25,000 skin care products worldwide. Which one is right for you?

The Beauty Issue

25,000 skincare products!

25,000!! When I heard that statistic, it got me thinking? With so much choice and so many promises, how do you know which skin care product or brand is right for you? I know. It’s confusing and overwhelming. Now, here’s another thought, there are a bazillion beauty blogs, Instagram influencers and websites offering you advice. Of course, with a worldwide population of 7 billion, a bazillion perhaps is still not enough.

Oh and yes, here’s one more statistic. There are 525,600 minutes in a year. Yep. How many of those precious minutes do you want to spend pondering your skincare? Hopefully, not all of them. 

Has the beauty industry become a confusing minefield?

With so many brands on offer, it would seem so. How do you choose? How do you sort the good from the bad? Is it all hype? Which promises should you trust and which should you dismiss. 


Well, for me, it’s not that there are too many skincare products, (even though there are), but perhaps, it’s the promises made that are the most disturbing. Marketing hype rolled out to make a brand seem unique. So unique in fact, that you’ll find yourself wanting to try it and buy it. 


Are we buying more dreams rather than reality? Are we wishing our way to the skin we want instead of looking for advice that can be trusted?


A wander around the internet, and you’ll find things like, Dragons blood, (not sure who’s slaying the dragon!!), snake and bee venom, why, I’ve even seen the essence of jellyfish. I know, who knew? And don’t get me started on the slime from agitated snails. But wait, before anyone gets upset with me. I have no idea whether these ingredients work, maybe they do? But frankly? I don’t think I care. 


Many brands make promises that are difficult to keep.

Most of these ingredients will make the promise of firming or lifting the skin; some even say the stinging effect of said venom will throw your collagen-making-skin-cells into action and make more collagen. Maybe. Or maybe, you’re just buying a jar full of irritation. If you choose to use creams and serums with these kinds of ingredients, you may see a tiny and temporary improvement in your skin, but in most cases, you’ll probably be disappointed. 


Is it all nonsense?

Whether you’ve been around for a while like me, or you’ve just noticed your first wrinkle, and you’ve decided it’s time to get serious about proper skin care, you’ve probably seen enough to feel like it might all be nonsense and hope in a jar. You’re just not buying into the hype. But, you still linger over the advertisements with the promise to turn back the clock. The before and after pictures all look pretty convincing and you dream of a beautiful, youthful skin just like [insert your favourite celebrity name here].


With all this hype, marketing, unbelievable promises and absolute nonsense, it would be easy to give up. Stick with what you know, even if it’s doing more harm than good. Although before you do, consider this. If you know what to look for, there are some fantastic, sophisticated formulations to be found. 


But how do you choose? How to find the holy grail of skincare without slaying any dragons? Well, as someone very wise once said. ‘Knowledge is Power’. So today, I’d like to share just a small part of my industry knowledge.


There are only a handful of ingredients that work.

Despite what you have read and heard and with 25,000 skincare products to choose from, and despite advances in skin science there’s still only a handful of skin-identical ingredients that will make any change in your skin. But the good news is, they do exist.


Here’s what to look for in your brand.

To improve your skin and spend your money wisely, look for ingredients that are protective, corrective, communicate with your cells and are as close to skin-identical as possible.   


Clever ingredients

Proven to communicate with your skin cells. Communication? In other words, your cell receptors recognise these ingredients and will accept them into the cell where they can do good things for your skin. Pretty cool right? Known to be skin-identical, and having an affinity with your skin to protect and correct. 


1. Look for these key active ingredients.

  • Niacinamide for skin-boosting immunity.
  • Vitamin C will fight free radicals and build collagen.
  • Retinoids (Vitamin A) provide environmental protection and the repair of your skin cells.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s) for improving cell turnover
  • Phospholipids, essential to the healthy function of skin cells. 
  • For barrier protection look for linoleic and linolenic acid as well as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerine.
These are all highly active ingredients that communicate with the cells of your skin. If you want to know more about them, you might like to go here.

