The Most Overrated Skincare Products

Some cosmetic companies prefer to sell dreams rather than physical products that solve real skin problems. 

There are so many skincare products on the market that sometimes the easiest thing to do is just to buy the stuff you've heard of a million times. But are super-hyped products always worth it?

Plenty of them have mediocre formulations, don’t undergo any sort of test to sustain the claims they make, use cheap ingredients, and sometimes are not even shelf-stable!

Some cosmetic companies prefer to sell dreams rather than physical products that solve real skin problems.

Sometimes the cult-loved stuff really does live up to its reputation, but often there are sleeper hits hiding on less-visible shelves that are either cheaper or have higher-quality ingredients.

In an effort to help you get the most out of your purchases, we've put together this honest list of products you've likely bought due to how much air time they get.
Keep scrolling to take our experts’ take on overrated skincare.

Activated charcoal masks

Activated charcoal is practically in everything imaginable these days, as one internet search of the term leads you to a ton of charcoal-infused cleansers, soaps and shampoos. However, charcoal masks are probably the most popular of all charcoal beauty buys, especially since they claim to deep cleanse your pores with ease.

However, dermatologists explain that while these masks are often marketed to those with oily skin, they don’t exactly detox clogged pores the way you assume they would.

Activated charcoal can absorb dirt from the skin surface, but only what it comes in direct contact with. When the charcoal is mixed with a vehicle in the mask, the amount that is actually coming in direct contact with the skin is likely not significant.

Snail mucin cream

Although snail mucin (a special mucus secreted from snails) is a popular ingredient used in many trendy K-Beauty skincare treasures, experts suggest that it isn’t exactly the skin-boosting ingredient everyone likes to think it is.

Snail mucin is reported to have high amounts of hyaluronic acid, dermatologists say. And while hyaluronic acid is proven to be an excellent skin moisturizer, it can be found in many skincare products, and does not need to be harvested from a snail.

Jade facial rollers

You’ve definitely seen one of these facial rollers on Insta at some point, especially since they are available in practically any crystal (jade, rose quartz, amethyst...) of your choosing.

And while these crystal rollers definitely bring some bougie vibes to any vanity, cosmetic surgeons suggest there really is no research to support their alleged anti-aging benefits.

Jade rollers may seem holistic and soothing, but there is no real data to support their purported benefits of reducing swelling or puffiness in the skin. Reducing your intake of salty foods is more likely to make a much more significant improvement in swelling than a manual roller, experts explain.

CBD skincare products (sort of)

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of those industry-hot ingredients that every skincare brand under the sun seems to be incorporating into their product lines. And sure, those CBD muscle rubs and creams may feel great on your legs after a long run, but experts suggest that there is no real merit surrounding any anti-inflammatory benefits attached to these kinds of products.

Although research has shown CBD helps with inflammation in the skin, we are waiting for more research on the products before backing up the hype. Some of the claims we have seen with CBD being used to treat skin cancer are worrisome.

Cellulite cream

We’ve all seen those expensive creams and body scrubs that promise to send cellulite packing. However, board-certified plastic surgeons explain that such products really have no effect on skin condition whatsoever, while in-office treatments prove to be much more effective.

Even though this condition has no bearing on the patient’s value as a person, they still purchase expensive cellulite creams (reduction in the actual appearance of cellulite) that give them the same results as a major brand moisturizer.

Research has now found that physical massage done with affordable home-devices (or at a dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s practice) can help improve the condition much more effectively than creams in a shiny bottle.

Cleansing oil

Did you know that cleansing oil might do more harm than good?

Cleansing oil may be trendy, but it can also lead to more skin problems for some people, dermatologists say.

Cleansing oils are a popular trend but can be tricky to use, especially in patients with acne-prone or oily and combination skin.

Cleaning oil can actually worsen your skin if you have one of those skin types, experts report. Instead, they recommended choosing products that are noncomedogenic, which means they won't clog your pores.

Stretch-mark creams

Experts also explain why stretch-mark creams most likely won’t work.

Dealing with some pesky stretch marks? Unfortunately, a pricey cream won't do much to help, dermatologists say. The problem is under the skin in the dermis layer, and topical medications can not penetrate that area to fix the issue.

If your stretch marks are really bothering you, go see a board-certified dermatologist.


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