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The Magic Skincare Word: Compliance

Posted Apr 27 2012 9:40pm

When I was at AAD, there was one word that kept cropping up over and over:


Compliance in skincare is a seemingly simple concept: how do you get consumers to use products correctly? It should be easy: slap a warning or directions on the label, et voila! But no. Because of simple human nature, compliance is one of the bugaboos of many a company, who are often faced with irate customers who claim their products aren’t working…when in actuality, it’s often a case of the customer simply not following instructions. (This problem is especially prevalent in the medical community, I know, since one of my best friends works on this very issue.) Of course, when it’s a Clarisonic brush or Crest Whitestrips, the annoyance is likely minimal.

Why do dentists LOVE the Sonicare toothbrush so much? It regulates your two-minutes of brushing time automatically - so no cheating, no laziness, and fewer cavities! Compliance!

I’m one of the worst offenders: I remember all the times I’ve thought, “Eh, I’m a beauty expert; I’ll just wing it,” before throwing the instructions away, only to be rewarded later with orange hair (or what have you). I know I can’t be the only one swanning about using products half-assedly and finding myself shocked–shocked, I say!–when they don’t work. But my poison is innocent. Once you start getting into prescriptions like Latisse and retinol, at-home hair removal lasers, or actual drugs for very real health conditions, the stakes are raised.

You’d think compliance would then be more guaranteed, but I was surprised to learn through many conversations that it’s simply not the case. Apparently we all think we’re experts! (Sort of like men and directions, eh?)

I was fascinated by how passionate many of the skincare- and health-experts I spoke with were on the subject of compliance. I can honestly say it’s something I’d never thought twice about. But now that I look back on all my beauty mishaps over the years, it makes perfect sense: I definitely was not following directions to the letter.

So, if you are full of diligence, unlike your ol’ Jolie, disregard. For the (hopefully) few of you in the same Damn the Beauty Torpedos! mindset as me, however, try to step up your game.

If the box says Use Twice Daily/Wash For 30 Seconds/Only Use a Quarter-Amount/etc…do it! You might be pleasantly surprised. I certainly am: ever since that AAD trip, I’ve been following my Viviscal regimen religiously (yup, twice a day) and my hair has been growing like weeds.

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