Skin Care Products: Are you worth it?

I was raised to think that paying high prices for luxury items and luxury brand names were a waste of money.  Although we lived very comfortably, my parents raised me to have a great work ethic, to value the dollar and to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees.  As a kid, you didn’t need Jordache jeans to be happy…basic Lee Jeans would do.  As a teenager, a brand new convertible was excessive…a cute sporty hand me down would do just fine.  Granted, I wasn’t necessarily a fashion symbol at 8 years of age or the coolest 16 year old in the class, but seriously, did I need to be?  Probably not.  Yeah, maybe I got a few jabs from my status conscious schoolmates, but the lesson was invaluable for adulthood.  That said, I do believe you get what you pay for.

As I get older, and as I want to resist any urge to use artificial means to look youthful, I’ve become more and more aware of the products I use on my skin, hair, nails, etc.  I have learned that certain products contain certain ingredients that aren’t so great for you.  And I’ve started spending more and more on the products I buy.  This transition in thinking wasn’t easy.  Afterall, I was the kid with Lee jeans.  But do you ever wonder…”Am I really worth it?”  Is spending the extra money on high-end ‘luxury’ skin care products really necessary?  In short, yes.  Here’s some proof:

This past week, while traveling, I didn’t have my normal facial cleanser or my night eye cream (both made by Cosmedix).  As a result, I resorted to a cleanser and eye cream that seemed ‘to do’ for the week.  The first couple of days and nights of use were fine…or so I thought.  After the third day, my eyes started to feel raw and vulnerable.  The ‘moisture and depuffing’ my eye cream promised, threw me into a state of extreme sensitivity, pain and redness.  Additionally, the skin on my face became extremely dry, scaley and bumpy.  I couldn’t believe what a drastic change my eyes and skin went through, in just a few days!  The mistake I made was that I neglected to look at the ingredient list before choosing these products for the trip.  When I finally did, I found multiple ‘parabens’ (preservatives that are considered possible endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic and carcinogens) in both products and sodium lauryl sulfate (a petrochemical that cleans by corrosion, drying skin by stripping the protective lipids from the surface, and making it ineffective in regulating moisture) in the cleanser.  Although some consumer product companies will argue that these aren’t harmful, my skin and eyes would disagree.  I’m still recovering.

What kills me, is that products with these types of ingredients are sold all the time.  They are so common, that if you go home and check the ingredients of any of your shampoos, soaps, mositurizers, toothpaste, and other products, you are sure to find them.  Yet, they are extremely harmful and can take a great toll on your largest organ…your skin, not to mention your possible insides.

Just as you would for your food products, check your ingredients.  Spend your money on 100% natural and organic products…because you are worth it.  Your skin and body will thank you.

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