Should You Buy Skin Care Products On Facebook?

We’ve all seen it: a friend, or a “friend of a friend” on Facebook or Instagram is now selling a new program that can “change your skin!” The before and after photos look great, and that friend always looks amazing, so you buy some products from her because you want to look amazing, too. Sounds great, right?

Maybe, but maybe NOT.

Maybe your friend has Italian heritage with olive tone skin, and you’re a pale redhead. Maybe you have rosacea flare ups occasionally, and you forget to mention it to your friend in your Facebook PM chats.  What happens when one day you wake up, and your skin is red, flaky, or irritated? Is the person who sold you the line qualified to diagnose your condition and treat it?

The thing about skin care products is that the ingredients are strong. If used incorrectly, or on the wrong skin type, the same ingredients that give great results to one person can harm another. How can someone on Facebook, who is simply sharing before and after photos from other people, determine your skin type? How can this person determine anything about skin if they haven’t been trained in it? Licensed estheticians in Missouri, regulated by the Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners, have completed at least 750 hours of classroom training on skin care. For our Medical Estheticians, the training is even more extensive.  Our estheticians work underneath three Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. Their knowledge of the skin–and medical grade skin care products– runs deep.

Mary Ann Egner, one of our Licensed Medical Estheticians says “the people who sell it are not medically trained to treat skin and only educated in selling. Therefore, the patient gets little or no results and wasted money. If there are any issues with these products,where are they going to go to get help? When you purchase from a medical spa, or a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist, they will work with you to help get the right products and thus the best ‘bang for the buck.’ The people working with you are trained in skin care and are working for your benefit.”

Another issue with those pretty before and after photos your friends post? Lighting and filters. Each one of us now has access to lightening apps, filters that make our skin brighter, etc. Plus, the difference between a photo taken during the day in a car, versus a photo taken at night in front of a bathroom mirror, is drastically different. The same goes for the time of year: after a summer spent out in the sun, your freckles might seem more intense than they would in March, after being inside all winter. When you have your skin treated by a professional, your before and after photos will be taken in the same room, in the same lighting, and often we will do a Visia Complexion Photo, which uses UV photography to show you the true analysis of the changes occurring in your skin.

Price is another factor to consider. Patients often tell us that they find medical grade skin care to be “expensive.” The truth is, though, products sold on Facebook or department stores aren’t cheap, either, and they don’t always have the same efficacy. For example, one of our most popular (and pricey!) products is TNS Essential Serum by SkinMedica. We often joke around the office that we’d bathe in it if we could, it’s that good. But with a price tag of $270, it can frighten some people away…until we educate them on what’s inside:

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It’s a product that our knowledgable staff stands behind, a product whose science our doctors and estheticians believe in. And if they suggest it for you, it means they’ve evaluated your skin and determined that it’s something that will work for you.

So, the next time you see a girlfriend on Instagram, posting before and afters and touting her new routine, ask yourself if you want your skin in the hands of a friend, or a trained professional? Come in, make an appointment for a consultation, and discover what’s truly needed to make you shine–online and off.

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