A lot of 'trendy' skincare products could be doing your skin more harm than good. From using them incorrectly to their ingredients straight up messing with your hormones, here's everything you need to know.
1. Hydrating Mists
Don't get me wrong, I love a facial mist. But they come with a few issues. The first being that some of them contain ridiculous ingredients. Food dye? Alcohol? Plain water for $20? From plain silly to actually harmful for your skin, it's worth checking the ingredients list.
The second issue is that spraying your face with mist throughout the day could be doing more harm than good to your skin. The issue with these mists is that unless you seal them in with an occlusive, they evaporate off your skin; and they'll take whatever moisture you already had on your face with them. So they can actually reduce the amount of moisture in your skin. There are two ways to avoid this. If you're looking for a mist you can spray over the top of makeup, opt for one with an oil ingredient as this will help to trap in that moisture. If you want to use one on your bare skin, just pop some moisturiser over the top to seal it in and you're good to go.
2. Exfoliating Masks
I'm not talking BHA/AHA masks, I'm talking physical exfoliation masks. Brands like Summer Fridays have brought out masks that have become instant bestsellers, but they're not actually that great for your skin. I maintain that chemical exfoliation is always better for your skin, it's gentler and does a more even job. Physical exfoliants can be overly abrasive and cause micro-tears in your skin (or a scar on your forehead that never goes away). That being said, I use a physical exfoliant every once in a while. I just make sure to use one that's reasonably gentle and doesn't contain microbeads (which honestly need to be banned).
Another issue with these masks is that a fair few people use them in combination with regular exfoliation. Over-exfoliation is a real thing, and a few signs of over-exfoliation are shiny, tight or dry skin. Over-exfoliating can also leave you more susceptible to sunburn, which no one wants! And that leads me on to our next product...
3. Chemical Sunscreen
No, I'm not saying sunscreen is bad. In fact, I'm a huge advocate of using it every day. But the rise in sunscreen awareness has seen some products glorified when they're not actually that great. Now, I wrote a whole article about this. But essentially, certain key ingredients used in chemical sunscreens have been shown to affect your hormones and irritate your skin. I recently learned that it's actually bad for the environment, too, as the ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate have been found to increase coral bleaching and have been banned in parts of the world as a result!
4. Micellar Water
Now, just listen to me. Micellar water isn't bad. It just depends on how you use it. If you want to take your makeup off before cleansing, cool. But the issue is that a fair amount of people use micellar water on its own and don't wash it off. If you leave micellar water on your skin it's going to continue to strip your skin of oils, and you definitely don't want that. So use micellar water, but just make sure to wash it off.
5. Peel-Off Masks
Charcoal peel-off masks were a huge trend at one point, but they're not that great. Honestly, the cheaper ones are basically PVA in a tube. While charcoal is a decent ingredient, there are better ways to use it. Peel-off masks can peel off healthy skin cells, and can cause your skin to become overly sensitive or dry over time. Even those nose strips we all find so satisfying aren't the best for your skin, as they're not able to remove anything deeper than the surface off your nose and have the same bad effects as a regular peel-off mask. If you want to truly clean out your pores and remove dead skin cells, the best plan of action is probably just to go with a chemical exfoliant.