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How to avoid fake products

How to avoid fake products

Have you ever been tempted to buy a designer purse online, only to get it home and find out it is a fake? Well, the same is often true when it comes to medical grade skin care. The adage “if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is” comes to mind.

Well known online retailers, even ones you may think you are safe with, cannot sell medical grade products. In fact, as a medical esthetician, I can’t even purchase medical grade products from a supplier. Why? Because if it is truly a medical grade skin care line, it can only be bought from the supplier via a medical professional. How then could it be possible that you could buy items such as SkinMedica or ZO Obagi thru Amazon at a fraction of the price it is sold at any medical clinic?

Just like fake designer purses, a lot of companies are creating products that look like, even smell like the originals. But they are not. In fact there are many rip off companies using ineffective, unstable or more worrisome, toxic substances as filler in their products. There is no health regulation to follow, and these companies don’t care if you ever buy from them again. They just want a quick buck with no regards to the damage it may do to the buyer.

I remember a specific incident a few years ago. A younger patient of mine came in with red, irritated skin. Nothing was calming her skin down. I gave her a sample of Skin Medica’s Redness Relief, an ointment- like moisturizer that helps to calm the spasming vessels and hydrate the skin at the same time. She loved it. Then she called me and told me she bought it online for much less than what we sell it for. As a side note, all of our products are sold at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, no more, no less.

I told her to bring it in, I had a bad feeling. She came in and was so sure it was the real deal. It looked the same on the outside of the packaging, and it smelled the same on the inside. I took one look at the actual product and informed her it was a fake. How did I know so quickly? Well, remember I mentioned that it is an ointment? This product was a cream. Skin Medica doesn’t make their Redness Relief in a cream. I couldn’t be sure what was in what she bought, or if it was even for her skin type. I told her she could do what she wanted with it, it might not hurt, but it might not help either.

She purchased the real item at our clinic. Lesson learned.

I had another patient purchase a chemical peel online. She thought she could fade her tattoo with a TCA peel. She came to see me to help her resurface the scar she created with the peel. The damage was quite severe, about twice the size of the original tattoo. Basically we were now dealing with a 2nd or 3rd degree burn. She should have known better, she was an esthetician, after all!!

If you spend a lot of money for a designer purse and end up with a fake, it is frustrating, embarrassing and a financial loss, but it isn’t going to hurt you. If you buy medical grade products online, the same can’t be guaranteed. Our skin care companies spend a great deal of their time trying to combat copycats. It is their name out there and they don’t want to be associated with the negative effects that are almost inevitable with copycat skin care lines. They are either ineffective, or they may actually harm your skin.

Save your money, save your face. It is the only face you will ever have. Don’t take chances to save a few bucks, the stories of regret are too often told. A consult with a professional skin care advisor, experienced suggestions for what is right for you, and knowing you are buying the authentic item is peace of mind.

Visit Toronto Dermatology Centre for Skin Medica, ZO Obagi, SkinCeuticals, Latisse, and more, where the products are always authentic. Top line products for top line patients. We are happy when you are.

~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre

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