Warning: These Beauty Fads Can Seriously Screw Up Your Skin
Would you coat your entire face with Vaseline before bed or use hot wax to get rid of your blackheads? We say a massive ‘nope’ to such insane beauty fads, but there are tons of them doing the rounds right now and we’d like them to disappear. Pronto.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a beauty trend here at TruSkin. Orange lipstick for summer? We’re in. Skinimalism? Hells yeah. But skincare trends that go viral on the likes of TikTok and Reddit which can do more harm than good? Count us out.
Here, we take a look at five of our least favorite skincare fads currently doing the online rounds…
What It Is: This latest K-Beauty trend might sound like some weird facial involving slimy mollusks slithering over your face, but it's actually about smearing petroleum jelly on your skin before bed. Currently loved by the internet right now, word is that if you spread petroleum jelly all over your face as the last step in your nightly skincare routine you’ll wake up with the softest, most moisturized skin ever.
What We Think: Petroleum jelly is what’s known as an occlusive ingredient which means it creates a seal over your skin to help lock in moisture. So on the one hand, yes, it will stop water from evaporating from the surface of your skin, leaving you with a softer, more hydrated complexion come the morning. But on the other hand, it offers no moisturization of its own and will completely block your pores making it a terrible idea for anyone with oily, sensitive or acne-prone skin. What’s more, petroleum jelly (also known as petrolatum) is a by-product of crude oil waste, so while it’s been approved by the FDA, it’s neither sustainable nor eco-friendly.
What To Do Instead: Rather than dousing your skin with what is essentially grease before bed, choose a night cream that contains a blend of humectants – water-loving ingredients that draw moisture into your skin – and emollients or occlusives to lock all that moisture in. Our Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream is formulated with aloe vera, glycerin, cocoa butter and botanical oils – a far superior combination for hydrating and softening your skin as you sleep. Even if we do say so ourselves.
2. Using Hemorrhoid Cream For Puffy Eyes
What It Is: First Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist recommended applying Preparation H under your eyes to help minimize bags, then the Reddit masses started getting involved and all hell broke loose. Anti-inflammatory hemorrhoid creams like Preparation H are steroid-based and work by restricting the blood vessels to help reduce swelling, redness and irritation caused by piles. A butt cream that effectively reduces puffiness and swelling? Of course, someone was bound to try it under their eyes…
What We Think: Theoretically, this works. But just because something has the potential to reduce your under-eye baggage, it doesn’t mean you should necessarily try it. The skin around your eyes is thin and extremely fragile, so harsh hemorrhoid creams – which often contain potential irritants – can be very damaging to this delicate area. Not to mention the harm you'll cause if you accidentally get it in your eyes. Most hemorrhoid creams also contain hydrocortisone which can cause a significant thinning of your skin in the long-term, accelerating aging around your eyes and giving you wrinkles way before your time. No. Thanks.
What To Do Instead: Why risk the damage to your eyes and the surrounding area, when there are plenty of effective eye treatments out there? Our Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream, for example, is pumped full of hard-working, and more importantly safe ingredients for your eyes, including cucumber, licorice and Eyebright. Apply a tiny amount, morning and night, for brighter, less puffy eyes.
3. Placing Your Serum Dropper Directly On Your Skin
What It Is: You can’t spend five minutes on social media these days without seeing dozens of photos and videos of influencers and makeup vloggers placing skincare droppers directly on their skin. Oh. Dear.
What We Think: Don’t get us wrong, droppers are great for helping you control the amount of product you apply to your skin and every single one of our facial serums is packaged in a glass dropper bottle. But you’re supposed to use the dropper to deposit a small amount of serum into clean fingers, NOT straight onto your skin. In fact, they should never come into contact with your skin. Why? Because skin contact transfers dirt, oil and bacteria from your face straight back into the bottle where it breeds. And that’s so not what you want. In fact, it’s the precise opposite of what you want and why most serums are packaged with glass droppers in the first place.
What To Do Instead: Dispense two or three drops of serum to clean hands, then apply it to your face and neck. Simple.
4. Waxing Your Blackheads
What It Is: Just thinking about applying hot wax over our noses to remove blackheads makes our eyes water, but this beauty hack is out there, people, and it seems pretty popular across Pinterest and TikTok. It basically involves applying hot wax (the same stuff used to remove unwanted hair) across your nose, then ripping it off, whisking away your blackheads at the same time.
What We Think: This might be effective, but one word: ouch. Also, waxing the delicate skin on your face is asking for trouble if you’re not a professional because it can cause serious damage, pulling off the top layers of your skin and leaving you with red, sore, irritated skin. Soft wax (which requires a strip to rip it off your skin) is particularly damaging, but we say avoid this one completely.
What To Do Instead: The best way to deal with blackheads is to keep your skin clean and exfoliated. Gently cleanse with Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser which uses activated coconut charcoal to draw out toxins and cleanse your pores. You could also try spot treating stubborn blackheads two or three times a week with Tea Tree Super Serum+. This contains salicylic acid to boost cell turnover and help regulate oil production.
5. Iced Water Facials
What It Is: The concept of applying cold water or ice to brighten, tone and depuff your complexion is by no means a new one, but the iced water facial, as seen on TikTok, instantly had our teeth chattering. It involves dunking your face three times in a bowl of iced water for as long as you can bear it. Then repeating for 10 minutes or so.
What We Think: Cold temperatures constricts your capillaries which stimulates blood circulation to help reduce puffiness and inflammation while improving the tone and texture of your skin. But, while the odd splash of cool water after cleansing can, for sure, help boost radiance, submerging your face in iced water for too long can have the reverse effect, causing redness and irritation. It’s especially bad news if you have rosacea. You have been warned.
What To Do Instead: A better way to get your glow on? Incorporate vitamin C into your skincare routine. Vitamin C is one of the most highly studied ingredients in skincare and has been proven to inhibit melanin production, therefore brightening your skin and fading hyperpigmentation. Not only that but vitamin C also helps fight free radicals, promotes healing and protects and treats your skin. Try our fan favorite Vitamin C Facial Serum. You won't regret it. And it's not going to freeze your brain, either.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.