Why You Need to Think Twice About These Skincare Trends on Social Media
Skincare routine trends abound on social media, but not everything in your feed is a good idea. And in the case of live snails crawling on your face — just no.
It may not be the “healthiest” of habits, but as I’ve been spending almost all of my time indoors lately, I’ve also been spending way more time on social media. There’s a weird trance that I feel like you fall into when you’re scrolling through your feed on platforms like Instagram or TikTok (RIP Vine, we’ll never forget you). Time seems to lose all meaning, even more so in the middle of this extended period where most of us aren’t leaving our homes very often. Let’s just say that I was snapped out of the trance in a very sudden manner.
People have taken to sharing their “quarantine skincare routines” via social media lately, especially on TikTok and YouTube. However, if I’m being honest, I am not a big fan of a lot of what I’ve been seeing. Now let me make this very clear: You can do whatever you want with your skincare, and products can be used in a lot of different ways. I have no interest in publicly shaming anybody or scolding people I don’t know for their personal choices that have no impact on me.
That being said, I have no idea what is possessing some of these people to do what they’re doing, and I had to just say my peace on the things that have left me the most perplexed.
You don’t need that many
I’m no stranger to excess when it comes to skincare. Even though I feel like my routine has gotten considerably more concise, the reactions I get from my (loving) friends and family when I start describing my skincare routine tells me that it’s far beyond what most people would deem concise in the least. Admittedly, my normal Sunday “pamper” routine does involve multiple hours with multiple masks and treatments, so maybe they have a point.
What is making me look sideways at my phone is the multiple instances of people on social media applying multiple types of the same product to the point where I’m not sure what the goal is. I’m not talking about doing multiple layers of the same product à la 7 skin method. I’m talking about people using things like three moisturizers on top of each other. While I don’t think this would do any potential harm unless you’re using moisturizer with actives like glycolic acid or retinoids, I’m really not sure what the layering of (often very expensive) moisturizers would accomplish that a moisturizer more tailored to the person’s skin type or concern couldn’t do.
It also seems like the people who are doing this intense, and in my opinion strange, layering thing also appear to have naturally already clear, glowing skin (in addition to the filters being used). My concern is that someone with more typical skin that isn’t being blurred by an Instagram filter will see this and think that buying three moisturizers that are at least $50 a piece will do something magical on their skin when used together. I promise you, it won’t. If your moisturizer feels like it’s not doing the job, considering switching to a new product or adding a few drops of oil to it.
@ariiskincare routine y’all been asking 4 ✨♬ Tyler the Creator Best Interest – pieismanly
Break rules within reason
I’ve spent a lot of time reading the directions for a skincare product I’ve purchased and then using it in a completely different manner. That being said, I’m not breaking rules just to break rules and relive my rebellious years in middle school. I’m talking about things like using an acid toner at a different frequency than dictated on the packaging or applying a tretinoin cream at the end of my routine rather than the beginning with the understanding that this will change how it absorbs into my skin. I have reasons for my crazy.
What I don’t understand is when people just seem to be freestyling with their products for reasons I cannot figure out. For example, I saw someone using a sleeping mask as a wash-off mask (granted, this was one of the uses from the brand, but I still think it’s a bit of a waste), and instead of washing it off, which was also directed, they used a cotton pad and toner to lightly wipe it away.
When receiving a professional facial, it’s standard to remove a mask with a damp towel because it would be pretty awkward to have a client get up in the middle of an appointment and rinse their face. But we’re talking several passes with multiple damp towels, cotton pads, and/or sponges, not a few splashes of toner onto one cotton pad or a dry towel. The lack of proper mask removal may not be the worst thing in the world with something like a sleeping mask being used as a wash-off mask, which probably will just leave you with some product in your hair or on your pillowcase. But my concern is that people will follow this type of removal strategy with a mask containing clays that could really dry out your skin overnight or masks with exfoliating properties, which could lead to some serious irritation or even potential burns if not thoroughly removed.
@gracienielsonNightly skin care routine! Goodnight 😴 ##routine ##skincare ##foryou ##fyp♬ Can I Call You Tonight – Dayglow
Really raw ingredients
One thing I run into with a lot of “DIY beauty” accounts or people who have irrational fears of “chemicals in their skincare” (spoiler: everything is a chemical) are people advocating for the use of ingredients as you find them in nature because that is somehow supposed to be more beneficial to your skin. I don’t see how or why, but that seems to be the thought process behind people hacking off parts of aloe plants to get “pure” aloe to put on their skin, or using things like mayonnaise for face masks instead of something formulated for use on the skin.
One of the most extreme things I’ve seen people do is take actual live snails and let them crawl/slither/scoot along their face for an unspecified amount of time and then rubbing the remaining goo into their skin. I have no idea why in the world you would do this. There are perfectly good snail products like the COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin 96 Essence that will give you the benefits you’re looking for without all the variables and potential risks that can come with using the “natural” or “pure” form of these ingredients.
Countries like the U.S., and even more so when it comes to South Korea, have very strict regulations and requirements for the production of cosmetic items. Products are made in sterile environments and undergo extensive testing to ensure that what you’re putting on your face is what it says on the bottle and is safe for you. Please do not attempt to DIY things like this. Take the snails for example. If you go into your backyard and find snails, you have no idea what they’ve been slithering over, what kind of bacteria or fungi they could be carrying around, and I can guarantee almost none of us have experience in properly cleaning and caring for snails. Again, just please don’t do it, y’all.
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While I’m all for taking some more time to indulge in skincare if that’s a possibility for you, please don’t fall into any of these weird skincare routine trends that seem to be very popular, as view counts and comments would indicate. I’d love to hear about any of the strange skincare routine trends you’ve encountered online! Until next time, wash your hands and still apply your sunscreen, y’all. <3