Some regimens do benefit from more than one step — but you can count them on one hand.
When it comes to must-use combinations, there are only a few things you should definitely use in tandem. “If you’re using a retinol or [alpha-hydroxy acid] or [beta-hydroxy acid], you also need to apply sunblock in the morning,” Dr. Grossman says. And using a product containing antioxidants helps to boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen.
Almost every former sales rep we chatted with said they were required to wear their company’s products while at work — or at least, something that looked similar. “I liked other makeup better [than my company’s], so if I had certain makeup on and someone said, ‘I like what you have on,’ I would find something close to it at the counter,” says Kami. In fact, Kami would even do her makeup in the morning and think about the products she would say she was wearing.
Shannon, a sales representative in California, has found that these personal recommendations can get too, well, personal. “There are certain skin products that are specifically formulated for Asian women, supposedly to reduce sallowness,” she says. “But as an Asian myself, I think that’s super-ridiculous, and I don’t think they work at all, but we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve used this personally and I love it.'”
For Dr. Grossman, the biggest problem with the beauty industry isn’t flat-out lies — it’s generalizations. “There is no one cure-all,” she says. “For me, a topical undereye cream will work. For my sister, who has some fat loss under her eyes, no eye cream is going to correct that.”
The Myth: “You MUST use the entire line for results.”
Brand loyalty exists, especially when you discover a specific product that works for your skin. But that doesn’t mean you have to marry it. Switching it up can sometimes produce even better results. “I’ll give [clients] products from all different lines to form an individual program,” Dr. Grossman says. “Sometimes, different lines have better this and better that, and sometimes, it’s just not the product for you. It depends on the person.”