MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's an $18-billion market in the United States, and nearly every one of us buys into it.
The skin care industry is booming as millennial and aging populations want to look young and fresh.
Now, WCCO-TV shares the skin care secret that can also save you lots of money.
Roshini Rajkumar of Minneapolis is a radio host and communications coach.
"I hate to say looks matter, but in my business, they do," Rajkumar said.
She, like many, has noticed the countless ads and promotions claiming their skincare products are tops.
"Oh my gosh ... you're marketed everywhere, whether it's TV, online," Rajkumar said. "There's just a lot of noise."
And apparently, Americans are listening. The anti-aging market is exploding in the country. Women spend an average of $40 a month on skincare, and the industry and a growing sector is men's skincare products.
"The creators, the manufactures, the retailers, they know how to play on our vulnerabilities and our vanity," Rajkumar said.
And for Rajkumar, it's about more than just vanity, it's about equity.
"I can't look sloppy. And part of that is your skin, your hair, what you wear, all of that image. All of those image items are really important," she said.
Like many women, she has a sink surrounded by products.
"A couple of them are not everyday products, but that's still more than I want to have on this counter," she said.
It's a dilemma that Dr. Jamie Davis knows very well.
"This is what I call 'S.O.S.' -- 'Skincare Overload Syndrome,'" Davis said. "I have it. So many women have it. Not just women, but so many people have it."
Dr. Davis says patients ask her daily which products are best.
"I hate to tell you there's no miracle in a bottle, but they're selling hope in a bottle," Davis said. "Hope is expensive!"
She says the vast majority of skin care products aren't necessary. She says despite the countless toners, eye creams, night creams, serums and oils, there are only three products that you really need to prevent aging.
"If we just had three products to give you, it's be those three -- sunscreen in the morning, vitamin C in the morning, and then your retinol at night," Davis said.
She says first and foremost, use a moisturizer with sunscreen every single morning.
"Basically, aging is sun damage, it's not age," Davis said.
Second priority: Use a product with retinol every night, which rebuilds collagen and evens out skin. You can get it over the counter or for strongest results, ask for a prescription from your doctor.
And lastly, use a serum with vitamin C, preferably in the morning. She says the best way to apply the products:
In the morning:
- First, apply vitamin C serum
- Then, apply moisturizing sunscreen
In the evening:
- After washing your face, apply retinol product
The multitude of other products on the market she says are less important additions.
"If you have the time and you have the budget to have fun with skincare, add those few things in, but not as a matter of actual necessity for health of your skin," Davis said.
As far as which brands, she says just find a sunscreen, retinol and vitamin C product that works with your skin type and your budget. Davis says pricier products are just as effective as moderately priced ones.
"It's absolutely affordable to have good skin," she said.
It's advice that could mean more room in the wallet, and more space by the sink.
Dr. Davis says sun damage and weathering can be managed or repaired with retinol. But areas we use for emotion -- like forehead wrinkles and smile lines -- get strongest results from BOTOX.
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