When it comes to the health and beauty industry there is always someone trying to make a splash with a new product or a new technique. Some are good and some are…not so good. When we have a problem we often depend on immediate solutions. So if someone is vouching for a product that supposedly helps your skin in whatever you way you desire it to, then we’ll probably lean towards it without doing as much research. A common one that many of us didn’t question twice at first was toothpaste. This fad had everyone smearing toothpaste on their pimples to clear them up over night. It is true that some toothpastes contained ingredients that aided in killing bad bacteria, and that sometimes that tingly feeling helped to numb the pain, but there are negative affects that aren’t worth it. Not when there are products out there meant to be placed on your skin which has a much gentler, delicate barrier than your teeth do. Burning, over drying, and scarring can all occur when using this method. Fads can be helpful, but they are often times not looked into. For this reason, this blog will be dedicated to talking about some of the most popular fads in skincare right now. Perhaps you’ll find one of these has worked for you or hasn’t. As a common theme of skincare, it all depends on what type of skin you have when determining how effective something is for you. That being said, I won’t tell you what you should and shouldn’t try as this is meant to be more informative of things you may have come across already.
You may have seen this going around on TikTok as the skincare that leaves your skin with a slug-like appearance. Slugging is the process of applying a product to your skin (usually over night). These products are usually oils or waxes such as Vaseline or Aquaphor. By doing this you are preventing water loss and dehydration of the skin. This particular technique is often linked to K-Beauty, but it is also being pointed out as a part of Black women’s skincare routines for decades now.
Let’s talk benefits:
- improve skin barrier function
- prevents trans-epidermal water loss
- promotes a plump and more youthful appearance
- can enhance skin products already in use by sealing them in and not allowing them to evaporate
Not a bad list of pros. Slugging seems to be a beneficial technique, however, if you are someone struggling with blackheads, milia, blemishes, or already pretty oily skin then this is probably not something you want to rely on as the end-all solution.
If this is a technique you want to try, then here is a quick routine to use:
- Cleanse and tone with an alcohol-free toner if you use one.
- Apply any serums. A lightweight hyaluronic acid serum is recommended.
- Moisturize (not necessary but helpful) with products that include humectants, emollients, and occlusives.
- Slug! Apply a thin layer at the end of your routine and that’s it.
For more information on slugging, try this article by Vogue.
A Chinese healing technique, Gua Sha uses a tool to massage the skin. This is done to increase blood flow. It’s meant to help with inflammation by correcting “stagnant energy” called Chi. It can be used on the body or the face with a gentler touch. It is a natural technique so there’s no real danger here. The only negative effect could happen if you scrape too hard. Skin bruising and the bursting of capillaries near the skin’s surface can occur. Gua Sha is known to be used for healing. For skincare, it can also aid in sculpting our your features (supposedly).
Using the Gua Sha correctly can help drain the lymphatic systems and leave you looking less bloated. Here’s a list of the benefits that have been connected to the Gua Sha by users:
- Stimulates circulation
- Helps produce collagen
- Softens fine lines and wrinkles
- Decreases puffiness
- Decreases inflammation
- Diminishes dark circles
- Temporarily tightens skin
- Brightens complexion
- Sculpts facial muscles
- Releases tightness
While the Gua Sha can be used in different ways, one golden rule to think about is to use gentle pressure and evenly stroke your skin in the direction of lymphatic flow. Use a bit of facial oil as well to aid in the massage. This can be done once a week at first, increase to 2-3 times a week at comfort, and then can even be used as much as every day if you get a good grasp of it. It is not recommended for rashes, sunburns, or if you have blood coagulation issues.
To learn more about Gua Sha and what to look for when buying a stone check out this article.
A cosmetic procedure that removes the top layers of skin, dermaplaning aims to remove fine wrinkles and deep acne scarring. It’s another technique to help exfoliate the skin and make it look smoother. It is done with a sterilized blade held at a 45 degree angle as the technician scrapes it gently along your skin. This sounds like shaving because it basically is. It’s shaving the peach fuzz and dead skin right off your face. This can and should probably be done at a salon by a professional, but many influencers have been doing it at home with blades that are easily purchased.
At the salon, the technician will typically spend about 20-30 minutes dermaplaning. They will then follow up with a soothing substance like aloe and probably apply sunscreen. For the most part, it’s an easy procedure that doesn’t call for much. Side effects can occur, though are usually rare if done by a professional. Your skin may appear a little red for a couple hours following. White heads can also appear from infection. It’s important to keep the blade you are using clean while also using gentle motions so as to avoid breaking the skin’s barrier completely.
Here are some benefits to dermaplaning:
- Refreshed, exfoliated skin
- Fewer fine lines and wrinkles
- No down time to heal
- Cosmetics will go on easier
- Can help with prevent acne by reducing the chances of pores getting clogged with oil and dirt
Dermaplaning overall has a lot of benefits to it. However, if you have active breakouts you will want to avoid to prevent spreading the breakout. While this is a procedure that can be done at home, it’s recommended you see a professional. They are trained and have the tools to do a safe and sterile session.
For more information on dermaplaning, check out this article.
There are plenty more skin fads that will come and go. Some are helpful, some are not. This blog touched on some of the biggest techniques right now, how they work, why they work, and in what ways they can’t work. Are there more fads you’ve heard of that were missed here? I’d be happy to know so I can look into those as well!