2. A brand you know, love and trust.

Finding a brand you can trust? Okay, so this one can be difficult because the advertising copy and imagery for some skincare brands can be so compelling it’s hard to see past it and sort the truth from the fiction. It’s easy to be dazzled by it all. Furthermore, we want to believe what we read, see and hear about a product. 

Ask yourself. Is the brand prepared to clearly explain their key active ingredients including those ingredients hidden behind their proprietary name and trademark? 


If you can, look beyond the advertising hype. Look at who’s making the product, who’s the creator?  Try to get a feel for the company. What are their beliefs and philosophies? Or, is it massed produced with copy-cat formulations on high rotation?


3. Organic, natural, preservative-free and cruelty-free.

For many of us, choosing organic, natural, preservative-free or, free from animal testing are all pretty important. Fair enough. We all have our beliefs and values, and your reasons are personal. Follow your heart when you choose. 


4. Does sampling a product help?

If you are going to sample a product, don’t think of it as a test drive on results, nothing works that fast. Depending on your age, your skin takes from 30 – 45 days to renew itself. Most samples won’t last that long unless it’s a trial kit. So please, when sampling, it’s not results you should be looking for, instead, ask yourself, do you like the feeling on your skin, the scent and the texture.


Okay, so what’s next?

Follow the advice of the skincare professional, although, this is where it gets a bit tricky; Are they experts in their field of knowledge and how can you tell? 
It’s simple. Ask your advisor how the ingredients in the products are going to work on your skin. How are they going to fix your skin condition? If they can’t answer your questions, you may need to seek advice from someone else or go directly to the company that makes the product. All highly respected skincare companies will have an education department and should be more than happy to answer all your questions.


Lastly and it’s a biggie!!

The excellent brands work within a system of products to achieve results. 
Not everyone will agree with me, which is fine, but here it is. Don’t mix up your skincare brands. If the brand you’ve chosen is good, it will have a system of products that meet your skincare needs. Of course, there will be times when you change your brand. Some skincare products specifically cater for younger skins, while others are very clearly engaging in the needs of the more mature skin. But a leading brand will be able to move with you through all your life stages. 


Good brands, great brands, resist the temptation to continually add to the ever-burgeoning list of products on the market to keep you coming back. If the product is GOOD, you will. Of course, we all love the variety of a new product, and of course, as new and better ways to formulate products emerge, skincare companies will change and reinvent their products, be wary of the same thing all dressed up in a different outfit. 


Unclutter your bathroom cabinet.

When I started this website, I promised to help you unclutter your bathroom cabinet. How much is in there right now? Why not go and check. Oh, you’re at work, okay then, do a little mental tally in your head followed by a mental calculation on how much you’ve spent in the last year. A bit shocking right? Worse, you’re still not happy, and even more upsetting most of the stuff in your bathroom cabinet has not been used. Don’t fret; it’s just human nature to do this. We’re all just a little bit hardwired to keep looking for that one perfect product. 


So unless you take great delight in buying the latest promise in a jar because you like the packaging or because you want the most fashionable brand displayed on your bathroom vanity, try and find a brand you know, love and trust and stick with it.
1. Commit to the process.
2. Give the products a chance to work on your skin.
3. Follow the system regimen. 
Take the advice of the company and the recommendations they have prescribed for your specific skincare needs. If you can’t find useful information over the counter or in the beauty salon or cosmetic doctors office, call the brand’s advice line.


Don’t be shy about it, if they are the right kind of skincare brand they’ll be passionate about helping you.


Failing all this, I’d love to hear what you’ve struggled with in finding skincare that works?  Share your skincare story in the comments. Have you discovered the holy grail in skincare? Or perhaps you have a burning beauty issue you’d like me to write about in a future article? Drop me a line here or leave a comment below. 

Hey, maybe you’re at a complete loss, and you’d like advice from an expert?  Get in touch and I’ll try to help.  

See you next time, 

Photo credit: claffra / Shutterstock.com