Product Quality

Spa Product vs. Amazon (or elsewhere)

If you’re anything like me, at your first salon or spa visit, when your facialist suggested you buy a $20 cleanser, you had a mild heart attack. And then you thought, “why should I buy this here when I can get it $5 off on Amazon?” or even “I can get a generic brand cleanser for only $5.”

Your facialist isn’t trying to rob you, I promise. There is a marked difference between professional quality products (the kind you need a license to use on clients and to sell to clients) and their non-salon counterparts.

I’m going to address two main differences here:

  1. Quality of the product
  2. Counterfeit product

Product Quality

Your skin is far more complex than modern medicine and cosmetics seem to consider. Rubbing in some soap and splashing with water and calling it good is a great way to damage your skin barrier, and cause long-term problems.

Professional products use active ingredients which are clinically proven to provide results. As mentioned above, you can only purchase products from professional lines from licensed professionals. (The active ingredients are potent, and it is best to have the product “prescribed” to you by your facialist for your skin needs. Purchasing highly concentrated active ingredient products on your own can lead to causing more problems if not used correctly.)

Counterfeit Product

Almost any industry with a physical product has to fight the illegal counterfeit producers. Investigators have found counterfeit airplane parts in use before – which can lead to disastrous results.

Only slightly less dramatic are counterfeit skincare and cosmetic products. When counterfeiters imitate a product, they are labeling it to look virtually identical to the original, and labeling with the same ingredients as the original. The products don’t contain the same ingredients at all, though. Often these products include harmful ingredients like lead, mercury, aluminum, carcinogens, and more.

Refinery29 has a detailed article on the problem, and made a great video showing some undercover work to bust the people selling these harmful counterfeit products.

A common place for people to go looking for deals on product is Amazon. Most professional skincare lines require any of the professionals who use their products to sign a contract detailing that they cannot resell any product. So, more often than not, the product on Amazon is either counterfeit, or expired.

Lira, the product we use and sell at The White Magnolia Day Spa and Advanced Skincare Institute has such a contract. To protect their customers, Lira is working to get all Lira products off of Amazon. They are buying back every Lira item on to have it investigated – they are finding much of the product is counterfeit, and a lot of it is expired. They have recently shut down 47 unauthorized sellers on Amazon, and will continue to clean house to ensure that Lira users are getting the correct product.

So, What Do I Do?

Take the steps to invest in your skin. Make sure that you are speaking with your facialist about products to protect your skin and to address any concerns you have. If this means only having a professional quality product, that’s a great step. Your facialist can discuss budget options which won’t break the bank and won’t set you backwards on your skin improvement journey.

If you have any further questions about product, feel free to contact me or to schedule an appointment to have your skin assessed for its needs.