Most of us dream of achieving flawless skin, but we all have one or two areas we’d like to improve on. The world of skincare advice gets complicated pretty quickly. We are bombarded with skincare hacks from magazines, adverts, and more recently social media platforms.
Love it, hate it, or can’t escape it, there’s no denying that social media has been a stellar source of skin care tips during the past year. TikTok videos tagged #skincare alone rake in 30.2 billion views, while #beauty gets around 38 billion. And while there are some amazing tutorials and product recommendations, there are also plenty of terrible skincare takes.
We know its hard to cut through the noise and get to the actual facts. So we’ve collected a few of the worst and best skin care tips of the past year.
A few trends that have dominated social media of late are especially mind- boggling
Some skinfluencers have advised followers tired of contouring their faces with makeup to use a thick sunscreen with high SPF, applying it only on the areas they want to highlight, like the top of the cheekbones and bridge of the nose. The rest of the skin is left to tan (and burn) sunscreen free. The aim is to get a ‘natural contour’.
This tip flies in the face of dermatologist’s sound recommendation that everyone should wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on ALL exposed skin. This is crucial to do from a young age from both a skin cancer prevention and an anti-aging perspective. The idea that these videos are suggesting otherwise to a generally young, gullible audience is disturbing.
There are various tutorials on social media with detailed instructions on how to give yourself freckles at home using sewing needles and ink ordered online.
WORST. SKIN. ADVICE. EVER
If you manage to avoid giving yourself a skin infection, you’ll be lucky to not end up with scarring or pigmentation
Extraction tools and pore vacuums
Some social media hacks look downright painful to use. This includes powerful pore vacuums that promise to unclog your pores and extraction devices that look like they belong in a dentist’s office.
These tools can cause scarring and broken capillaries even when used by professionals, imagine the harm it could do in untrained hands.
‘Slugging’ is a TikTok trend advising people to sleep with Vaseline or another petroleum-based ointment on their face overnight to aid hydration. Videos with this hashtag had 14.4 million views on the platform. While this could be a ‘Yay’ in certain scenarios, it will be a resounding “Nay” in others! Using an occlusive product overnight would benefit people with eczema or extremely dry skin by preventing transepidermal water loss. BUT it will almost certainly exacerbate breakouts and clogged pores in others, especially teens.
There are even videos on social media showing followers how to burn/ remove their own moles at home. For doctors it’s a terrifying scenario- there are a lot of people claiming to be experts that have no real consequences for giving bad advice.
While there are many skincare tips to avoid vehemently, there have been a few arising from social media tips to love!
This is a skincare tip that went viral on all social media platforms during lockdown as part of the 10-step Korean skincare routine. If you wear makeup or sunscreen regularly, one cleanse may not be enough to fully remove the layers of product, sweat, oil, and dirt that have accumulated on the outer surface of your skin. An oil-based cleanser is a good first step of the process. This removes stubborn makeup and thick layers of sunscreen. The perfect follow up product involves a water based cleanser which will rinse away whats left of the oil cleanser, bacteria and sweat.
Removing makeup with Micellar water
Micellar water is an affordable, non toxic makeup remover. It’s also a great first step in your double cleanse if you implement one. Micellar water is made of purified water, moisturising ingredients, and mild surfactants. It’s simple ingredients makes it great as a makeup remover for even the most sensitive of skins and for those who want to try double cleansing without drying out their skin.
Using drugstore skincare products is OK
We’re all looking to cut back on costs. Social media has brought to light the fact that you don’t necessarily need to invest in luxury skincare products to take good care of your skin. Yes, it is nice to splurge on a good quality product that works for your skin- but all the products in your routine do not need to break the bank.
Skinfluencers regularly review time-tested brands and give their sales a massive boost based on the number of likes.
It is easy to fall for beauty advice just because you saw an ‘expert’ endorse it on social media. It would be both impossible, and unwise to follow every skin care tip you come across.