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In Defense of Unsexy Skincare Routines
08.08.17
So What Month
So What Month

No one was supposed to ever know I had acne. Not the person staring at my matte concealer-covered face, not my friends who I tagged on MySpace yet left un-retouched next to my personal aura cloud of a 1980s glamour shot blur effect, and certainly not anyone who came over. My medicine cabinet was a well-contrived lie — not of the after school special/soap opera variety but, rather boringly, a coverup job to trick all who went snooping. (I kept my skin prescriptions in a drawer in my bedroom.) Behind the bathroom mirror told a product-packed story of a girl whose skincare routine was for the wealthy and flawless. I liked my babysitting money where I could admire it, but more than anything, I was self-conscious.

No one except for me broke out, I was convinced. No one I knew owned foundation. Back then, the internet was still a place where pervs tried to lure adolescents into their corduroy-covered-couch-stuffed digital dens; if there were forums where young women could safely lament about how they felt like the only human gourd of their friends, I didn’t know about it, and so rather than complain or share tips, I kept quiet. To call it a burden would be dramatic and thank the real lord that I’m no longer 15, but I treated the Doxycycline pills and Benzoyl peroxide I was prescribed like something of a secret. And no secret is less sexy than one between you and your dermatologist with terrible taste in office decor and indoor plants.

This mentality carried over into young adulthood. For the first two years of college — a time when, if your phone alarm went off in class, all female students nodded in sisterly solidarity as you popped a quick pill from that ubiquitous foil pack, I kept my medicinal skincare fairly private. (In retrospect, it was and is no one’s business, but girls talk about everything.)

By junior year, my breakouts were finally in-check and I was on a boring, Cetaphil-only diet. By senior year, I had self-weened off Rx. I graduated and fell face-first into magazine beauty closets, then spent the next few years experimenting with all of the “fun” designer scrubs and serums in trendy packaging that the beautiful people proactively suppressed their age with. Finally! “Have you tried the life-changing molecular so-and-so from the Maldives?” “Why yes I have, it was divine, what’s a blackhead? And thanks for asking.”

It was 2011. The no-makeup makeup look was in-fashion. Blogs were shooting medicine cabinets of the rich and the pore-less with high flash. Skincare as a commodity with which to compare your coolness was on the rise. Shortly after, #topshelfie became a hashtag, the Korean skincare obsession exploded and the whole world was sharing photos of themselves on social media in gold face masks. It was a thing to brag about staying in with your under-eye gel patches. It was self-care, proof of in-the-know club membership and a fun way to drain your paycheck. Just last year, I lusted more over chemical-exfoliants and vitamin-C potions than I did any pair of shoes on the runway.

But to what effect?

At its absolute best, under the care of the most highly-coveted products, my skin looked as though I took care of it. It had consistent weeks and bad days. Sometimes I got pimples, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes my skin was dry, sometimes it wasn’t. It looked better overall than it ever had, but was that because of expensive, luxury label products? Or was it because I drank more water? Was it hormones? Age? I’m not even sure the answer mattered because what all this sexy skincare stuff is about is the stuff; it’s the collecting, Instagram sharing, the displaying it (curating it) all around your bathroom for your own aesthetic pleasure and the entertainment of guests — with some sort of quiet, private hope that someone truly impressed will submit your medicine cabinet to be considered for mass online display.

And then a few months ago, I gave it all up. My skin began to break out again and I thought, “You know, I could just ask my dermatologist what she recommends.”

I sat in the waiting room and looked around (a different one from my teens, same terrible taste in decor). Everything was plastic and orange. Stacks of old LIFE magazines sat next to corporate ferns. Products lined a few clear shelves that did not entice nor promise dreams of a better life, just better skin. A sign was displayed in a frame on the front desk: “Ask us about the face wash coupons we can offer.” It was kind of depressing, and it was kind of relieving. It was like being reminded that you could wear a white tee and khakis for the rest of your life and no one would bother you, if you really wanted to.

The doctor prescribed me two topical gels, Spironolactone pills and a cleanser that says “SULFER” in giant letters on the label. None of it smells good. None of it’s pretty,  although I will say I’ve grown fond of the color scheme. It’s like the normcore of skincare, sans irony. When you open my medicine cabinet, there it is — not because it’s on display but because I actually use it. It gets the job done. And my insurance covers it. And I asked about the face wash coupons: 15% off, just like a beauty closet sample sale.

Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi. 

