How to Read a Skin Care Product Label

The right arsenal of skin care products can protect against dry skin, redness, acne, and signs of aging. Here’s how we recommend reading the label to ensure you choose the best product for your skin care needs.

Check the Ingredients

A bottled skin care product

Those with allergies may be used to scanning ingredient labels to avoid certain irritants, but checking the ingredient list on skin care products is a habit that we recommend everyone get into. This practice allows you to screen out ingredients you aren’t comfortable with, or to check the concentration of the active ingredient (if it’s not stated). Some people choose to avoid petroleum and artificial ingredients, while others know which types of moisturizers and acids serve their skin the best and seek out products that use them. Ingredients with the highest concentrations in a product are listed first, and those with the lowest concentration are listed last, so keep that in mind when reading the label.

Follow the Usage Guidelines

In order to get the most out of skin care products, we recommend using it exactly as prescribed by the manufacturers. For example, some products should only be left on the skin for a certain amount of time to prevent irritation. If you have sensitive skin, test any new skin product on a small area before using it regularly to check for negative reactions. In addition, pay attention to the expiration date; the active ingredient’s effects become less potent after the product has expired. The date can either be listed in standard date format or as “M” followed by a number, which indicates the number of months that the product will remain effective after it has been opened.

Beware of Marketing Tricks

Marketing gimmicks are a great way to separate consumers from their money. To avoid losing out, keep an eye out for advertising tricks that make products out to be more effective than they are. For example, some exfoliants or cleansers claim that they are dermatologist-tested, but this isn’t the same thing as dermatologist-recommended. Read these labels with a careful eye, or ask one of our dermatologists which product is best for your skin type.

Even with the best skin products, the right balance of skin care can be hard to achieve. For help understanding your skin type or for any other dermatological concerns, call The Dermatology Clinic at (225) 769-7546 to schedule an appointment today.

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