What Beauty Products Are Actually Worth Buying? A Dermatologist Weighs In

Dr. Fayne Frey says paying more for a product doesn't mean it will perform better than a less expensive one

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How much money do you think you shell out for skincare and beauty products every month?

If it’s a lot, a New York dermatologist says you’re wasting your money.



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Dr. Fayne Frey calls herself a consumer advocate and created the website www.fryface.com to simplify the overwhelming choice of effective safe and affordable products encountered in the skincare aisles.

She is also the author of “The Skincare Hoax: How You’re Being Tricked into Buying Lotions, Potions and Wrinkle Cream”, and has a short list of must-have products that are affordable and available at the supermarket or drug store.

“The products that you need, that you really need for healthy skin, the first and foremost one is sunscreen. Sunscreen is by far the most effective, if you want to use the word anti-aging. There is a good place to use it. Anti-aging preventive prevents the sun damage, prevents skin cancer,” Frey says.  “And you can buy a very affordable six to eight ounce bottle of sunscreen that you should apply every single day on all exposed surfaces from a nationally, internationally known company, because they have the best resources to make really great products for 15 bucks.”

Also on the list of her must have products:

  • 100% pure petroleum jelly.   Which runs about $5 for a one-pound jar. Use it for just about anything.
  • A mild soap-free cleanser, which you can find for $3 a bar and you can use on your face and body.
  • Lip balm with SPF, which you can pick up for about $1.50.
  • And a name brand, well-formulated drugstore moisturizer, which you can buy for around $15.

“And I will promise you this,” says Frey, “there is no correlation between what you pay for a moisturizer and how well it works. The packaging may be nicer, you may get some really nice fragrance and if you like, how it sits on your vanity.  And I'm not going to sit here and tell you how to spend your money, but when it comes to efficacy and skin health, there is no reason to buy an expensive skincare product.”

Frey also says there are a lot of beauty buzz-words out there that are misleading --   like “firming”,  “age-defying”, “nourishing” and “ anti-aging”.   

Don’t let the promise of youth and beauty lead you to spend more than you have to.

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