 

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  • Olivia

    Amelia, thank you for validating my unsexy prescription topical gels (s/o to Ziana), especially as my skin is literally bursting with adult acne this week <3

    • Amelia Diamond

      ughh what’s ziana? here’s something i need to talk about with someone that my derm never seems to help me with: can i layer serums and shit under/over topicals? does anyone do this or know about this??

      • Abby

        YAS ziana! @ameliadiamond:disqus it’s a trentinoin/clindamycin mix, should be overall same effect as the two separate tubes pictured in the story

      • Hil

        I always put a simple moisturizer (usually eltamd pm) over differin. I’m not a derm, but I would avoid layering topicals with serums/moisturizers that have stronger ingredients like acids or vitamin c, but if it’s soothing or moisturizing than I would try it out and see how it goes.

      • DA

        Depends on what the serum is. Maybe if you included what serums you use (is that too nosy?) commenters could be a bit more specific/helpful.

        There’s been a recent explosion of OTC combinations available and there isn’t much research done on how actives in these formulations interact with each other. The way the actives are delivered, pH etc all make a difference so a lot of recommendations are based on theoretical knowledge and studies using very specific formulations of actives.

        FYI I’m not a dermatologist. I just like reading skincare studies and having some knowledge about the stuff I’m putting on my face. Derms themselves have varying opinions on this subject. How to combine OTCs is tricky because they aren’t prescription medications with clinical studies backing them. Unfortunately peter thomas roth isn’t included in derm textbooks yet. There seem to be no hard and fast rules, just guidelines and some derms actually have regimens that don’t follow them, so you should probably experiment and see what works for you.

        These are general guidelines I’ve read up on:

        1.Retinoids can be used with acids. An old study states that retinol conversion to the active form is optimal at a ph of 5.5-6, but that study was not done under physiological conditions and others studies state that using an aha before a retinoid can improve its efficacy. However, this combination can cause a lot of irritation so if you don’t have heavy duty skin, use them separately. If the tretinoin alone irritates your skin, try using it over your moisturizer.

        Gist: Retinoids can be used with ahas and bhas. If you’re really worried, try a slow release tretinoin (microencapsulated). Start off with alternate days though. If you’re using niacinamide you can use it with retinoids.

        2. You can use niacinamides with acids. Some people worry about flushing due to large amounts of niacin formation but the acidity and heat required for this to happen at a fast enough rate make this an unrealistic worry. Some niacin will form but very very slowly and minute concentrations. Some unlucky people do experience flushing with even minute amounts of niacin, but it’s a momentary issue.

        Gist: You can use niacinamides with ahas and bhas. If you do flush excessively after use , avoid it.

        3. Ahhh vitamin C. Vit C is best absorbed into the skin at a specific pH, depending on the type of Vitamin C. Absorption times vary too. Some derms think its fine to use vitamin c with products of other pHs and others think the pH differences will affect the efficacy of vit C too much. Some say that waiting 30 min before applying other products negates this issue, but again, I’m wary. Studies have shown the efficacy of a retinol + vit c combination but comparing the specifics eg pH, delivery, etc with OTC combinations isn’t possible. This is generally too confusing for me so I use it alone. U Using formulations with ferulic acid and vitamin E as well (skinceuticals CE ferulic serum) help potentiate the effects of vit C.

        Gist: Just use vitamin C alone, saves you the headache of doing unreasonable amounts of research. Some derms use vit c after their BP, or AHAs in their own routines and others advise against it.

        Hyaluronic acid can cause dryness in dry environments. Because not all of it is absorbed into the skin (even the recommended low molecular weight formulations), if the environment is dry, the hyaluronic acid on the surface will pull water out of your skin rather than into it.

        Gist: HA can be drying in dry climates

        The Clindamycin + BP works even better with salicylic acid (according to a study), but it causes way more dryness and if you’re already using the sulfur wash before hand it’s probably best to lay off the SA.

        Gist: don’t add SA to you’re current routine unless you’re taking BP/sulfur out. Otherwise clinda + bp + salicylic acid can be more effective.

      • EmUhLee

        Amelia: I think it super duper depends on what the products do and how well they play with your Rx topicals. What serums/other goodies do you want to incorporate, and how do you see them fitting into your current Rx routine? Also, what are your skin goals?

        My skincare routine is 90% derm-prescribed as well, so I don’t really mess around with adding much other stuff. However, I do use a salicylic acid toner from COSRX on my lower face ~3x/week in the AM, which i follow with a gentle topical lotion from my derm (sodium sulfa). (My derm doesn’t know I do this…oh well!) I also use differin and take spiro.

