I will be the first to admit that back in my younger, teenage years, I was a definite sun worshiper. If I could be out laying in the sun, I would be, lathered up in baby oil and no sunscreen (and Sun-In in my hair, because, of course). I know, it makes me cringe now as well. I was lucky to have fairly normal, acne free skin, and never really had a good, consistent skin care routine. I used whatever products I could get at the local big box store, and off I went. This continued into my 20’s, and by the time I hit 25 (after my oldest was born), I decided that I needed to incorporate some sort of skin care routine. Sleepless nights and hormone changes had caught up with me, and I went to the drug store in search of the bare basics of skin care. I found a popular night cream that was always on the commercials, and better yet, I had a COUPON! Score! I did no research on it at all, but was at least careful to test it in a small area before dove all in, because my skin is SUPER sensitive. I used this for a few YEARS until I decided to try something different (my skin was SO dry- come to find out later that it was the night cream I was using).
The next products I tried were another popular brand, this time from a direct distributor. I won’t call out the company, but it has been around forever, had a little bit higher price tag, so I thought that they MUST be good, right? I used this brand off and on, switching between it and the drug store brand. At this point I was pushing 30, and started getting serious about my skin care. I had just had my second child, and the wrinkles and grey hairs were creeping up on me. I started using the “long time, slightly more expensive company”‘s products consistently at this point, and I thought I was set.
One night, I decided to join in on a Facebook party my friend was hosting for another direct sales company, and lucky me, I “won” a set of under eye patches that were supposed to make you look less tired and eliminate puffiness. I didn’t purchase anything (thank God) so the under eye patches were all I got. They had also sent me the ingredient list for another product this company sold to help focus, which I later took to both my doctor and my kids’ pediatrician who both broke down the ingredients list into “very expensive caffeine” and harmful chemicals. Awesome. I should’ve ran at this point, but for whatever reason (desperation from the effects of 2 kids probably) I decided to try the under eye patches. I followed all the directions and did notice that my under eyes looked a little less tired, but that could have also been from the cooling effect. I woke up the next day with purple eyelids and under eyes. This product basically just busted blood vessels everywhere it touched. I immediately went into panic mode and contacted the company, who claimed they had “never seen this before” (which I later found several stories to mine) and that it should go away eventually. I was mortified. I walked around in sunglasses for WEEKS until my skin went back to normal. I was SO mad, embarrassed that I had been so desperate for results that I didn’t do any research, and determined that this would NOT happen to me again.
When I look back at the turning point/slap into reality in my skin care, part of me becomes upset all over again, while part of me is grateful for the horrendous experience that forced me into starting to research what I was putting on my skin. Researching each ingredient in these products, getting expert opinions (REAL experts, DOCTORS, estheticians, dermatologists, NOT spokespeople from the company selling the products). Your skin is your largest organ- your body’s first line of defense. You only get 1 face- take care of it! Do you want to look old and wrinkly at 30? 40? 50? Those words are what really stuck in my head and my passion for skin care was born.
After I had my wake up call and started looking into ANYTHING that touched my skin, I did some research on the products that I HAD been using. Come to find out, that drug store product that I had the coupon for that was all over commercials actually had an ingredient in it that was HARMING my skin. Say whaaaat?! It was supposed to be used for anti aging, and in fact, it was having the OPPOSITE effect. That would explain why it was drying out my skin. That “long time popular, slightly higher priced” company’s products? The ingredients in it that were supposed to be “anti aging” were doing nothing at all. They were doing nothing, because the ingredients in it were not proper anti aging ingredients. I (and thousands of others who are still using this product) were just paying the slightly higher price tag for some expensive soap and lotion that were not giving us any anti aging benefits at all. As for the ingredients in the other direct sales company that had me in sunglasses for a month? As I’m sure you can guess, it’s not good. They have had several skeletons come out of their closet, with one being that their #1 ingredient for “anti aging” being toxic and poisonous. Not surprising.
I’m not sharing my stories to put these companies on blast (which is why I didn’t include company or product names), but to help raise awareness. I know I am not the only one who fell victim to the cheapest, best marketed or just being uneducated. It took me 30 years to realize that with skin care, you definitely get what you pay for. I’m not saying there aren’t some good “cheaper products”, but DO YOUR RESEARCH. Your face depends on it.
Want to know what products I use now? Stay tuned! I will have a full post on my current skin care routine soon! Can’t wait that long? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information before then.