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Comparing Skin Care Products

     Women from all walks of life have forever sought endless beauty. The shift today, however, is that men are also doing the same. Longevity and beauty have stepped into the limelight as countless numbers of baby boomers begin to “grow” wrinkles.

     We no longer just worry about survival, but we also fret about the quality of our health and the manifestation of such to be exhibited outwardly – our appearance. The biological sciences are making rapid advances in all areas.

     If you are in the market for a skin care product, beware. Know what you’re buying before you buy it. Effective skin care products must include ingredients that protect the skin during the day and repair it at night.

     This is the first secret of an effective skin care program; the second is having effective products. So what is the difference between products that work and products that do not work?

     Commercial products that are successful must also be profitable. Two methods are used to sell skin care products. The first is to promise something good will happen when the product is used. This is the “hope in a jar” method. It requires constant and expensive advertising to suggest the buyer will look just like the woman in the ad if she uses the product.

     As long as the commercial runs, the product will sell. However, cost of the commercials is so high that it is next to impossible to make a quality product for this market.

     The second method is to make a quality product and let the product’s performance speak for itself. Only a certain amount of advertising is needed, and once the product is established, the name will carry future sales. Many professional products are marketed this way.

     Most companies of mass-market products must keep the cost of materials very low, including the ingredients and the packaging. The ingredients are the key to an effective product – not only the type of ingredients but also the quality. Most inexpensive products will contain ingredients such as mineral oil, stearic acid, and some alkali to form a soap emulsion. A little fragrance and color and, voila, you have a skin care product.

     Many people are misled that if a product looks good and smells good, it must be good. Not so. Actually, it may do your skin more harm than good.

     Sometimes these poorly-formulated products will list exotic ingredients on the label to impress the buyer. Usually, they are in the product at very low levels-at levels that cannot possibly affect any kind of change to the skin. It is the same as making a pot of tea with only one tea leaf. It can be called tea, but it is not really tea, or, at least, not very good tea.

     The consumer needs to be aware that a good skin care product cannot be made cheaply. For example, one ingredient in a major skin care product line cost about $3,000 a kilogram, a gram cost $3.00, so 0.9 grams will cost $2.70 just for that one ingredient. Consider that a good skin care product may have more than 15 ingredients. It is easy to see why the cost of skin care products can be so expensive.

     On the other hand, the average cheap skin care product contains less than 30 cents’ worth of total active ingredients. No matter what claims are made for a cheap product, the quality and quantity of active ingredients tell the story.

     Whether or not you go out and buy the most expensive skin care product on the market or the cheapest, just be aware that not all skin care products are made equal-read the label carefully and judge accordingly.

Written By: Dr. Terri Hawkins

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