Most of us are guilty of walking into our local beauty retailer and requesting a sample of the latest cream or serum.  (Well at least pre-COVID) The desire to acquire what’s new & trending on the market is natural.  While working with my spa clients over the years, I often heard the famous “My girlfriend got this new cream and I’m dying to try it too! May I have a sample?” When asked to purchase however; the common consumer response is often “I need to see how my skin reacts first” or “My skin is veryyyyy sensitive”.  Although both comments are true to a degree, most people fail to realize that a sample is usually only enough for one time use therefore the true benefits of the product will not be experienced in a single use serving.  Samples were designed to experience texture, absorption, scent (where applicable) in attempt to convert that sample into a future purchase.   Keep these tips in mind the next time you accept a skincare sample and establish your expectations:

  • Less than 5% of the population truly has sensitive skin – indeed redness and itching can occur from time to time but for most, unless you have truly had an allergy test and know the “triggers”, most are not allergic or in fact sensitive. 
  • Adopting new skin care products to your regime is great as the skin will plateau when the same product is used for a lengthy period of time; however, it is important to note that with some products with low percentage of active ingredients, results may not be seen for up to 4-6 weeks. With cosmeceutical ranges which contain higher percentages of actives, the results are often see in 7 – 14 days but not magically overnight.
  • What works for your friend will not necessarily work for you. First, your genetics are different.  Second, skin type and conditions may also vary.   It is important to understand your skin first to make informed decisions about your skincare regime!
  • Tingling with most products can be a good thing! Burning is a no go but a slight tingle can mean there are positive active ingredients in that product which can benefit your skin health.
  • Many drugstore and department store brands are all about the “show” with glam packaging and celebrity endorsements. Challenge yourself to review the INCI (ingredient list) before purchasing. What is in the product?  Chemicals?  Synthetics? Low percentage of active ingredients?  Many spa brands and cosmeceutical ranges offer products with higher percentages of ingredients that not only get the job done are true supplements for the skin.
  • Not all formulations play well together. Sometimes consumers are mixing so many different brands this can cause skin irritation as it confuses the message to the skin.  Compare it to a night out of mixing cocktails, beer, and wine.  Many people would get super sick from the mix and wake up with the worlds’ worst hangover.  Sometimes the skin gets hungover too!

Be a savvy sampler!  Know your skin care goals and objectives - that will also help you take home the best match for your skin!