      • M Rae

        check out this magic lady!! http://skinandtonics.com/evening-skin-care-routine/ she doesn’t really write anymore but I have her routines bookmarked because she full on addresses this (prescription tretinoin + other skincare funsies) and I basically learned everything from her.

  • cuffers27

    Differin for the win <3

    • Abby

      Yes! Used it in college, just started it up again, and my skin is looking GOOD

  • CayC

    Honestly, I would have saved SO MUCH money if I had just gone to the derm sooner. The pretty bottles from Sephora look nice, but nothing comes close to the strength of a prescription if you have a serious issue that needs addressing.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i know. i still have some drunk elephant in my cart right now though…

  • Jess

    This is me with skincare! Basic and straightforward. I just can’t with the 10 steps routine every day. My skin is definitely better with a simple routine than piling on expensive fancy products.

  • It’s so true that simple stuff can do as good/better job than the expensive Sephora brands (but isn’t it also a bit sad to admit it?). You could always decant your ‘ugly’ bottles into the fancy ones…. I won’t tell 😉

    https://thedianaedition.com

    • Amelia Diamond

      ok this is very true and not a bad idea

    • Amelia

      YES I decant into muji bottles. Mostly to be able to fit into my shower but still, they’re lovely.

  • MM

    YAS! I browse sephora and read Into The Gloss but its all a sweet, sweet fantasy. Spironolactone pills (every 3 days I’ll take one or else I get too dry); Micro-Retin A (PRAISE BE!), which I mix with Clindamycin Benzaclin 1% on the back of my hand before applying. Also use the sulfur wash except for once a week I break out a $3 straight benzoyl peroxcide white soap bar. I peel the label off of everything, to preserve some anonymity/make my regiment appear slightly french? At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • Amelia Diamond

      q: i didn’t even know you could take spiro every 3 days… did your derm say to do that? should i ask mine about that?

      • MM

        I think I’m already on the lowest (25 mg?) and use it as an additional oil control for those nasty under the skin zits, so my derm said I could split the pills in half for less dosage or just space it out. Once every 3 days has been working great for me!

  • Lauren

    YESSSS. I’ve never had particularly terrible skin but all the emphasis on skincare recently and the ‘need’ to have luxury serums etc. made me go all out. Ridiculously expensive and hard to maintain, I gave it all up a few months ago, just using a Nivea moisturiser in the evening, and my skin has never been better!

  • Rachel D.

    YOU GIVE ME LIFE!!!!!! I could have written this myself! Dermatologist prescribed medication has always felt like a dirty secret have mine (have done topicals, so many antibiotics…). Am currently also on spiro which is the best thing I’ve has used so far (although I’m weirdly breaking out after 9 months being fine, so idk what’s up). I always feel really down & envious when I see people sharing their skincare routines/makeup shelves, because it sets this weird culture around the whole thing… it feels like there’s some sort of social hierarchy based on what kind of products you use.

    Do you use rose water toner, vitamin C serum, and sheet masks? And then just a dab of concealer because you don’t want to “cover up your natural skin, which looks so much nice than makeup?” Then welcome to the cool club! At least that’s how it feels sometimes.

    Anyway, you nailed it- thanks for sharing!! <3 I'm with you all the way.

    • Amelia Diamond

      <3 !

  • Nora

    Thank you for writing this! I too, had to venture back to the derm’s office when I started breaking out again, only to be told I have adult acne now and need to go back on Rxs. My routine is super simple, only four steps (gasp), and I also take Spironolactone. I now only shop at the makeup section in Sephora, and for some reason, I feel like I’m missing out on everything cool.

    • Amelia Diamond

      we can still do all the body lotions. i might go invest in a dry brush today for a little beauty rush.

      • Jac

        yes! i’m on a similarly basic and non-glam skincare routine c/o the derm, and my bath and body products (which I previously didn’t care much about at all) have gotten increasingly over the top as a result

  • Jaime Gelpi

    same. boat. here. my mom has these glamorous products (that work great for her nearly perfect skin), and my bathroom counter looks similar to one at walgreens. in high school and the first years of college i followed my mom’s routine, but that’s just it: it’s my MOM’S routine. throwing in the towel and going to the dermatologist was the best thing i could have done for myself. i swallowed my brand-conscious pride (which could be an interesting story spin-off? this has actually applied to clothing brands for me lately too) and welcomed my clear skin with open arms. also, silk peels! that my insurance covers!

