Maria from WIMJ
last year

Do you really need custom-made skincare?

The full text is here. Doubling on this feed so we can discuss 😊. Are custom-made skincare products a necessity or simply a marketing ploy? Our skin, being as distinct as we are, might call for intricate, tailor-made solutions. However, does the skincare industry truly offer advanced scientific formulas tailored to our individual needs, or are they just luring us into paying more for seemingly "perfect" products? It's time to investigate whether personalized skincare is a genuine innovation or just a captivating gimmick.

Of course, it is true that we all possess a unique DNA and this determines the appearance and behavior of our skin. It is also true that each of us has a distinct skin microbiome. Moreover, scientists and doctors today have the ability to create treatments tailored for individual patients, which can be more effective than traditional therapies. However, there is a catch: this capacity and research are still in their infancy. Developing a truly personalized treatment today is also incredibly costly, and mostly relegated to experimental cancer treatments and medical research.

You might wonder: How about the microbiome skin tests? Don't they promise to identify all the bacteria, both "good" and "bad", living on your skin and suggest how to "feed" the good bacteria with your skincare? The reality is that all the tests available outside of a doctor's office have very dubious accuracy. Even the researchers have a hard time distinguishing the bacteria truly coming from your skin sample versus microbes that get into it from the people processing it (including the lab workers). The next step is even more challenging. While researchers are certain that a balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria on your skin plays an important role in your skin health, they do not know what the optimal balance is, and they know even less about how to achieve it. Of course, this area of dermatological research is incredibly fascinating and promising, but right now it is only research and experimentation. It is far from being market-ready and has little to do with the "personalized skincare products" on the cosmetics market today.

But what about brands like Curology, Dermatica, and Skin + Me? Their products and routines do work, but it's not because they make products "just for you". Their value-add is not custom-made products, but their ability to give you access to prescription-only skincare actives like tretinoin or antibiotics, along with guidance on which ones will work for your skin concern and how to use them in a routine. It is highly unlikely that these brands have products made for a unique case of each customer. Rather, they have various pre-defined formulations with varying combinations of active ingredients that suit a limited number of skin concerns and sensitivity profiles. This does not take away from the value these brands provide - I think it is wonderful that they make dermatological treatments more accessible for people worldwide. But let's be honest here: the innovation is not in custom-made products. It is an ability to use technology to work around quite archaic regulations around potent skincare actives like tretinoin.

To answer the question in the title - "Do you really need custom-made skincare?" - the short answer is: no, certainly not today. What you need instead is guidance on what skincare actives are the best choice for your skin concerns, how to use them without triggering irritation, and what your overall skincare routine should look like. When you are armed with this knowledge and guidance, you can find products perfect for you from those available on the market.

Of course, if you want to use a prescription-only active like tretinoin, getting access to it along with good guidance on how to use them can be challenging, depending on your country's regulations and healthcare system. In these cases, services like Curology or Dermatica are a great option.If you want to optimize your skincare spending with them, focus on treatments with actives that you can't get elsewhere; you don't really need a "custom-made" cleanser, moisturizer, or sunscreen.

As personalized skincare marketing surges, it is easy to get swept up in the hype. But hold on--don't splurge on custom-made lotions and potions just yet. Instead, invest time in understanding your skin and what can help you achieve your skin goals. The truth is, bespoke skincare may have a fancy ring to it, but current options don't necessarily outperform wallet-friendly off-the-shelf alternatives. So, what's the best bet for skincare that is perfect for you today? Focus on selecting the right actives and building effective skincare regimen. And hey, maybe someday science will catch up to our personalized skincare dreams!

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I love reading your messages. They answer so many of our questions, and there are many.

My on going question Always is "there are so many products in the likes of The Ordinary, Revolution, etc and they all sound amazing but how do I choose what's best for my skin. Confused .com🥴