Today, having an extensively-researched, seasonal-product-switching, multi-step skincare routine is not uncommon. In fact, most people have jumped aboard the skincare train with sunscreen, sheet masks, and various acids as their guiding lights. But as with most things regarding humans, skin is specific to each individual – something that needs to be adapted to and gently experimented with through trial and error. With that being said, the skincare industry’s popularity has made it a magnet for trends that seem to stick no matter how bad they really are for you. Here are some skincare fads that seriously need to be re-evaluated.

1. Makeup wipes are overrated

A girl says, "Yeah, well, I've always thought 'easy' is completely overrated".
[Image description: A girl says, “Yeah, well, I’ve always thought ‘easy’ is completely overrated”.] Via Giphy.
In almost every nighttime skincare routine I watch, I see a pack of makeup wipes whipped out. After months of accumulating skincare knowledge, watching a makeup wipe move across someone’s skin makes me cringe. People of the skincare world: wipes are NOT enough to get all your makeup off. Have you never noticed how roughly you’re pulling at your skin? Constantly tugging on the über-sensitive skin around your eyes to try and remove your makeup without realising that you’re just smearing crusty concealer remnants all over your face? There is a time and a place for makeup wipes, but they are not the be-all end-all of makeup removal.

Instead: Try the double cleanse method! To really get a day’s worth of junk out of your pores, first use a cleansing oil or balm and work it into the face, allowing your makeup to melt and loosen off. Wash it off and follow with the second cleanse, your regular face wash. This will ensure that the following products you use, like serum or toner, are actually able to seep into your skin and amplify their effects.

2. Cleansing waters aren’t always great

A Simpson character yelling, 'Think again!'.
[Image description: A Simpson character yelling, ‘Think again!’.] Via Giphy.
Yet another product that is sometimes way over-hyped. A lot of us see makeup artists use this product and assume it’s enough to completely remove our makeup. What we don’t realize is that cleansing water is supposed to contain ‘micelles’, the technology that should essentially remove your makeup. You can’t just buy any kind of cleansing water because if it doesn’t contain the right technology, you’re basically rubbing soapy water on your face. Always look at the ingredients before buying – even if it is marketed as ‘micellar’ water.

Instead: Using micellar water as a first cleanse and following it up with a face wash is much more effective. However, micellar water’s best use seems to be in correcting your makeup as you apply it. A lot of people do swear by this product though, so maybe just make sure you’re using the right kind and quality for your skin.

3. Physical scrubs do more harm than good

A woman brings her hands to her face with a shocked expression.
[Image Description: A woman brings her hands to her face with a shocked expression.] Via Giphy.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my journey as a skincare junkie is that exfoliation is key. However, I’ve also learned which types of exfoliators are safe to use. Physical scrubs, the ones with large, coarse beads, are too abrasive for our faces. When you’re rubbing these beads all over your face, they’re essentially scratching your face over and over again.

Instead: If you’re someone who doesn’t want to give up on physical exfoliants, use one with a powdery or sandy base instead. Otherwise, chemical exfoliants are the way to go!

4. Eye-creams aren’t really necessary

A woman with a confused expression mimes a '50/50' action'.
[Image description : A woman with a confused expression mimes a ’50/50′ action’.] Via Giphy.
This is usually the final step in a nighttime routine. But has anyone ever noticed that eye-creams are just a thicker moisturizer? This one’s a bit tricky, but if you have a super thorough skincare routine, after a face moisturizer and all the other products you’re putting on, eye-creams won’t do much. What’s more, using a water-based eye-cream before you sleep has sometimes shown that your eyes appear puffier in the morning.

Instead: If you still want to use an eye-cream, try a gel-based one to avoid excess puffiness. Find what works for you.

5.  Coconut oil is NOT good for your face

A boy in a Hawaiian shirt and fedora is crosses his arms and says, 'CANCELLED!' while seated in a hot tub at the beach.
[Image description: A boy in a Hawaiian shirt and fedora is crosses his arms and says, ‘CANCELLED!’ while seated in a hot tub at the beach.] Via Giphy
To people who like to slather raw coconut oil all over their faces: stop doing that! Coconut oil straight from the jar will in no way seep into your skin. Instead of being absorbed and hydrating the skin, it simply sits on top of it like a thin film, blocking the skin from breathing and from being able to absorb any other products. Raw coconut oil is not as hydrating as you were led to believe.

Instead: Use skincare products that have been formulated with coconut oil. These are products that have been specifically made for the skin and contain more ingredients besides raw coconut oil. A good example is Solved Skincare’s coconut oil cleansing pads. Or instead, use face oils that have been formulated to hydrate your skin, such as Naturopathica’s Carrot seed soothing facial oil!

  • A writer, journalist and editor, Sahar is on a mission to write words that’ll make you stop and smell the (metaphorical) fires of the world. A life long Gryffindor and avid murder mystery reader/watcher, Sahar is fascinated by science, literature, history and how they interlink with each other.