Don’t Let Copycat Products Fool You

copycat products

When choosing a skin care product from the store or even online, you might be tempted to select a cheaper “generic” product that appears to have an identical ingredient list to a brand-name product. However, even though the ingredient lists may be the same, that does not mean that the product formulation is the same. This can make a huge difference when it comes to how well the product works and how your skin reacts to it. This article will discuss the main problems with using “copycat” skin care products and how to choose properly formulated products for your skin type.

What Are Copycat Products?

Copycat products are the ones you have seen on the shelves that copy the packaging and colors of well known brands and have the same ingredient list and are usually a few dollars cheaper.  “Why not buy the cheaper product? The ingredients are the same” you might tell yourself. Well they are not the same products at all. To understand why, let’s consider my favorite example of Julia Child’s beef bourguignon recipe. Her recipe calls for onions, beef, and mushrooms. If you read her ingredient list and not the recipe instructions, you would probably just toss in the meat, onion, and mushrooms together in no particular order. The final dish would not have the same amazing taste as Julia Child’s recipe because she instructs you to cook the beef in one pot, the onions in another with different seasonings and the mushrooms in another with butter.  Each ingredient is added to the recipe at different time points in a particular order. The recipe instructions are critical to the final result.

This same concept also applies to skin care products. You will see many copycat products out there that have identical ingredient lists to proprietary formulas, yet they are not the same. The order in which the ingredients are added to the preparation, the use of heat, stirring, exposure to air and light and pH all affect the final formulation. For example, ceramides are waxy substances that need heat to melt into the formulation. Other ingredients like vitamins C and E break down when exposed to heat. Therefore, the best products are made by adding ceramides first, melting them with heat, and then allowing the formula to cool before adding vitamins C and E last. Vitamin C must also be added in a dark, air-free environment because air, light, and heat break it down. However, none of this information is mentioned on the label of the finished product, so you have no way of knowing if the proper order was used when creating the formulation.

Another example of this is soy. Several brands of products use a form of active soy that has had the estrogenic components removed. Many studies have shown that this form of active soy helps to prevent pigment formation by blocking the PAR-2 receptor. However, if the estrogenic components were not removed before adding soy to a skin care formula, this ingredient could have the opposite effect and increase skin pigmentation. Again, if you read only the ingredient label on a product, you would not be able to tell what kind of soy was in the formula.

How Do I Know Which Products Have Been Formulated Correctly?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell how a product has been formulated by simply reading the ingredient list on the label. In order to compare two products, you really need to know the recipe (formulation), but in most cases, this information is proprietary and kept secret by the company.

It is also important to keep in mind that just because one product is more expensive than another does not necessarily mean that it is better. You are often paying for packaging, marketing, or the cost of licensing a well known brand name for use on the product. Your best bet for finding the highest quality products at the best price is to find someone who:

  1. Understands the science – find a doctor who is a lifelong learner who keeps current on cosmeceutical science.  There are dermatologists who research, test and expand their skincare expertise every day.
  2. Get advice from someone with honesty and integrity who will guide you towards products that are formulated, manufactured and packed in a manner that ensures the highest efficacy.  Doctors care about your skin health and outcomes and will guide you on the path to health skin.
  3. Find a doctor who is passionate about skin care and will spend time with you to identify your skin type, customize a skin care regimen that is right for your skin’s needs and give you direction on your skin’s needs and follow your progress.

How Do I Find a Doctor That Is An Expert on Skincare?

Not all doctors have the passion and knowledge about skin care.  For this reason, I have a website where you can find a physician who uses the Skin Type Solutions System to provide medical advice on skincare. I have personally trained these doctors and their staff on how to choose the best skin care products for their patient’s skin type. They use my patented software system that includes a scientific questionnaire to determine your Baumann Skin Type® and then provides proven skin care recommendations based on years of clinical research. The doctor will work with you to find the best brands and products for your skin concerns.

Find a doctor to guide you toward amazing outcomes with ethical, effective skincare regimens that are just right for your skin type by visiting this link.  If you already adore your doctor but wish they would offer the Skin Type Solutions customized skincare diagnostic program, tell them to visit to learn how they can be trained to offer the best skincare options to their patients.

How Can I Be Certain That the Skincare Products I Am Using Are Right for My Skin?

It is critical that you find a well trained expert who keeps current with the latest skincare and is not married to one brand.  Anyone who works for a brand is inherently biased. I am sure you have heard the saying, “When you have a hammer to sell, everything looks like a nail.”  Find an aesthetician, physician’s assistant, or physician who is familiar with many brands to give you ethical (unbiased), effective regimens for your skin type.

For more skin care tips and advice from Dr. Leslie Baumann, follow Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!

June 18, 2018 News, Skincare