Less is more for your skin

Caroline Hendrix, Senior Writer

Things can get a little too hectic when everyone is shouting at you that “you need to put this vitamin on your skin” or that “this product will change your life” or that “this skincare routine is the only way to do it.” If you feed into every skincare recommendation that you are given on TikTok or from friends and family, by the time you finish your daily routine the day will be over. And piling copious amounts of product on your face might do more harm than good. The moral of the story is: keep it simple. 


I learned about the million-step skincare routine over quarantine when the bulk of my TikTok feed and YouTube recommendations consisted of influencers raving about all of the products they use and the dedication they need to maintain healthy skin. My friends would tell me about all the products that they were inspired to buy, and how excited they were to begin the routine. I too fell victim to the marketing fiends that are influencers, selling their glowing and often-edited skin.


At the beginning of quarantine, a routine gave us something to do, and something to look forward to during quarantine. I’ll be the first to say that it got old very fast. Remembering to even do my routine every day or the order in which I would apply the products became too mentally consuming, and I could tell that my friends were experiencing the same thing. If long skincare routines are not even attainable in quarantine with more time available to us, then how could it be possible for the everyday person during a normal work or school day? To put it simply, it’s just not reasonable – and according to scientists and researchers, it’s not necessary either. 


Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner finds the 10- or 12-step routines to be possibly more harmful to the skin than beneficial. On the “Today Show”, Zeicher explained that “applying multiple products increases your risk of skin irritation, and we don’t know whether the active ingredients in all the products are even compatible. This means that you may be inadvertently inactivating products because of the combination.” So while the influencers may make you believe that packing on as much product as you can to your face can only do more good, the use of multiple products may hurt your skin and make the use of other products useless. It is important to understand why these social media stars are trying to get you to buy specific products or from a certain brand. Is it because they actually love the product and truly believe that it will change your life? Or is the first time they are using it on camera to profit off of their partnership with a certain brand? Be careful about what influencer’s opinions you can trust and also remember that a product might work for them but could cause you to break out.


All in all, the minimalist skincare routine seems to be the best option. It is the least time consuming and perfect for the average person who does not have an hour each morning or night to waste on applying products to their skin. It makes skin irritation and inactivation of products by other products less likely. There is nothing wrong with experimenting with new products that are recommended to you, but make sure to read the reviews and understand that everyone’s skin reacts in different ways. Your best bet is to find the few core products that work best for you and stick with them.


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