really recommended by a dermatologist.

The first thing you need is a good facial wash. Because we wash (or should wash) our face in the morning and at night, the product we use is applied to our precious skin twice a day. Anything on our skin that much needs to be exceptional.

Remember to think about your skin in relation to the product. If you have sensitive skin, look for a gentle cleanser without a fragrance. For those with oily skin, steer clear of washes with unnecessary oils in them.

When a product catches my eye, I love to flip it over and read the ingredients. Of course, my eye naturally skips over the words I can’t pronounce; however, paying special attention to the “active” ingredient in each product is most important. Active ingredients are those that are most prominent and will have the most effect on your skin. While different skin types need different active ingredients, overall, face washes should contain glycerin. This ingredient makes the wash less drying to your skin.

Speaking of drying, a moisturizer is the next most important thing needed under any properly stocked bathroom cabinet. After every wash, a facial moisturizer should be applied depending on your skin type…those with naturally oily skin can skip moistening up here and there.

There are no specific ingredients that should be in a moisturizer; however, still keep an eye on the active ingredient in it. Some products may contain ingredients that don’t mesh well with certain skin types or certain medications, which can cause rashes, blotchy spots, or pealing. Dr. Mary Lupo, a profound, widely accredited dermatologist, offered Aveeno and Eucerin as some of her personal favorites.

Next on the list is a product that halts blemishes in their tracks in the same way we halt in the mirror when we see them. What girl doesn’t enjoy a fattening meal or treat every once in a while or…every day? That doesn’t mean we deserve to be punished by an angry mob of dirt and oil in the form of one huge pimple or blackhead. Right?

Skim and scan some of the acne creams down aisle seven and when you find an eye-catching one, spin to the back of it and seek out that active ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are favorable ingredients to have in acne cream. This is where the good moisturizer would come in handy because these chemicals are very drying.

The new bandwagon for pretty much everything, especially skin products, seems to be going natural. Every brand now has “natural” options for the faithful product junky in her weak moments. But don’t be fooled. Flip the bottle over and read all of the ingredients (even the ones with more than 16 letters). I’m a sucker for a good natural product, but it needs to be truly all natural, not part natural. Plus, natural products may not necessarily be the better choice. Truly natural products are plant based; many have plant allergies they never knew about.

Whether you decide to go natural or chemical, just don’t pick at your acne. I know it is tempting and I know we’ve all heard it before. But seriously, don’t pick at even the smallest of blemishes. The pimples or blackheads will instantly become more damaging to your skin. No spot corrector will fix marks left behind by a pimple that was tampered with. According to Dr. Kate Holcomb, a New Orleans native doctor, spot correctors don’t work because the spots are too deep in our skin. To correct this, a dermatologist visit in order.

However, with a good facial wash, moisturizer, acne medicine, and good habits, spots shouldn’t be a problem.

A little work every morning and night makes for a flawless look every second in between.




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