This post is your “skincare products you don’t need” manifesto! Or save your money. Both would work.
However, the title of this post may seem a little dramatic or subjective. In a way, it is! I actually was on a fence before writing this post because obviously, everyone is entitled to their opinion on what product to use in their skincare routine.
I can’t really be the one to tell you what to use or what to throw away. The internet is a vast space that is home to endless opinions on skincare products, skincare routines, skincare everything. It is also home to something else called marketing, which is essential to selling skincare products, as well as products that, well, you don’t need that much.
Again, this post isn’t a strict no-no list, but it is helpful to know how you can save money and extra effort by leaving out some products. Remember that every skincare product should serve a purpose. Including too many products into your routine may do more harm than good. You also don’t need to buy unnecessary skincare products and overpopulate the earth with those.
#1. Skincare products you don’t need to use: Facial scrubs
Brands have spent years and years marketing facial scrubs as a skin-saving product while it can offer nearly no benefit to your face. Luckily, recently there is more awareness around its detrimental effects. Facial scrubs have abrasive parts like sugar particles, apricot pits, or walnut shell fragments that basically strip your skin off and cause small tears in the skin.
The idea behind using a facial scrub is to remove debris from the surface of the face by pressing these particles into your face. However, the problem is they cause damage while trying to cleanse your face. Using facial scrub every day will lead to dryness, irritation, and redness.
Solution? Try chemical exfoliation instead. It is the best way to exfoliate your face, remove dead skin cells. Don’t be intimidated by the word “chemical”. If you are not familiar with AHAs and BHAs, read our beginner’s guide for understanding chemical exfoliation.
#2. Skincare products you don’t need: Cellulite creams
I see so many of my friends trying to slather these creams on their bodies where cellulite is, and what do you think the result is? NOTHING. The thing is, cellulite doesn’t happen on the surface of the skin, so it is a bit silly to assume that these cellulite creams have some effect. That’s why it comes at the top of the unnecessary skincare products list.
Simply put, it is a fat buildup that is underneath your skin. It is caused by numerous factors like genetics, hormones, diet, and so on. The cellulite creams don’t make it magically disappear, the only thing they can do is reduce its appearance.
However, according to research, some products containing Retinol can be effective. It thickens the skin, so it makes cellulite less visible. So, there are some products that aren’t among totally unnecessary skincare products.
You will have to use retinol for 6 months or so to see its result.
More on Retinol: 5 Greatest Benefits Of Retinol On Skin
#3. Skincare products you don’t need: Sheet masks
I think it is safe to say we all have used sheet masks in our lives. Sheet masks are very popular in Korean skincare and they are not totally useless. They are just NOT a MUST in comparison with other products out there. They can be a quick solution to a temporary problem. For example, if you are traveling you don’t really have the time to go through every step of your skincare routine.
Put a sheet mask on for 15 minutes or so to get your skin hydrated before a long flight. Using a sheet mask is certainly not equivalent to using other products like serums, creams that have a long-lasting effect. But if you have your fav sheet masks, go ahead and use them. But remember that investing in a night serum that will sit on your face all night long can benefit your skin more than a 15-minute mask.
#4. Skincare products you don’t need: Clarisonic, or cleansing tools in general
Ok, Clarisonic has been around for a while and people either love it or hate it. And Clarisonic isn’t the only cleansing device out there. The problem with these cleansing devices is that their bristles can be harsh on the skin and lead to skin irritation. These bristles are not meant for daily cleansing.
They can be, however, used once a month, say, during a facial. Another problem with cleansing devices is that they carry a lot of bacteria. These tools aren’t a must for you to have healthy, glowing skin. Plenty of other cleansers in gel, foam or milk forms can do the job just well.
Solution? If you are a Clarisonic fan and can’t imagine your life without them, there is nothing anyone can do. Just make sure you don’t overuse and damage your skin. (especially if you have sensitive skin) Opt for antibacterial cleansing devices made of silicone to minimize the bacteria factor.
