Women spend hundreds of dollars on skin products, but what are you really paying for? Dermatologist Dr. Brian Williams has 5 key ingredients to look for.
Proper skin care can be challenging, especially in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Our climate here can be harsher and lead to drier skin than in more temperate climates. Skin care products make up a multimillion dollar industry. The advertizing is all around us from TV to magazine ads and even to internet ads in front of your videos and next to your email. But if you have ever stood in front of the skin care products at the grocery store or pharmacy you know how confusing the whole ordeal can be. So how can we sort through what is good and get to what is great without spending a lot of money.
It is helpful to know that different skin has different needs. If I were to ask you what car is the best, you would have a hard time answering that question. That is why there are so many different cars on the road. Some would say that the best car needs 4 wheel drive, others would contend that it would be fast, and still others would ignore both of those and go for fuel efficient. So there is no perfect skin care product for everyone. But it would be helpful to get on the right path. Let’s look at 5 ingredients that have benefits for the skin and are helpful. Conversely let’s look at some of the ingredients that are hyped but not necessarily what you want in a skin care product.
5 valuable ingredients in skin care products:
1. Ceramides, Cholesterol, Free Fatty acids – great for dry skin
2. Vitamins C and E – great for anti-aging
3. Retinoids – great for anti aging and normal skin health
4. Sunscreen – great to prevent aging and prevent skin damage
5. Alpha- Hydroxy acids – great for dryness and reducing the signs of aging.
Now let’s talk about the other side of creams that are great to avoid if you can. Creams have hundreds of different ingredients and it is tough to understand what all of them do. They all have a purpose but some of them you can live without.
Some ingredients to avoid if you can
1. Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and sodium sulfosuccinate
These fall into the categories of surfactants. These are thing that make our favorite products foamy and creamy. Sodium lauryl sulfate breaks down the skin’s natural moisture barrier allowing water to escape and other chemicals to more easily penetrate the skin.
Many allergic and irritant reactions to creams come from their fragrances. Many chemicals used to make fragrances can cause allergic reactions. Fragrances are often not listed on lists of ingredients or just listed as “fragrance” because of the proprietary nature of the mixtures. Even unscented products can contain masking fragrances.
Prevention is better than correction. It is better to stay out of the car accident than to have the world’s best repair shop. Sacrificing the tan today leads to much greater youthful results down the road. It is not necessary to run away from the sun but it is important to be smart in the sun. I tell my patients sun exposure can be like a credit card. You may get what you want today but you mostly end up paying it down the road and very often with interest.
Brian Williams, M.D.
602 E. Fort Union Blvd
Midvale, UT 84047