    • Amelia Diamond

      totally. we forget that just because something works “for everyone” doesn’t mean it won’t work for us… and that’s okay!

  • Pterodactyl111

    CeraVe for lyfe.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I use CeraVe too – sunscreen though, good stuff

  • Ciccollina

    God, yes! Like when you read ITG and there’s some fucking supermodel/artist/gorgeous person with exceptional *everything* talking saying things like “I keep it super simple” or “I don’t really do much”. Good for them but at the same time, argh!

    Ps. Amelia, you don’t even get to play with fancy hair products (because it’s perfect obviously) so I do feel ya.

  • Julissa

    So are those four things the only thing you use on/for your skin?! No moisturizer? Does the face wash make your face super dry? SO many questions. I’m also thinking I should ditch store skincare and go to a derm for a streamlined/effective skincare routine.

    • Chelsea Shepler

      Julissa, have you tried a hydration serum for dryness?

  • Shevaun

    Ugh I would kill to be able to go back to the dermatologist. In western Canada there is a shortage of derms so it’s nearly impossible to get referred unless you have a life-threatening or severe skin condition. My clogged pores don’t cut it 😣

    • Katrina Elizabeth

      Have you noticed even if you do get into a derm in Western Canada, they’re all kind of crazy?

      • Shevaun

        Oh YEP. You’re right. I had one derm that I went to as a teen and he was the oldest craziest man. He was such a jerk too, haha I hated him. But he passed away and since he was the only one servicing the interior of BC there hasn’t been a replacement!

        Also I went to one in Toronto when I was living in ON and she was sort of a jerk too. Barely looked at my skin then prescribed a $180 cream. OOF. I imagine it’s because derm’s are largely underpaid and overworked, at least as far as medical careers go.

        • Chelsea Shepler

          Shevaun, I might have something I can recommend. Shoot me a message if you’d like!

  • Andrea

    Yes! I’ve had bad skin since I was 11 years old. I had alllll the prescriptions as a teenager, but I gave them up sometime around my sophomore year of college because managing to refills was stressful for me and I still had acne, but on top of the bumps my skin was dry af from the medication. I’ve switched to OTC and those pretty Sephora products now, but might have to go back to the derm, or try Differin again, which didn’t do anything for me as a teenager but maybe would now.

    I switched to a higher estorgen birth control which has really improved my skin, but I still have sooooo many sebaceous filaments and always have at least one angry red mound on my face at any given time Adult acne sucks 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • Chelsea Shepler

      Andrea, have you tried Proactiv?

  • Olivia AP

    Is it normal that I realte this much to 90% of MR articles? I feel you, sisteeeers

  • J

    With prestige beauty you can’t fall for the marketing, most products are BS – but there are some really effective luxe products out there (and good, but still unsexy, drugstore products) if you know what to look for. Start educating yourself on Beautypedia and you will notice the difference!!

  • Hannah Thiessen

    I’ve never been to a dermatologist, but I really should. Even CeraVe makes me break out

  • Cynthia Schoonover

    My skin care routine works for me. An expensive product is not necessarily a better product. I’ve had samples of expensive products and I could see no difference in my skin. These beauty companies are out to make money, and if they can convince you to buy their expensive products, then it’s money in their pockets. Do what works for your skin. Everyone’s skin is different.

  • Michaela

    Really, truly thank you for writing about this! My dresser is rocking the same color scheme right now, identical orange spironolactone pills and all (I’ve been taking two a day for the past 5 months and it’s seriously changed my life, although at first it made me break out more)

  • Lil

    Yesss. I suffered from severe acne since I was 15. I tried everything and would dedicate at least an hour of my day to my face until I just got sick of the time wasted. So now I just stick to Acure sensitive face wash, trenitioin gel, argan oil, weekly exfoliating, lots of water, vitamins, healty food, and sleep; my skin’s never looked better.

  • I’d bet really good money that most people getting their “shelfies” photographed for ITG also have prescription treatments hidden in a drawer.

