Cleaning out my bathroom cabinet last night, I was reminded of one of the irrefutable truths of my life thus far: I own way too many products. Gels, serums, lotions and creams, all (sometimes deceptively) in polished packaging suggesting their uncanny abilities to make my skin smoother, clearer, more even, more beautiful.
Of course, most products, however honest their intentions, don’t exactly live up to their word, which leaves me on a constant search for what, in fact, just works. The bright side is that being a sucker for skin products hasn’t been entirely futile; I’ve learned a few truths that generally ring true in the world of skin care.
1. Trendy, complicated-looking products do not necessarily equal effective products. Some of the most tried and true products I use are packaged simply in utilitarian-style bottles with easy-to-understand, honest descriptions. Here is a great database to help you know what to look for on the label of bottle before you purchase it.
2. Check for long, hard-to-read ingredient lists. You wouldn’t pour complicated-sounding chemicals in tonight’s casserole, so why allow them to be absorbed into your system through your skin care products? Look for all natural oils and butters instead of a plethora of 23-letter words. Check out this comprehensive list of chemical ingredients in cosmetics to find out what they really mean and what they do for your skin.
3. Try supporting local business. Not getting the results you were hoping for from commercially made products? Consider trying a local company with lower production levels. Not only will you get to support your local economy, but you may also find that a smaller company puts more care, energy and attention into their products.
4. Research natural ingredients and know what you’re looking for. Looking for relief from dry, flaky skin? You may want to look for avocado oil in a moisturizer. Combating an oily complexion? Hazelnut oil can serve as a great astringent in a facial cleanser. The more you know, the less lost you will feel looking at ingredient lists. Check here for comedogenic ratings of botanical oils so you know which ones are best for your skin type.
5. Keep it simple. Don’t let your bathroom cabinet devolve into mine. When you find products you like, stick to them. And chances are that the products that are most effective will be the straight-forward, all natural real deals that simply deliver results.
Do you believe in using natural products? What works best on your skin? Let us know in the comments!