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C hoosing an ideal skin product is challenging. At a dermatologist office you will obtain guidance on selecting and using the ideal skin products for you. It demands an intricate and PRECISE equation that leads to the most satisfying results.

Many factors influence our skin product selection. Subjective factors include artistic presentation on the bottle, fragrance, texture, consistency, formulation and social perception. Often times patients may not comply with the skin regiment because it is simply too time consuming and/or complicated. Other skin care factors are more objective, such as selecting a product to match a skin type or condition.

Often my patients complain that the cosmeceutical industry is very confusing because there are so many skin products that are sold and so many marketing massages that are misleading. Many patients purchase skin products in department stores, pharmacies, or spas with minimal knowledge about the products or their appropriate use, which leads to poor outcomes – unhappy skin, unhappy individuals.

This brings us to the answer why someone would go to a dermatologist to find the best skin care products?

The answer is multi-faceted. A dermatologist will take the time to listen and will PRECISELY educate you on what products would best suit your skin. It is a personalized team approach. A dermatologist has the training, skill, and experience to help you to make this choice. During a skin care consultation, a dermatologist will ask you specific questions leading to a recommendation that is best for you. This is a skin care regiment that takes into account your skin type, your skin care goal, a skin condition you would like to treat, or what you may have liked or disliked about previous or currently used skin care products.

Also, many of the products that dermatologists offer in their offices have PRECISE scientific evidence to back-up the efficacy. So if the product claims to improve wrinkles or dark spots, it actually did show in human clinical studies to do so. Therefore, these products provide consumer confidence and devotion through significant results.

Many of my patients ask why they would purchase products in my office versus online or other stores after we made skin care regimen selection. My answer is simple, buyer beware. I do understand the convenience and low cost factors that drive consumers to shop at discount online outlets. Although skin care discount websites and stores that may carry the products that appear the same or have similar ingredients, these products, are not PRECISELY the same. Many of these skin products are counterfeit or expired. Counterfeit products will have unknown and potentially harmful ingredients and expired products may have degraded and hazardous agents – both of which can lead to unintended side effects and inadequate results. I had several patients who presented with irritant skin reactions to creams purchased online and after reviewing them, they had a “fake label” = counterfeit or “expired”. So beware when purchasing products online!

– Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, M.D.