Just because a cute 20-something is pushing it on social media, it doesn’t mean you need it, or that it’s even good for your skin—here are 11 overrated skincare products that your skin (and your wallet) can do without. It’s something we DON’T do at Apothekari – our line of no fluff, more active ‘stuff’ treatments will actually transform your skin and provide relief from your skin’s changing needs.
Overrated Skin Care Products That Most Experts Dislike
- At-Home Microneedling Kits. Studies have shown microneedling to be beneficial in helping with the absorption of topical skincare treatments like vitamin C and retinoids—when done in a professional setting. At home kits have issues around hygiene and safety. AND, the needling device is likely to be very shallow—so shallow that it won’t be effective.
- Essential Oils. Essential oils can have some great properties, but applied full strength to the face, can lead to dermatitis, skin irritation, rosacea or psoriasis. Many essential oils are safe to use on the face, but they must be diluted in a carrier oil first.
- Activated Charcoal Treatments. From cleansers, to soaps and shampoos (and underarm detoxes too), charcoal containing products are big sellers these days. While they claim to ‘detox’ and remove dirt and oil, they can only do this on the skin’s surface so the effect is unlikely to be significant. Overrated skincare product for sure – especially don’t buy into charcoal detoxes for your armpits. They are totally unnecessary when making the switch to a natural deodorant like ours.
- Toners. We’re not alone in our distaste for useless skincare products and toners fit the bill. Unless they are formulated with ingredients that have a specific function—to hydrate, or minimize acne—they don’t need to take up space on your counter.
- CBD Skin Care. Is this not the hottest trend right now? While there’s some research to show that CBD helps with skin inflammation, much more is needed before we can determine whether it fits into the category of overrated skincare products, or ones that actually deliver as promised.
- Cellulite Cream. They’re usually pricey. More importantly, they do not work. Cellulite creams work no better than a good moisturizer. And, research has shown that physical massage and exercise can help to improve the appearance of cellulite more than any cream can. Keep in mind that cellulite is part of the normal aging process and every woman gets it. It’s impossible to shift it with topical treatments.
- Stretch Mark Treatments. Much like cellulite creams, stretch mark products can’t penetrate deep enough to treat the scarring in the dermis layer of the skin. We’re ranking this up there for worst skincare products. Try a good moisturizer instead. Our Shea Body Butter or Lemon Rose Body Oil is just as effective.
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These Skin Care Trends Need to Go Away
- Face Rollers. Is everyone using (or selling) a facial roller these days? They may feel soothing—especially when chilled—but there’s very little science to support the anti-aging claims associated with these overrated skincare products. Made of jade? Or rose quartz? Or amethyst? Doesn’t matter. While they’ll help to reduce swelling or puffiness for the short term, they’re not going to deliver any long term benefits. However, if you enjoy using them, there’s no harm. Just don’t expect the marketing miracles.
- Face Yoga. Repeated facial motions lead to MORE wrinkles, not less! Think about how Botox works by keeping you from contracting your muscles—face yoga does the opposite of this. If there was ever an award for the worst skincare trend, face yoga would be a contender for the gold medal.
- Bee Sting Facials. Some studies have shown that bee stings can reduce inflammation. There is the sticky problem though, of bee sting allergies, which can be deadly in susceptible individuals. I think we can safely say that the risks outweigh the benefits for this DANGEROUS and overhyped skincare trend.
- Snail Mucin. A popular K-beauty ingredient, snail mucin comes from snails. It’s reported to have a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, which we know has many skin benefits. But, does it really need to be harvested from a snail when safe and effective options are already available, like the hyaluronic acid—and its relative, sodium hyaluronate—found in our Bespoke Vitamin C Serum, Daily Infusion Moisturizer and More Than Lip Service Vulvar & Vaginal Moisturizer.
So, Which Skincare Products Are Essential?
I’ve called out 11 overrated skincare products that are likely going to suck up your time and not give you the results you’re looking for. If you can ignore those 11, which ones are essential to having healthy, glowing skin?
Here’s a few things to consider:
- Know Your Skin Type. The key to finding the right products is to identify your skin type – is it dry, oily, normal, combination? What are your concerns? Fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, acne, age spots? Understanding what your skin needs will help you to identify the ingredients and products that are the best fit.
- Be Consistent. Like taking your medicines as instructed, a consistent skin care routine is key to getting results from your skincare products. You need to allow at least 4 to 6 weeks for topical treatments to notice a difference because it takes that long for your skin cells to turn over (renew). Along with regular use, don’t keep adding or eliminating products (unless you experience a reaction) because you’ll never get a grasp on what’s working for you.
- Focus on The Right Steps. It’s not complicated; the following steps are non-negotiable to having great skin:
- Sun Protection. Every SINGLE DAY. The sun’s UV rays are responsible for more than 80% of skin aging. Find a good broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 and use it.
- Prep. Cleansing your face (at night essential; optional in the morning) is key to removing the dirt, make-up and pollution that can lead to acne and blemishes. It also helps to ready your skin for the absorption of other active treatments you apply next.
- Protect. Antioxidants like the vitamin C in our Bespoke Vitamin C Serum help to fight against free radicals—unstable molecules that we encounter as a result of sun and pollution exposure—that can lead to skin damage.
- Perfect. Retinoids like retinaldehyde in our A is for Anti-Aging Serum are one of the best ways to boost the production of collagen and elastin, which form part of our skin’s supporting network. These two proteins decline as we age, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and skin sag so it’s the most effective way to fight back against the most visible signs of aging.
- Be Gentle. Too many stripping cleansers or exfoliating too often, can disrupt your skin’s protective barrier, leaving it prone to infection and irritation. Be mindful of the products you’re using.
- Moisturize. Your skin will let you know if it’s dry. Make sure to incorporate moisturizing treatments including humectants, emollients and occlusives to deliver hydration, soften skin and lock in moisture. Need help choosing a moisturizer? Check out this post: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Choose a Moisturizer.
Got anymore overrated skincare products to share? Let us know your worst skincare picks!