  • DA

    LOVE that you wrote this. You’re right…Vintners daughter and SKII have become the new manolos. If you’re cool, you have it. Skincare has become so trend driven, its not only expensive to indulge it but can be dangerous. Acids don’t go with niacinamide, and using retinol and an exfoliant can you give you flaky skin…but who tells you that?
    The wellness/natural beauty trend where everyone seems to look like a glossier model sucks for people who have real issues with their skin.
    I got so fed up, I dumped most of my fancy OTC products and researched some excellent prescription products to use as alternatives to antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide (relax I have classmates who are derm residents, I did consult them beforehand), And guess what? The concentrations of actives and the efficacy is so much better than OTC cosmetics that add a bunch of comedogenic bullshit and fragrance to trick you into believing they’re not only effective but indulgent. Before I buy anything now I scan the ingredients list.
    Having said that CHECK OUT THE ORDINARY. I’m in love with them, and a good number of products have great actives without being comedogenic.

  • Kat

    I feel like the main issue for my skin is too many different products!
    Maybe I just have sensitive skin but the less I do to it and and the gentler I am, the happier it is.
    Now I just use the garnier micellar water most evenings, avene moisturiser with spf in the mornings, and occasionally hit it with clarins blue orchid oil and/or the REN glycolactic radiance renewal mask. My skin is way happier than when I used to do a full oil cleanse or exfoliate loads or have different serums etc.
    Mind you, I don’t wear skin makeup and I am super lazy, so this suits me down to the ground!
    I don’t think in the UK we have access to dermatologists or prescribed skincare in the same way, I think the closest I’ve come was when I had a rash and they prescribed some aveeno moisturiser… so most of my beauty knowledge has had to be self taught from the likes of Caroline hirons, ITG and the beauty science articles on xojane.
    I’m always wanting to suggest beauty products/changes in routine for people though as so many people have no idea what’s in anything they put on their face! But I can’t think of a way of doing it that’s not rude :/

  • kforkarli

    Very well written. Great article Amelia

  • ana

    Amelia, thank you for speaking from the very depths of my soul! I’ve been part of the comedogenic sisterhood for as long as I can remember, and judging from my mom’s skin, I’m in for life. Does anyone know of a sulphur facewash – or, gasp, pinnacle of unsexiness, soap – that can be purchased OC?
    And if you ladies don’t mind me asking — what do you do if you have plans for the evening? I’m apprehensive of rubbing some of the more potent stuff off on my bf, but am too lazy to do my skincare routine afterwards …
    If it helps anyone – these are the things that have worked well for me (i.e. combination skin, probably dehydrated, prone to break out due to stress/ food/ me thinking I’ve finally found a routine that works. Don’t have major cystic acne, but my chin is covered in tiny white bumps, my nose is an oil slick that repels foundation, with minor blackheads and pustules liberally distributed around my T-zone and rest of face. Wrinkles are on their way, but most anti-aging products just break me out. Btw, this is what it’s like on BC.) I tried to stick to organic skincare for a while, but since I am not the clean living yoga goddess who simply floats through major deadlines and consequently eschews anything resembling processed foods — you can pry my dairy out of my cold, dead hands! — I caved in and am now addicted to The Ordinary — so the result is part organic, part TO.
    Nigella (black cumin) oil / hemp seed oil / grapeseed oil — applied with lots of rosewater, these are lovely – help calm the skin, tighten the pores, restore moisture – i use these overnight. don’t smell especially nice, but unlike creams or hyaluronic acid (why?!) they don’t break me out. find them slightly too heavy for daytime. Oh and since I didn’t buy anything fancy, just some cold-pressed, organic ones of Amazon, they don’t smell nice – not horrible, but def not sexy.
    TO Niacinamide & Zinc — don’t expect immediate results, but for me helps heal old scabs/scars, calm everything down and think it’s helped to dry my skin out a little (zinc should help tone down sebum production) — light enough for daytime.
    TO Lactic Acid — beautiful! exfoliates without drying out, find it just as effective as glycolic acid but less aggressive. I use it once a week, if my skin feels dry (rarely), I layer oil over it afterwards.
    TO Vitamin C Suspension (23%) — game changer, clears everything up. Results are immediate. I think this cleaned up the pervasive zits on my cheeks. The texture is nasty, it’s gritty, it stings and feels greasy – but can be easily mixed with a little moisturizer (I use aloe vera) and then it goes on like a dream, but is slightly less potent. Don’t see how it can be used during the day though.
    TO Advanced Retinoid 2% — skin looks amazing in the morning. Glowy, poreless, clean. Haven’t been using it long enough to be able to tell if it really evened out my fine lines ever so slightly. It feels deceptively mild, I got carried away at first and used it a few nights in a row (this is my first retinoid) – and redness and purging ensued. Now use it once a week, might start using it more often after the summer (=sun exposure).
    TO Salicylic Acid – not better or worse than any other salicylic creams, but cheaper. Been slathering myself with benzol peroxide for so long it doesn’t seem to do anything for me anymore.
    Garden Goddess Face the Day Primer (SPF 30) – zinc based, organic, feels surprisingly rich and minty on skin (not ideal, but smells nice and at least you feel where you’ve applied it.) Doesn’t irritate my eyes, even post-workout (had some really gross, sauna-like workouts this summer) and I think in combination with the TO Niacinimide, it’s actually helped to dry my t-zone out to the extent that wearing sunscreen is not hell. My everyday go-to, when not facing major sun exposure. (i really tried to use proper sunscreen this year, but Anthelios irritates my eyes and everything else transformed me into a hot, miserable, greasy mess – my nose was basically a slip ‘n slide for my glasses …)
    Sorry for rambling on, but am so sick and tired of seeing elaborate, breathtakingly expensive routines for perfect skin – i almost miss the good old vulgar days of yore when status symbols were straightforwardly material.

