I want to share with you the story of my own skin care quest. Like many people, I have had a long term problem with acne. Now that I’m in my thirties, my acne problem has been joined by a wrinkle problem. Call it the onset of a midlife crisis or just part of getting older, but a few years back I went on a frantic search for the ideal products that could cure my acne and prevent me from getting wrinkles.
My quest led me to try many, many brands, from the least expensive things I could find at the drugstore to the extreme high end. While I poured a lot of cosmetics onto my face, I also poured a lot of money into the hands of those cosmetics companies! One thing that should have helped was the fact that my job at a major luxury retailer gave me access to many samples. This led not only to temptation but also potentially to conflict, as I was not only expected to try products but to recommend them to my customers.
In 2010, we started introducing the La Mer skin care brand to our customers. If you’re not familiar, this so-called “Miracle Skincare” product is very expensive - a 3.4-ounce jar of moisturizing cream sells for $395.00. Our La Mer salespeople were very friendly, and provided me with a lot of samples to use as well as brochures to pass on to my clients. Because they were so nice, they ended up selling me La Mer as well.
I had to do some more research. As part of the research process, a client and a friend of mine recommended the book “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” by Paula Begoun, who calls herself “The Cosmetics Cop” and has done in-depth research on cosmetics ingredients for decades. I downloaded this book on my iPad and started reading it. I was surprised to learn many interesting facts about La Mer, and I learned why it would never work for me. With more reading, I learned what kind of ingredients would help clear acne, prevent aging, and what kind of packaging will best preserve the ingredients etc. I became a self-appointed deputy cosmetics cop in our store. I used my iPad book often to guide my clients what kind of products should they buy throughout our store. And I recommended Paula’s book to my family, friends and clients.
What I like most about the book is the fact that there are references for virtually every claim made. You can go to the exact page of the academic dermatology journals to learn more details of what the author says. And Paula also has a website, www.beautypedia.com, that provides very detailed reviews of over 45,000 cosmetics products on the market. Her reviews are unbiased and science-based. (She has a university degree in science, which may be more than many cosmetics moguls can say.)
After many years of research, Paula started producing her own line of skin care products, branded as Paula’s Choice. I decided to give some of her products a try. They tend to be reasonably priced, and of course they follow scientific sense to attain the desired result. Her products don’t contain alcohol (which dries the skin) or fragrance (which can overstimulate the skin and cause breakouts). There was definitely a trial-and-error period for me to get my own product combination right, but I got a lot of help from the company’s customer service team. They are very knowledgeable, and they make doing returns and exchanges easy.
It has been two years since I started using Paula’s Choice, and my breakouts are few, far between, and quick to clear up. My wrinkle situation is also under control. I feel very good about how my skin looks these days, and I think between using Paula’s Choice products and following Beautypedia’s recommendations for other products, I should be able to maintain it.
Whomever you are reading this, your situation will be different than mine. Even if your complaints are similar, your age, skin type, and the products you currently will use will be different, as will your goals. I cannot urge you enough to educate yourself objectively before spending more money on skin care that doesn’t work or makes your problems worse. A paper or e-book copy of Paula Begoun’s book, or a quick trip over to beautypedia.com, is a small investment for a bit of knowledge that could save you thousands of dollars over a lifetime, and bring you better results.
If you’d like to ask me questions here, please do! I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments section.