#5. Skincare products you don’t need: Micellar water for face
In order to properly clean up your makeup, you need to double cleanse. It starts with an oil-based cleanser followed by your cream, gel, or foam cleanser depending on your skin type. These steps alone will be enough to get all the bacteria, oil, dirt, and toxins accumulated on your skin during the day.
This is where you have to leave out micellar water because an effective cleansing routine simply doesn’t require its use. Micellar water can be useful for removing eye makeup or lipstick. But they just aren’t equipped with what it takes to properly cleanse the skin.
#6. Skincare products you don’t need: Neck creams
I was hesitant to include this one in the list since I have used good neck creams that helped me reduce the appearance of fine lines in my neck. After I started reminding myself to treat my neck the same way I treat my face, things began to work out for the better.
Your neck needs the same skincare that your face needs. Cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating serum, good moisturizing, and of course sunscreen. The latter is what people forget all the time, so NEVER forget to put sunscreen on your neck. If you are a fan of a specific neck cream, with collagen, for example, that targets wrinkles around the neck, keep on using it.
#7. Skincare products you don’t need: Eye creams
This one is the most controversial of all! I know, I know, there are many eye creams people swear by. The truth is a lot of serious eye issues like dark circles, discoloration, and sagging can not be addressed with one eye cream. Relying on one eye cream to solve all these issues is just not logical or realistic.
The majority of eye creams available in skincare stores are “moisturizers in disguise”. Basically, you can use a moisturizer around your eyes instead of buying a fancy eye cream. There are some eye creams that have certain ingredients (retinol, for instance) that can be beneficial for improving wrinkles, for example.
However, if you have been using an eye cream for 3 months and don’t notice any positive changes, just move on and stop buying it. The key here is observing the product’s final reaction to the skin. If you don’t notice any big changes, that means it is just not worth buying it again.
#8. Skincare products you don’t need: Pore strips
Pore strips are the superficial solution to a very deep skin problem. They have been used to “peel off” blackheads for a while. But they don’t solve the core problem which is why your pores are clogged in the first place. Blackheads are usually the result of excess oil that is built up in pores.
When you use pore strips, sure, seeing the blackhead residue on a piece of tape is one of those satisfying moments, but the core of the problem is still down there underneath the skin. What’s more? Excessive use of pore strips can dry out the skin and ultimately lead to even more breakouts.
Solution? If you are oily, using cleansers or toners with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can do wonders for your skin. Remember, good skin isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon. And you definitely don’t need pore strips to come along with you.
Read: 5 Essential Skincare Tips For Oily Skin That Work
#9. Skincare products you don’t need: Toners with alcohol
Many of us have opinions about toners too. Some think it is among unnecessary skincare products. I for one believe in toners and think they are an effective part of a good skincare routine. However, toners containing alcohol is a big no-no. It is no secret that alcohol has a drying effect on the skin while dehydrating it. Some brands will include alcohol in their skincare products for oily skin. With that said, it can be drying for oily skin too.
Solution? Check the label before buying a toner. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, use products with agents like tea tree oil, salicylic acid, glycolic acid.
Related: The Truth About Alcohol in Skincare: Friend or Foe?
#10. Skincare products you don’t need: Face wipes (aka makeup wipes)
This one is definitely a “lazy people” solution. Apart from contributing to the pollution problem of the planet, face wipes do nearly nothing for cleansing skin. Since the best way to cleanse the skin and remove makeup is through double cleansing, the use of face wipes is getting irrelevant. Plus, manufacturers add preservatives and alcohol to get these wipes wet for use, so there is a high chance of skin irritation particularly if your skin is on the sensitive side.
Solution? You don’t need to buy makeup wipes. Just go with a good old double cleansing technique – oil-based cleanser + water-based cleanser. Your skin will be happy if you do so.
To wrap it up
The list of skincare products you don’t need is actually longer than 10 products. However, I do believe these are the essential one that makes up the unnecessary skincare products club.
Skincare is personal and something that works for me doesn’t have to work for everyone.
So, the mantra for today is: Love your skin and save money by avoiding unnecessary skincare products.