  • I love pretty makeup and skincare bottles but I am an unsexy Neutrogena gal all the way. It’s oil free and ithe only thing that doesn’t make me break out. I just live vicariously through other ppl’s skincare routines on instagram, it’s cool.

  • Rachel

    Spironolactone saved my life <3. Although I do feel shame in admitting that I've had three empty bottles of Drunk Elephant sitting front and center in my medicine cabinet because the packaging is too fun to part with.

  • Christel Michelle

    To get the best of both worlds I put all of my pills, gels, and acne products in leftover glossier pouches. I had a sleepover with one of my guy friends a little bit ago, and when I took all of my stuff out of my bag after washing my face he goes, “why do you have so many pills and stuff?” which would have left me mortified in high school. Instead of freaking out I said, “for my face… isn’t the pink pouch pretty though?” He dropped it and tbh that felt like a little win. It’s the little things. ALSO BLESS GLOSSIER FOR THE REUSABLE POUCHES!

  • Cate

    While prescriptions and dermatologist-recommended drug store brands do 95% of the legwork on keeping my skin clear, I’ve gotta throw in a good word for drunk elephant c-firma. I bought it recently and was told my skin was glowing the other day, in a twist my acne-plagued teen self would have never dreamed of !

  • Miss Crystal

    Tea tree oil! The bar soap from Trader Joe’s and the pure oil for spot treatments. Rx meds and Proactive and everything else everyone swore by doubled the oiliness of my multiple-Clean&Clear-sheet oily skin. It smells strongly and very… masculine. But it always does the job.

  • allison fargo

    only thing sexier then glossier packaging is CLEAR ASS SKIN

  • Natt

    I got so sucked into the social media skincare thing and it did nothing but make my skin 100% worse! I was looking for some more natural and cruelty free options and I stumbled onto these skincare twitter threads. These accounts preach vitamin e concoctions, tea tree and charcoal. Turns out my skin HATED tea tree and charcoal and broke out for a good 3 months after using these ingredients for a few weeks and most vitamin e oils are made with wheatgerm oils- which are massively comodegenic. So on top of having a ton of painful spots, I now had a mission to get rid of my horribly bumpy clogged pores! I’m sure these products do work for some people but it’s frustrating to see these girls with perfect skin to begin with preach these products as fact- so many times i’d see ‘this REALLY works just give it a chance!’. I wasted soooo much money:( I think the worst was when a couple of accounts started suggesting this moisturising cream to people- I tried it and ever since then I’ve had dry skin that is definitely leaning toward eczema! I gave this product to someone else and they used it one time and also said it dried their skin out! Again- I’m sure it works for some people but these girls aren’t dermatologists and they should be wary that they’re recommending things to a huge audience. It’d be a bigger help if they said ‘if your skin is xyz this may not work!’ After all the wasted money, the one product that has really really worked for my skin is dr bronner liquid soap! The most simple product! That being said- these skincare accounts do preach drinking a ton of water, so they do have their redeeming qualities- water is super important for way more than skincare.

  • Makenzie

    Nothing makes me more angry than people on instagram saying they have sensitive/allergic/acne prone skin and then proceeding to do a “new sheetmask a day challenge” or trying several products a week. I would break out in hives, guaranteed!

  • Nicole

    Thanks for this article. I do have some trendy products but sometimes seeing the clinical plastic tubes of all the shit I have to use to treat my latest skin woes has depressed me. BTW, Spironolactone saved my life. I’ve been on 100mg for the last two years and I wouldn’t have it any other way.