Years ago it was easy to recognize a professional product brand as it was sold exclusively by licensed professionals.  Now the line has blurred and professional products are being sold in the mix of drugstore brands, big box stores and online…. legally and illegally.

What has become most disturbing is the increase of professional product diversion.  Product diversion is when professional products are being sold to a third party for retail sale that does not have an authorized account, often at a cost far below the standard retail price.  There are many reasons why these products are getting into third party hands.  Products can be old, discontinued or overstocked by some accounts.  Businesses could have closed and they want to get rid of the products and make a little extra cash.  Sometimes they’re stolen goods.

So, what do diverted products have to do with your skin health?  In one word, contamination.  There’s no way for one to know how these products were stored and handled, how old they are or if they’ve been tampered with.  If you go on Amazon and read the one or two star reviews on professional products sold on their website (Dermalogica), you will find people saying that there was no safety seal on their product, it smelled funny and the consistency was different.  It’s apparent that these products were tampered with and who knows with what.  By using these products on your skin or hair, it increases your risk of developing a bacterial or fungal infection that may be difficult to treat.

Makeup is another issue especially with knockoffs of popular department store brands and makeup that is inexpensive catering to the appeal of teens and tweens.  Last December, CBS and Fox News ran stories regarding contamination of lead, mercury and asbestos in these cheaper brands.

Fox News/December 27, 2017   Claire’s pulls 17 makeup products that tested positive for asbestos by Alexandra Deabler                                                      CBS News/ December 29, 2017   Fake makeup can be an easy buy -and a health hazard

This is why it’s important to know where your products are coming from and if the price is too good to be true, most likely there’s something wrong with it. Everybody loves a good bargain but not at the expense of compromising your health.

How to ensure product purchase safety

The best way to ensure product safety is to purchase from your service provider.  Your service provider is a licensed professional with an authorized account.  They are selective of the quality of the products they stand behind and where their products come from.  Your service provider serves as your personal consultant as they are familiar with your hair, skincare and makeup needs. They are knowledgeable experts in product ingredients and how those ingredients will help or harm your hair/skin.  With today’s technology it is convenient to fill out an online questionnaire and receive your order in a few days but what you’re missing out on is that a professional can pick up on certain things a generalized company questionnaire can’t, eliminating the need for products you don’t need or have the wrong ingredients to address your concerns.  Your service provider is very thankful that you’re supporting their small business and are always happy to help with any concerns that may arise!

If you choose to purchase professional products online, purchase directly from the company or check the products website to be sure that the online store you are considering purchasing from is an authorized account.  It should state on the website.  If it doesn’t, call or send the company an email to inquire.

Refrain from purchasing in big box stores, grocery stores and drug stores.  These are most likely diverted products.  Do a Google search to see if they are authorized.

Remember, if the product is selling far below the suggested retail price, chances are you’re dealing with diversion or a knockoff.