What are you really putting on your skin?

Today I wanted to give everyone some basic pro tips that will help you to differentiate between medical or cosmeceutical grade skincare and skincare products that can be purchased at the supermarket or chemist.

We understand that there are a lot of different skin care brands on the market these days, from $13 Nutrogena cleansers to a $300 La Mer face creams. With clever marketing terms, pretty packaging and an endorsement from a social influencer, it can be hard to work out what exactly it is that is going to work for your skin, your concerns and your lifestyle.

That’s why it is our jobs as trained dermal therapists to work with you rather than just selling to you.

With this in mind, we wanted to provide you with a bit more information as to why we always prefer to opt for prescribing you with a medical or cosmeceutical grade skincare, such as DMK, rather than something you can pick up at your supermarket or chemist.

While we never want to shame anyone’s skincare routine (as we understand everyone’s priorities are different), we feel that it is important to let our client’s make informed decisions about what they are using on their skin on a daily basis.

Nasties, nasties, nasties

When you look at the ingredient list of a product, it’s hard to understand all of the scientific terms and what they actually are. A lot of off the shelf products, while they are cheap to buy, they are also cheaply made.

This essentially means that the ingredients are a lower grade quality than a medical grade product and therefore need more and more ingredients to stabilise the contents of the bottle.

Some common ingredients to look out for are:

  • Preservatives – such as disodium EDTA

  • Emulsifiers – anything with ‘PEG’ in the name, Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS), Cetearyl alcohol

  • Fragrances – such as parfume and other artificial fragrances

  • Silicones – such as dimethicone

The reason why we don’t like to see large quantities of these ingredients in products is because they can cause stripping, irritating effects and disrupt your skin’s natural oil flow.

There are so many more ingredients to look out for so for curiosity sake, google some of the ingredients in some of your products and see what they actually are!

Active Ingredients:

These days, products are so well marketed that they could convince us that plain old soap and water has magical benefits. It’s important to understand that when purchasing a product that claims to contain hyaluronic acid or vitamin c, what the actual percentage of that ingredient is in the product actually is. You’ll be able to get a rough idea of this by looking at the list of ingredients on the product.

The closer that active ingredient is to the top of the list, the higher the percentage of that ingredient is in the product. For example, a face cream from a supermarket claims to contain hyaluronic acid as a hydrating ingredient, however it’s listed as the second last ingredient in the product. This ingredient would be in such small quantities in the product that it would have little to no benefits for your skin. But because it is technically an ingredient in the product, it is allowed to be marketed as such!

Be savvy with your skincare purchasing and don’t let clever marketing fool you!

Does it have a delivery system?

Being aware of the ingredients in products and their effects on your skin is important, however all the unicorn hairs and fairy dust in the world won’t have any effect on your skin if it has no way of getting in!

Our skin is very selective about what it lets in, otherwise every time we had a soak in the tub we would soak up all the bath water and blow up like a water balloon.

This means that in order for a product containing beautiful active ingredients to be beneficial, a delivery system is necessary. Different cosmeceutical grade skin care products have different technology systems in their product ranges to allow for the products to reach cellular levels of the skin so that your skin is able to make use of the active ingredients it being provided with.

DMK for example, uses a transdermal delivery system within their products, that allow the active ingredients to make their way through the voids of the surface of the skin.

At a cellular level, your products are at least 70% more effect than products without a delivery system.

So, as you can see, having an understanding about the nitty gritty of ingredients will allow you to make an informed and educated decision about what skincare you’re investing your time and money into!

Stay safe everyone, Lauren.

Lauren is a trained Dermal Therapist and DMK Paramedical Skin Technician.

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