By Annie Mian

photo credit: Lorenia via photopin cc

photo credit: Lorenia via photopin cc


How do you decide between $$$ for a tub of face moisturizer from a department store, versus an inexpensive brand bought at the drugstore for $? Both will last you two months, both smell good, both promise you the same outcome. Light bulb! The pricey one glows in the dark!

As a pharmacy technician and an esthetician, I have worked in drugstores and high end spas, Ive seen the best of both worlds.

We often get swallowed into todays brand name wars, if its expensive, it works, right? Wrong! Your skin is so unique; no other person will have the exact same type as yours despite a similar lifestyle and environment. (Read more about identifying your skin type here.)

So how do you decide on what to buy? Here are a few things to remember when looking for skincare.

Research: Firstly, do your research. You can browse online to research product lines in all price ranges, ingredients best for your skin type, and even order samples.

Take it slow: Secondly, integrate it slowly into your current skincare regime. If you want to start on a new product line, for instance, start with their moisturizer. Give it a couple of weeks then add the toner, then the face wash, etc. Sometimes we often change up too many things too quickly and then blame the whole product line when its often just one item that may not agree with our skin. Also, its always best to try any product for at least a month before giving up.

Try before you buy: Next, get samples wherever possible, Places like Sephora will give you samples of a product and will not push you to buy. Its often that we are scared to try a product due to the price. Try before you buy is a good starting point with samples.

Give it time: Finally, stick to it! Give some time for your skin to get used to something new. Did you know, it takes 28 to 35 days for your skin cells to renew? It takes that long for you to notice any difference in your skin. So don’t expect instant results.

Also, a lot of the time when you change something in your skincare routine, or even get a facial, you feel like you broke out. Its often all the toxins coming to the surface, and getting out of the system. Facial massages as well as some skincare items will always drive toxins or previously used products out of the skin, which may appear like a breakout. If after 3-5 days, things dont look better, you can assume it was the new product’s fault.

On the flip side, my rule of thumb has always been to make sure to give yourself 10 years to switch around. After 10 years of using a product line, you may start to feel as though your skin does not accept it. So feel free to change it up!

Patch testing: Always do a patch test first, to see if allergies may occur. Do this on your jawline, not your hand. Your face has a totally different make up of skin cells so it will be hard for your hand to tell you what your face agrees with.

Follow these simple rules and you will feel yourself more confident in the skincare aisle. Again, cost has nothing to do with quality, so keep all your options open.


About the author:

Annie Mian is a Certified Esthetician and Certified Pharmacy Technician. She has worked as a Team Lead with Aveda Canada salons and currently runs her own home-based spa, Annie’s Beauty Bar.


What are your go-to products in skincare? How do you decide on what to buy? Wed love to hear your thoughts on the subject!