Many of us swear by a few favorite, tried-and-true skincare products. But what about all of the lotions and potions we’d never use? Here are the ones you won’t find on this dermatologist’s bathroom shelf.
Toners. They may feel tingly and nice on the skin, and they can play a role in exfoliation and removing skin oil in the oiliest skin types. But for most people, toners have the potential to trigger redness, itching, or irritation, and may disrupt the skin’s barrier. The risk of using them usually outweighs their potential benefits, and many dermatologists (including me) consider them medically unnecessary.
Coconut oil products over acne-prone areas. People love them for their moisturizing and itch-fighting properties, but they are a quick way to clog pores and cause breakouts. Plus they are super hyper allergenic and people with many autoimmune conditions and allergies may experience breakouts and redness.
Facial scrubs with ground-up fruit pits. Yes, they can exfoliate the skin to remove dead, dry, built-up skin cells. But irregularly-shaped pit bits can be harsh on the skin, and may cause small scratches, skin injuries, or even scars. Gentler, safer, more predictable options include chemical exfoliants (such as a solution, cleanser or light peel containing glycolic or salicylic acid) or mild scrubs containing consistently-sized, round granules. Also, go for some 100% biodegradable beads that are gentle for your skin and good for the environment.
Facial oils. Many people love, love, love their facial and essential oils. They may smell and feel nice, and many are claimed to have therapeutic value. But they’re not backed by significant research, and, they don’t moisturize as well as creams, lotions, or ointments. They simply sit on the skin, can leave it feeling greasy, and can make it appear shiny rather than dewy. Many oils also contain ingredients that can cause skin rashes (called irritant or allergic contact dermatitis). Many oils are extremely hyper-allergenic so if you have any sensitive skin, stay far away from them!
Skincare products loaded with fragrance. A scented moisturizer or serum can feel lovely and indulgent during a skincare routine. However, fragrance is the most common allergen in cosmetic and skincare products, and can lead to an itchy, pink, bumpy rash called allergic contact dermatitis. People with sensitive skin or anyone dealing with rashes can lower the risk of skin reactions by choosing fragrance-free moisturizers and products. Stay away!!