Things patients say: Part 2
“Thank you for the product recommendations, but I will just buy it on the Internet (where it is less expensive).?
This might be the one “thing patients say” that they don’t actually say, but instead think..
Yes, online shopping (Amazon, etc) is extremely prevalent these days, and retailers who don’t need to pay for actual brick and mortar locations can offer products at lower prices. But, it is extremely important to understand and appreciate the value of purchasing products from a trusted, authorized vendor.
In addition to not having an expert on hand to guide you personally through the recommended use and integration of new products into your routine, you also can never be sure of what you are purchasing.
There are so many instances of knock-off and counterfeit products online that mega brands such as SkinMedica actually have entire departments of people dedicated to shutting down all of the fake SkinMedica sites that are popping up everyday. Some of these products look EXACTLY like the real deal, but they’re not. (Similar to designer hand-bags, there is a range of quality. Some products will be blatant forgeries, and others will be nearly identical to the authentic versions.)
Aside from fake products, there is also the possibility of genuine products being kept in unsuitable conditions that would make active ingredients ineffective. (if a storage area is too hot, exposed to sunlight, etc., the ingredients can become degraded.)
Expired products may also be sold online, which is yet another e-commerce red-flag.
You can find trust-worthy brick-and-mortar options, ironically, also through the internet. If you go onto the site of your desired products, they will often list authorized vendors in your area. Additionally if you are in a location that seems to carry multiple well-known brands, you can likely trust that they are reputable.
The added benefit of having someone help you pick out the best products for YOUR skin should also not be forgotten. (Just because a retinol or glycolic product worked well for someone else, has great reviews, or has fancy packaging does NOT mean it will be the right thing for you. Plus, if your skin care professional does not know the products you are using at home, it makes it harder to monitor and understand your progress and results.)
Have caution about online prices that seem too good to be true — there is usually very good reason, and any money spent on faulty products is ultimately a waste of your time, money, and attempted skin care.