Whenever I snoop around department stores or ‘mystery shop’ at beauty counters, the abuse of the phrase ‘for all skin types’ really annoys me. No matter how many times you read this on packages, to a dermatologist, it’s nonsense. And while I fully appreciate that the more people a product appeals to the better its profit margins, what I don’t understand is how it can attract loyal customers. Surely at least half of those who believed the ‘for all skin types’ promise won’t just end up disillusioned – they’ll share the bad news with their friends!
I can tell you that every single week I have patients sitting in my clinic with breakouts, simply because they’re using the wrong type of skincare product for their skin. And this, by the way, is something they’ve often been advised to use by a supposedly experienced beauty consultant. While we’re talking about consultants, sadly I have to report too, that many have a shockingly poor knowledge about even the basics of skin biology and the science (if any!) behind the products they’re selling. Apologies to anyone not falling into this category – and I would be truly delighted to be proved wrong next time I approach a beauty counter. But it does seem that too many of these super-groomed ‘know alls’ well……don’t, actually.
But let’s not digress. What I really want to say is that skincare should always be adapted to individual skin types. In the majority of cases, one simply does not fit all. While dry skin needs a re-hydrating, lipid-rich cleanser, say, oily skin prone to breakouts would benefit from a foaming cleanser and should use only oil-free products. I feel strongly that many skin problems could be avoided if people received the right advice from companies less interested in making a quick buck and more dedicated to offering long-term, tailor-made solutions. So next time you are tempted to buy a product at the beauty counter, be wary about those ‘All skin types’ products.