The skincare industry is a bit like the wild west, and outlandish trends and fads can really skew consumers’ perception on what they “need” to have in their skincare routine. We’ll explain why you don’t need these five products, and what simplified routine you should use instead.
Whoever came up with the first version of this product was a marketing genius, but they sure didn’t understand skin. The root of this whole scam leads consumers to believe that a cream can alter lumpy skin, but cellulite isn’t even a skin problem! Cellulite is just pockets of fat that are getting pressed between fibrous cords beneath your skin, and as you age those cords can create uneven patterns. Thus, your fat will poke through unflatteringly and create the lumps you see through your skin. There are a lot of procedures that can get rid of cellulite (we usually recommend Profound RF or QWO), but there are absolutely no topicals that will do this for you. So don’t believe the hype.
Stretch Mark Creams
Again, it’s mostly hype with this one. The only exception is a prescription retinoid, which will take months to fade most stretch marks. You might also have some luck using certain products to minimize the chances of getting stretch marks, but if you really want to get rid of existing ones your best bet is a laser.
High SPF Creams
Your sunscreen needs to be a minimum of SPF 30, and you can go higher than that but you don’t need to. SPF 30 already blocks 97% of UV rays, so going above that is only going to block out a couple percentages more. And while that is great, you’re not going to get much more protection from SPF 85 than you would from SPF 50. Our only exception to the 30 rule is powdered SPF or makeups that contain sunscreen. Since you usually apply a lighter layer of these products than you would with sunscreen, try starting in the SPF 40 range or higher.
Straight to the point: you can’t change the size of your pores. At least not with a cream. The only guaranteed method for reducing pore size is by having a resurfacing treatment. It can be with a laser, a chemical peel, or a microneedling treatment, but you’ll need more than a skincare product and probably more than one treatment for enlarged pores. But the good news? All of those procedures are extremely effective at reducing them and as long as you follow a good routine at home, they’ll stay small permanently.
Trendy Products on Social Media
So this isn't one single product per se—more of a general recommendation about being wary of social media-hyped products in general. Not every single trend you see on Tiktok is worth your time. Don’t get us wrong—there are some trends that are worthwhile, but we’ve seen everything from the odd to the outrageous, and some trends that could even cause harm to your skin. We suggest you follow dermatologists and estheticians you know and trust (*cough* @supriyatomarmd *cough*) and do your research on any trends you see before trying them. There are certain products like retinol that have clinical studies and years of research to back up their effectiveness, so stick to products that have clout in the medical community instead of clout on Tiktok.
Here's what we recommend...
There are certain basics that everyone should have, and the only time you need to switch this up is if the seasons are changing or your skin's age is changing. Otherwise, you'll be fine with the following:
- AHA (It's a great exfoliator 1—2X per week, just don't use it on the same day as retinol)
- Actives (vitamin C every morning, retinol at night as tolerated)
- Moisturizer (choose whichever one works best for you, and look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, lipids, and growth factors)
And that's it. You can add in eye creams if you want to take extra care to prevent wrinkles and dark circles, and your retinol will work here, too. This product list is tried, tested, and true at keeping your skin healthy (and repeatedly comes recommended by dermatologists and estheticians everywhere).