Alright ladies and gents, let’s talk skincare – or more specifically, the overwhelming feeling that washes over us when we step into the make-up/skincare aisle at a large pharmacy or department store. I can’t be the only person who has no idea what hyaluronic acid is or if it’s actually doing anything for my skin!
I’ll fully admit that I’ve never been a “skincare” person; part of this is because I have been lucky to have had few issues with my skin, but a bigger problem for me has always been that there are just so many options out there; all the major brands are vying for my attention, and at the end of the day, I’m still left wondering if any of these fancy science words on the box are actually doing anything for me.
Unfortunately, as explained to me by Laurie Hannah, medical esthetician professional at A Wrinkle In Time in Orangeville, those over-the-counter skincare products likely aren’t doing much for you, and what they are doing is really only at surface level, meaning that it’s doing more to mask the problem then fixing it.
Let’s break it down a little further; when you’re at the store, looking at all those generic “one stop shop” skin fixes, what you’re really looking at is the most basic of “solutions” to a whole host of possible skin conditions. It’s the same problem that you’ll have with anything generic – just like “standardized” women’s clothing sizes, the manufactures are trying to cater to everyone, and in the end, no one is really happy.
To avoid unexpected reactions and to try to fix a whole school of problems in one go, the manufacturers are using the most generic products in the lowest quantities, filling the rest with inactive ingredients, preservatives and fragrances. Don’t forget that just the smallest dash of an ingredient is enough for them to claim their product “has it”. That means they can claim to include peptides, retinol or vitamin C, but the quality and quantity of these ingredients
is so low, you’ll probably never see any effects from it.
Over the counter products might smell good, mask a few problems, and give you a nice confidence boost (which sometimes, may be all you need!), but they won’t actually solve any of your issues. If you’re looking for a skincare product that will actually help, what you’re really looking for would be medical grade skincare products.
With higher concentrations of active ingredients, medical grade skincare is carefully chosen to target and help specific skincare problems, such as acne, sunspots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
Your skin is actually made up of two layers: the epidermis, which is the outer layer that you see and feel every day, and the dermis, which exists below the epidermis. It is the dermis that contains the collagen and skin cells; it is therefore the dermis which you want to target if you’re looking to actually treat your skin issues, and that is what medical grade products and proper delivery do for you.
Unlike over-the-counter products (OTC) that only have to pass minimal testing for health and safety standards, medical grade skincare products are always backed by third party clinical studies, further ensuring that they are going to succeed at what they were designed for.
The “right” product really comes down to getting the right ingredients, in the right formula, in the right order. I don’t know about you but that sounds like an awful lot that has to be right to trust to a “box”, put together by a manufacturer who has never even seen you. Even if you somehow managed to find the right product, with the right ingredients for your specific skin conditions over the counter, if you don’t have the expertise to combine it with the proper delivery technique, it could still fail to penetrate the epi- dermis and get to the dermis below.
Consider this: an over-the-counter product can claim to have high volumes of vitamin C, which is true, but they often are filled with unstable vitamin C, which means that it loses most of its benefits before it even penetrates the epidermis. On the other hand, if you consult a professional about medical grade vitamin C, they can provide you with a product with stable vitamin C, and the proper application to ensure you get the real advantage you’re looking for.
If you’re interested in medical grade skin care, be sure to visit the professionals at A Wrinkle In Time to discuss the right products and the right method of delivery for you; resulting in your happy, healthy, glowing skin!
Written by Jillian Kent for LivingSpaces & Lifestyles Magazine, Fall 2021 issue