These Skincare Trends Just Aren't Worth Your Time
I spent two years putting acid on my face. It did absolutely nothing.
Photo by Marco Verch via Flickr
I still remember a time when the only the skincare products I owned was a face wash (not a cleanser) and moisturizer that I only used when I felt like it. Now I don't feel properly cleansed if I don't use five or more products in the morning and again at night. And despite the fact that this obsession is making me seriously broke, I still love skincare. A lot. I keep buying new products. not out of necessity either, but just because I’m a hoarder and weak AF. I just can’t resist buying everything my friends are raving about, or any of the products featured in those YouTube beauty vlogs about how to get skin that's smoother, and softer, than this seal's fuzzy little head.
But in reality, skincare is very personal. Just because that one amazing toner works for a lot of beauty gurus, doesn’t always mean that it will work for you too. I learned this lesson the hard way.
There are also so many different types of products now that claim to do the same exact thing as at least 20 others on the market. And sadly, that means many of us (including me) have been somehow convinced to buy them all. Now, after years of trial and error, I can finally admit that some of these hype products just aren't worth my time, or anyone's.
FACIAL WATER SPRAY
Some of you may remember this as a particularly nostalgic product that you still like to pull out every now and again, because, who actually likes living in all this heat? It’s pretty much available everywhere nowadays, so you can easily pick it up on a whim.
What we don’t realize from this type of product is that it’s merely a form of instant gratification for our skin. We immediately feel refreshed a second after spraying our face, but the feeling ends there. And we’ll usually cave in for another spritz. The vicious cycle repeats.
Most of these facial water spray products almost immediately evaporate because it's quite literally… just water. Look at the ingredient list! You’ll likely to see fancy names for water, and nitrogen. Not other ingredients that will help retain the water on our skin, like hyaluronic acid. So what you’re paying for here is a well-designed bottle that spritzes mist. That’s it.
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Now eye creams aren’t necessarily hyped as some kind of miracle product, but it seems that almost every skincare routine includes eye cream as a step before moisturizer. If you don’t include eye cream in your regiment, it’s like you’re doing skincare very, very wrong.
Yes, it's important to moisturize that delicate area under your eyes, but you don’t necessarily need a separate product for 4 square centimeters of flesh. Eye creams can get pretty expensive too, because they’re so small, and there really isn’t much all that much difference between eye cream and a regular old average moisturizer.
I’ve heard that a lot of people use eye creams as a preventative method, hoping that in their older age, they won’t get wrinkles. But is it really just some sort of excuse we make up in our minds because we don’t really see those "instant" results (and by instant I mean after a couple of months or even a year or two of using them)?
OIL AND BALM CLEANSERS
Taking off your makeup with wipes is so 2012. If you have time to watch three skincare routines on YouTube before bed, then you have time to cleanse your face properly usually using oil and balm cleansers, right?
People sing high praises of oil and balm cleansers because they melt your makeup so quick and leave behind crazy clean pores. I confess, I've jumped on this bandwagon too, but I then jumped off, Ladybird-style, after a couple of months. It’s such a pain in the ass to remove the oil with a flannel pad every single night (because cotton pads just won’t do it). It usually gets so cold after just one swipe on your cheek, so you have to dampen it again in warm water and then wait for the water to cool down a bit. Then if you get distracted, the pad cools down too much. To make it even more inconvenient, you have to wash the pads after every single God damn use. You can technically skip the flannel pads and use your hands instead, but then it will take ages to remove all the gunk. The whole thing is just too complicated.
There are so many other alternatives to oil and balm cleansers that, honestly, do the same exact thing. Hell, some of them are even better. Like micellar water. Micellar water removes makeup, cleanses the skin, and tones it all in a few swipes. It's seriously amazing.
AHA AND BHA EXFOLIANTS
There’s no easy way to say this, but this shit sucks. I’m sorry if you're obsessed with it, but I just can't get behind constantly boiling my face in acid.
A few years ago, acid would scare the crap out of me. I could only imagine this sizzling noise and my face turning into Freddy Krueger's in A Nightmare On Elm Street. I finally got over my fear in 2016 and picked up what's probably one of, if not the most, hyped skincare ingredient in beauty right now. It’s like humankind has finally found the solution for oily and acne-prone skin—the most “problematic” skin type of all, and I was ready for my life to change for the better.
So I used AHA and BHA exfoliants consistently until I finally gave up earlier this year.I put my faith in them for far longer than I probably should've even though I could see that they really weren't doing anything to my face. Sure, my face was very slightly less oily after using those products, but the redness was still very much there, and I still had crazy breakouts all over my face.
Before you attack me, yes, I’ve tried different things. Different AHA and BHA products. Different ways of applying them. Different doses and percentages—you name it. I really, really, really wanted this to work. I wanted to be one of the faithful shouting my testimony from the rooftops. But they simply don’t work all that well, considering the hype and the promises.
Is it true that less is more in skincare? That's debatable. But one thing is for sure—you don't need all of the skincare products in the world.