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  • Totally Unnecessary Skin Care Products

  • Posted by Anna on January 10, 2011 at 06:04PM
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  • I don't know about you, but I feel vulnerable walking the aisles of CVS or perusing the beauty counters at Macy's. With over 10,000 skin care companies trying to convince me that I need a different cream for every body part and that if I have a wrinkle here, a stretch mark there then I am doomed to some sort of ugly-hell (friends stop calling, I get fired and my boyfriend cheats on me), so how can I know what I actually need and which skin care products are totally useless?

  • To help us weed through the hype, I went to dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer to figure out which skin care products (general product types, not necessarily specific ones) for our face or body are totally pointless.

  • Here are some of the 9 unnecessary products he says can be left on the shelf:

  • Separate creams for the face, neck and chest

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  • The skin care products you use on your face work for your neck and décolleté as well, says Lancer. So if you have an excellent facial moisturizer that boasts some anti-aging benefits, then just be sure to apply it below your chin A.M. and P.M. as well.

  • Super expensive skin care products

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  • When it comes to skin care, expensive doesn't necessarily equal better, says Lancer. Oftentimes these super fancy-schmancy products are loaded with snazzy ingredients (stem cells, anyone?), which can yield allergic reactions and/or are typically way more than your skin needs, he adds. A good analogy for this is vitamins: If you're a generally healthy person, a daily vitamin should suffice, right? For example, you don't need thousands and thousands of extra units of vitamin D per day, unless you know for a fact that you are deficient in it -- which is often not the case. So basic moisturizers, cleansers and SPF products should work just fine for everyone.

  • Check out the 9 most expensive skin care creams -- your jaw will literally drop.

  • Toner

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  • The average woman who is interested in anti-aging benefits can take or leave toner, says Lancer. In general, toner is best for people with enlarged pores and excessive oil production; and for those with Rosacea-prone skin, a gentle toner is worth using, he adds. Otherwise, it's just an extra step and more money out of your pocket.

  • Hydrating serum

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  • When we ask Lancer about hydrating serums, he says, "for daily use, it's fluff." Basically it's "fluff" because alone it doesn't do too much. He explains that serum seals skin after an invasive procedure, so it is best used post-treatment. However, if you have sensitive, reactive skin all of the time, then using a serum will help soothe your skin.

  • Age-reversing products

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  • Anti-aging prevention is one thing, but trying to reverse signs of aging with a product is another story. People who already have fine lines and wrinkles will see minimal improvement (about 2-5 percent), by using over-the-counter anti-aging products, says Lancer, and will only see a drastic improvement in their lines and wrinkles via a surgical procedure or by using a prescription like a retinoic acid for something specific.

  • Body firming products

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  • You know those dimply, jiggle-prone places on your body that like 99.9 percent of all women have? There are currently no products on the market that alone can make those places firmer and less cellulitic, Lancer says. Sorry to break it to you, but we have to reiterate that watching your carbohydrate intake and working out regularly is still the only natural way to get a firmer bod (but you can fake a toned body with these tips until your gym visits pay off). As for all those body firming products that you already bought? "I hope you can get a refund," he adds.

  • Member Comments

    Your Comment:

    • i totally get where u are coming from but i still get suckered in every time.

      by cp96 Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 05:47PM Report as inappropriate

    • I think it is best if I am able to stream line my products. Why use unnecessary steps if you don't have to. I am happy when I can find a good sunscreen with moisturizers in it to skip a step.

      by beautybody Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 09:24PM Report as inappropriate

    • Great post! We want to believe that these products will work so badly, but it's important that we see through all the marketing.

      by LipglossandSpandex Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 07:09PM Report as inappropriate

    • I knew it! I don't fall for the whole separate cream thing, especially eye cream

      by all_the_words Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 01:21PM Report as inappropriate

    • Wow so firming stuff doesn't work, good to know I can cancel buying my "god I hope this works" products but why is toner on this list?? Every thing I've ever read about good skin care has toner on the list... I don't mind shelling out 4 bucks for toner, I think it works... if you're going to say forget the toner then there are a lot of people who really need to be informed of this new developement. Good article though.

      by Bon_Bon Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:15PM Report as inappropriate

    • We\'re bombarded by info and \'suggestions\' thru advertising, salespeople, magazine articles and the store shelves themselves. Sometimes I really WANT to believe the \"hype\" - thanks for bringing me back to earth! I will remember this the next time I see something that promotes a whole slew of products for \"TARGETED\" use!

      by 1955Nurse Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 09:12AM Report as inappropriate

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