Skincare Trends: Scam or Sensation?

You may have heard about jade rollers and eye masks that social media influencers swear by, but whether or not these products actually work miracles has been a never-ending debate. While some believe that skincare trends are just another way for the beauty industry to exploit women’s insecurities, others disagree, arguing that we should be able to purchasewhatever products make us feel good about our skin. Regardless of which side you stand on, it’s a fact that skincare trends can get pricey—testing the difference between the ones that work and the ones that don’t can feel like an impossible task. If you’re going to be spending your money on skincare products, you need to know their benefits (or lack thereof).  

Jade Rollers

jade rolleris a beauty tool used on the face and neck. It looks like a tiny, double-sided paint roller with a crystal for the cheeks and forehead on one end and a smaller crystal for the nose and under-eyes on the other end. Jade rollers are said to help with lymphatic drainage, which reduces under-eye puffiness and can give your skin a visible glow. Long-term benefits include wrinkle prevention and improved skin elasticity. Jade rollers have a cooling effect when kept in the fridge and can also help skincare products such as moisturizers and serums sink into the skin. Although they have become a skincare staple for many beauty connoisseurs, jade rollers only produce results when they are used properly. To successfully drain the lymph nodes in your face using a jade roller, you have to follow a particular patternfor a prolonged period of time. After applying your skincare products, use the larger crystal to roll outwards from the center of your face, starting with your chin. Next use the small crystal to roll under your eyes. Switch back to the large crystal and roll out your forehead, starting from your eyebrows and moving up towards your hairline. Finally, roll from the center of your forehead out to your temples. 

At-Home Microneedling

Microneedlingis a cosmetic procedure that involves pricking the skin with tiny needles to help generate more collagen for smoother, clearer skin. Recently, derma-rollershave made it possible to practice microneedling at home. People rave about the ability of these products to treat acne, stretch marks, and wrinkles, but are they safe? According to Erica Colleran, a physician at Iowa City Dermatology, yes—as long as you’re not using a roller that has deep penetration. “The deeper the penetration, the greater the risk of scarring,” says Colleran.

Microneedling patcheshave also been trending. These patches are typically clear. The side that sticks to your skin is covered in tiny needles filled with various skin-boosting products like hyaluronic acid. They are usually used under the eyes to hydrate, smooth, and plump the skin, but can also be usedon other parts of the face to drive acne-fighting ingredients into the skin. Unfortunately, Colleran says that pimple patchesare not an effective way to treat acne.

Eye Masks

The skin under our eyes is prone to puffiness and dehydration—eye masks may be the solution. They adhere to the under-eye area and can include a variety of ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, plant extracts, and antioxidant vitamins, all of which are beneficial for your skin. A gold foil eye maskis one of the most popular and Instagram-worthy types, but they actually offer more than just a photo-opportunity. The gold foil retains heat, allowing hydrating products in the mask to sink into your skin. Gel masksare another variety and often include collagen from plants like aloe vera, which is an anti-inflammatoryand can soothe your skin. 

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is processed to have a more porous texture than regular charcoal, which causes it to attract toxins. A powder form of charcoal mixed with a liquid is often taken to remove toxins from the body when someone ingests something unsafe, which suggests that charcoal might also be good for your skin. However, there is not much scientific support for charcoal’s skin benefits. Peel-off charcoal masks are said to be great for extracting blackheads, but they can be painful to remove. Colleran says that if charcoal masks aren’t working for you, “old-fashioned Bioré strips are totally effective.”

When it comes down to it, all your skin really needs is the basics. Moisturizers aren’t even necessary unless your skin is prone to dryness and exfoliating can actually worsen acne because it irritates your skin, causing inflammation. Colleran says that the two most important skincare products to own are a gentle cleanser and sunscreen. “You can spend $500 on skincare products and it won’t even touch the damage you do with a single suntan,” she says. So, before you decide to invest your time and money in trendy skincare products, try to gather as much information as you can about them. Know your worth and know what you’re putting on your sk

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