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With so much information available at our fingertips these days, there is a lot of choice - and conflicting advice - when it comes to the best skincare products.
Certain social media platforms also tend to promote beauty trends that seem great at first but then often fall out of favor a few years later, when experts inform the masses that this latest fad or old wives' tale could actually be doing their skin more harm than good. For dermatologists, it must be a frustrating business, so we have compiled a list of some absolute no-no products that dermatologists would never recommend for general skincare or for treating skin maladies. Which ones are you guilty of trying?
The notion that toothpaste can help clear up a bad zit quickly has been around for years. But while your mom might believe it, the experts think differently. Some toothpastes do include hydrogen peroxide, which is an antiseptic product. This may reduce any infection or redness from a zit, but the results are only temporary, and it certainly won't make the zit disappear altogether. It's more common for toothpaste to irritate a zit due to the other chemicals it contains, so if you are dealing with a breakout, move away from the dental care aisle.
Face wipes have their place. They are convenient and great for travel, but their main benefits end there. Rubbing wipes against the skin can be abrasive, and since most of them contain high volumes of alcohol and preservatives to keep them moist, you are quite literally rubbing chemicals into your face. On top of that, they are a pretty wasteful form of skincare that is adding to landfills. Use them if you must on one-off occasions but not as a regular cleanser.
No dermatologist would advise you to forego regular moisturizing, but they might give you a heads up that money doesn't always equal quality here. In fact, a wide range of affordable moisturizers almost always contain the same kind of base ingredients as the ones with a higher price tag. The more expensive ones tend to splurge more on their marketing and packaging to draw you in, but the skin-savvy among us will know that inside, the products are strikingly similar.
Coconut oil can be used in everything from cooking to haircare. It's also a great, natural moisturizer, but only for certain skin types. Using coconut oil on acne-prone skin is a big no-no. It is dense, oily and will clog pores, which could make a breakout much worse.
If it smells too good to be true, it probably is. Chemicals are added to create pleasant fragrances in beauty products, but usually contain a host of allergens. If your skin has a reaction to them (which is common), you may end up with a rash or even red, itchy bumps. It's not a good look.
Exfoliation is an important part of any good skincare regimen. It sloughs off dirt and dead skin cells, revealing a shiny, radiant new layer underneath. However, if this is done with products that are too harsh, it can lead to soreness, irritation and even small scars on certain skin types. After extensive research, studies have proven that scrubs containing fruit pits and ground walnut are much too harsh for the skin and advise against using them regularly.
We get it. There's nothing quite so satisfying as using one of those sticky nose strips and admiring all of the gunk you've just lifted from your own skin. But the pulling-off motion can actually tear skin and is particularly bad for sensitive or acne prone skin. Think about it: you wouldn't pull a bandage off a raw wound because it would hurt and cause more damage, so why do something similar to your skin?
These were a major skincare trend a few years ago as many of us bought into the belief that charcoal would actively draw out impurities and remove dead skin cells, and that's not completely incorrect. However, the issue with these masks is that they pull away good skin cells as well as dead ones, leaving the skin beneath raw and red. Peeling them off can be arduous and messy. When the potential for damage is high, why not just use a gentler, more natural face mask?