Dermatologist Useless and Harmful Beauty & Skincare Products Are Never UseDave Smith
Many of us swear by some favorite, tried and true skin care products. But what about all the lotions and potions we would never use? These are the ones that you will not find on this dermatologist’s bathroom shelf.
Toners they can feel tingly and pleasant on the skin, and can play a role in exfoliation and eliminate sebum (skin oil) in the more oily skin types. But for most people, toners have the potential to cause redness, itching or irritation, and can alter the skin’s barrier. The risk of using them generally outweighs their potential benefits, and many dermatologists (including myself) consider them medically unnecessary.
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Coconut oil products on acne prone areas. People love them for their moisturizing and itching properties, but they are a quick way to clog pores and cause breakouts.
Facial scrubs with ground fruit seeds. Yes, they can exfoliate the skin to remove dead, dry and accumulated cells. But irregularly shaped bites can be hard on the skin and can cause small scratches, skin lesions or even scars. Softer, safer and more predictable options include chemical scrubs (such as a solution, a cleanser or a light peel that contains glycolic or salicylic acid) or mild scrubs that contain round granules of constant size.
Facial oils: many people love their facial and essential oils. They can smell and feel good, and many are said to have therapeutic value. But they are not backed by meaningful research and, in my opinion, do not hydrate as well as creams, lotions or ointments. They just sit on the skin, they can leave it feeling greasy and can make it look shiny instead of wet.
A moisturizer or scented serum can feel charming and forgiving during a skincare routine. However, the fragrance is the most common allergen in cosmetic and skin care products, and can cause an itchy, pink, and bumpy skin rash called allergic contact dermatitis. People with sensitive skin or anyone with skin rashes can reduce the risk of skin reactions by choosing moisturizers and fragrance-free products.
Moisturizers or cleansers that cost more than $ 30. In fact, I rarely spend more than $ 10 or $ 15 on these items. There are many effective, safe, gentle and well formulated lotions, creams and cleansers available in pharmacies and in mass market stores. We could easily spend hundreds (part of that cost goes to beautiful packaging), but the truth is that we can clean and cool our skin effectively using cheap but well proven products from brands such as CeraVe, Cetaphil, Aveeno and La Roche-Posay.
Eye creams some contain lovely and effective ingredients that can hydrate and benefit the thin and delicate skin that surrounds our eyes. There is no harm in this, but is it really necessary to use something separate for this area? Not according to me and many of my dermatologist colleagues. For the skin around my eyes, I trust the same products and ingredients that I use in the rest of my face, neck and hands. These include a serum of vitamin C, sunscreen, a nighttime retinoid cream and moisturizer.
Self tanner. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not worried about the safety or health of self-tanning products. In fact, they are the only sure way to tan. (Any change in skin color that results from ultraviolet light, whether from the sun or indoor tanning, is a sign of skin damage.) But I think they simply encourage an unhealthy obsession to change the tone of our skin. I am naturally pale and used to look for a tan thinking that would make me look better or healthier. All I really did was increase my risk of skin cancer, wrinkles and sunspots. Now, I choose not to contribute to the idea that a tan looks better in light skin. Our natural skin tone is the healthiest. Why should we feel the need to change it?