11 Overrated Skincare Products (That You Probably Don’t Need)

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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.

Overrated Skincare Products. What Skincare Products Are Necessary?

Hype isn’t something that we DON’T do at Apothekari – our line of no fluff, more active ‘stuff’ treatments will transform your skin and provide relief from your skin’s changing needs.

Do We Really Need All These Skincare Products?

Here are some on the ‘to ditch’ list. 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.


Does Some Skincare Make Your Skin Worse?

Some skincare products and ingredients can actually be harmful to skin, especially if not used correctly. For example:

4. Essential Oils

Some essential oils have some great properties—and they smell amazing (love them in my diffuser). But, applied full strength to the face, they can lead to dermatitis, skin irritation, rosacea or psoriasis.

While it can be safe to use essential oils on the face, they must be diluted in a carrier oil first.

What is unnecessary in skin care routine?

Although lots of people use these products, there’s often no need. Here are more overrated skin care products that you can say bye-bye to.

5. 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.

6. 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. 

7. 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.

These Skin Care Trends Need to Go Away

Popular on TikTok and other social media channels, there are some trends that look like a lot of fun—and promise tons of unproven benefits.

Now we’re not saying not to do these because for the most part, they’re harmless. But…don’t expect much benefit. Studies have shown that these just don’t work.

8. 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.

9. Face Yoga

Face yoga, or even face exercises promises to help lift and firm your skin. Sounds tempting, right?


Sadly, there’s very little evidence to suggest that it works. Here’s why.

Our face is made up of skin, fat and muscle layered on top of the skull.

Beneath the subcutaneous fat are fat pads, which are plump, fat-containing areas that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to create the volume that gives our face shape. It’s these fat pads that play a role in the fullness of your face; the fuller your face, generally speaking, the younger you look.

As we get older, the fat pads begin to thin and become less plump … and as they do this, they also sag. That sagging can leave the face looking hollow as we age. Facial exercises can’t increase the plumpness of the fat pads or make them sag less. They also don’t change the look or feel of the skin itself.

No matter how many exercises you do, the muscles under the fat pads won’t help to make your face look fuller.

And when it comes to wrinkles and fine lines, there’s no real impact on the support structures (collagen and elastin) in the skin that over time break down and lead to the signs of aging.

The good news? Face exercises aren’t harmful, but they’re not a replacement for a consistent skin care routine, including cleansing, sun protection, retinoids, antioxidants and moisturizing.

Procedures like fillers, Botox or surgery are far more effective than face exercises if you’re looking for more dramatic results. Check in with your dermatologist if it’s something you’re considering.

Do them if they make you feel good, but just don’t expect your skin to look any different.


10. 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.

11. 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 Glow Getter Serum, Daily Infusion Moisturizer and More Than Lip Service Vulvar & Vaginal Moisturizer.

What Skincare Products Are Really Necessary?

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.overhyped-skincare-products-apothekari-skincare

  • 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.

What Are the Only 3 Skincare Products You Need?

If I had to choose just 3 skincare products, I know exactly which ones I’d choose:

  1. Sunscreen. And I’d use it 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 apply it in the morning.

  2. Retinoid. Retinoids like retinaldehyde in our Advanced+ Renewal 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. There are many other retinoids to choose from so find one that works for your skin to reap its benefits.

  3. Antioxidant. Antioxidants like the vitamin C in our Glow Getter Serum help to protect skin against free radicals—unstable molecules that we encounter as a result of sun and pollution exposure—that can lead to skin damage.

Of course, life isn’t that simple so most of us need to rely on a few additional products as well.

I’d say that a good cleanser—one that helps to remove dirt and make-up without stripping skin is also key. And finally, a moisturizer is something that most women need, especially as they get older and skin becomes drier. 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!

sharmani-pillay-pharmacist-apothekari-skincare Apothekari skincare founder promise