While social media can be a hub for all things fashion and beauty, skincare is a topic that can get a little tricky, especially when certain products start to trend. I'd be lying if I said I haven't been guilty of succumbing to a viral product only to be disappointed when it didn't exactly work for my skin. While following trends for clothes and makeup can be an easier feat, with skincare, it's crucial to be cautious because what works for others may not work for you, and some products may seem like they're working but can actually cause damage and irritation later on. It's important to pay close attention to the ingredients before purchasing a product and to consult an expert if possible, especially if you're facing specific skin concerns.
Since I've been seeing quite a few products circulate around social media that have caught my interest, I thought I'd put them to the expert test and see if the products are actually worth it. I consulted Kiran Mian, DO, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in NYC, who gave me her opinions on six products trending all over social and included some of her tried-and-true favourites as well. Keep scrolling to see what she had to say.
"I love using salicylic acid cleansers a few times a week, especially in acne-prone skin. This CeraVe cleanser has glycerin and ceramides, which make it super hydrating while the salicylic acid cleans out pores!"
"BHAs are small molecules that are able to get inside pores and dissolve away debris. Toners get mixed reviews, but I’m a huge fan. An active ingredient in a toner will be more effective than in a face wash because it stays on your skin. This Paula's Choice toner is gentle yet effective, with green tea extract for a calming benefit."
"Colour correctors are like the secret hack of MUAs. This Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Treatment has centella asiatica, which is very effective at neutralising redness. (It also works well for the redness in stretch marks!) I like its texture and how it reduces the need for foundation!"
"Man, so close. I love the ingredients in this product—glycolic and lactic acid are super effective at exfoliating the bumpiness of KP [also known as keratosis pilaris]. The added colloidal oatmeal and tocopherol (vitamin E) help hydrate the skin, and licorice root extract will help even out skin tone. However, physical exfoliants can be irritating for the skin. If you're going to use this product, use your fingertips with super-light pressure."
"I love in-office glycolic acid chemical peels. However, doing a chemical peel at home can be risky. Glycolic acid is a very unpredictable molecule when it comes to depth of penetration. If one's skin reacts to it too deeply, it can cause scarring and depigmentation! I would be really, really careful using this product at home, and I would not combine it with any retinol use in the same week!"
"Cute and gimmicky with the app analysis, but is it necessary or even effective? Devices like these tend to harbour bacteria. The Luna claims to be "ultrahygienic" and good for acne-prone skin. However, I find facial brushes irritating for the skin and hard to truly keep bacteria-free. Your fingertips are the perfect facial cleansers!"
Mian's tried-and-true favourites:
"This toner is the best. It has the perfect blend of glycolic and lactic acids, with hydrating ingredients to make your skin soft and bright!"
"Along with AHAs and BHAs for acne control, I love incorporating retinoids. The RoC Retinol Correxion Crème is gentle and helps keep blackheads at bay."
"I absolutely love this cleanser. It's oil based, so it takes off all my eye makeup without smearing it around, yet it doesn't clog pores! It leaves my skin feeling soft and clean without the tight, dry feeling."
"La Roche-Posay uses thermal spring water in its products. This helps normalise the skin's microbiome—the diverse array of good bacteria that keeps bad bacteria from taking over. I like this moisturiser because it has glycerin and ceramides. It's hydrating, calming, and lightweight."
"My all-time favourite moisturiser is the Belif Moisturizing Bomb. It hydrates the skin without clogging pores!"
"When it comes to game-changer products, one of my favourites is HydroPeptide's Nimni Cream. It's on the pricier side. However, it is the perfect blend of retinol, peptides, and vitamin C. It refines texture, brightens complexion, and feels luxurious with every application."