Updated: Apr 7
We all know the basic skincare do’s and don’ts: do use a cleanser every day, don’t touch your face, so on and so forth. But, did you know that many of the popular skin care products you see advertised on TV or sitting on your friend’s bathroom shelf can actually do more harm than good? In this blog post, we’ll talk about the 5 products often touted as miracles, but in reality can lead to acne, premature aging, and even injury.
1. Physical Exfoliators
Physical exfoliators typically use elements such as crushed walnut shells, salt or sugar, or plastic micro-beads as their primary exfoliating agent. These ingredients can seriously harm the skin, as they have sharp, jagged edges that can cause micro-tears. Micro-tears break the protective barrier and can lead to infection and premature aging. The worst part? The consequences usually are not noticeable for years - by which point, the damage is done!
Instead, use chemical exfoliators. While “chemical” is sometimes portrayed as a scary word, professional skin care lines use chemical exfoliation ingredients that improve the skin’s health. They work by gently sloughing off dead skin cells, encouraging cellular turnover. This leaves you with a healthy, even glow without damage.
2. Pore Strips
Pore strips are small pads with a water-activated adhesive on one side. The strip is applied to damp skin, left to sit for a few minutes, and then removed. The idea is that the adhesive will attach to any blackhead pimples, and physically pull them out of the skin. However, this is far from a perfect method. First of all, the adhesive used in pore strips is irritating to the skin, and can cause spider veins, broken capillaries, redness, and flaking. Secondly, pore strips do not address the underlying cause of blackheads - enlarged pores and overproduction of oil - meaning they will grow back again.
Instead, use products that target oil production and pore size. One great method is applying products containing Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B. Niacinamide regulates oil production, targeting oiliness without stripping the skin. It also helps to reduce pore size, and visibly tighten the skin. Try: YovinoMD Wrinkle Erase Serum - it also contains hyaluronic acid to help plump the skin!
Another great option, especially if you struggle with acne, is using products containing glycolic acid. This ingredient helps to regulate oil production, and provides gentle exfoliation to prevent build-up of dead skin cells. Try: YovinoMD Acne Defense Serum, YovinoMD Acne Defense Pads - they are both formulated with ingredients to treat and prevent acne breakouts.
3. Witch Hazel (instead of a proper toner)
Witch hazel is a great ingredient in toners, but purchasing a big bottle of Witch Hazel itself does not have the same effect. This is because bottles of Witch Hazel contain significant concentrations of alcohol, which not only dries out the skin, but can even cause skin cells to die and the skin barrier to weaken. This can also lead to excessive oil production in the long run, as your skin will begin over-producing moisture to make up for what was lost.
Instead, use a true toner. A toner will prep the skin for better penetration of other products. A good toner includes ingredients that prep that skin without stripping away natural oils. This means that it will have toning agents in addition to ingredients with moisturizing properties: think aloe vera or aloe vera extract. Try: YovinoMD Ideal pH Toner - it comes in a convenient spray bottle.
4. Makeup Wipes
Makeup wipes can be an easy way to remove makeup at the end of a long day, but there are several reasons to avoid them. The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to makeup wipes is that they are not designed to clean the skin, but to get rid of the appearance of makeup - they are NOT a good alternative to a cleanser! They do not target dirt, oil, or impurities, and they ultimately leave behind a residue that can irritate the skin, clog pores, and cause breakouts. On top of that, makeup wipes have a negative impact on the environment: they contribute to pollution.
Instead, use a facial cleanser - good cleansers will remove your makeup along with dirt and oil without leaving a harmful film on the skin. Try: YovinoMD Ideal Enzyme Cleanser - it has a fresh, citrus smell without any artificial fragrance.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is often touted as a natural and miraculous moisturizer, but skin care experts advise leaving it for your cooking instead of your skin. Coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which essentially translates to “pore clogging”. People with sensitive or acne-prone skin can be especially affected by these properties. Not only does coconut oil heighten your risk of acne breakouts, but it does not actually moisturize the skin! This is because it does not penetrate the dermis - instead, it sits on the top layer of your skin, trapping moisture without delivering hydration (another reason coconut oil can cause breakouts).
Instead, try an equally natural ingredient with clinically proven impact: hyaluronic acid (HA)! HA is capable of deeply penetrating and hydrating the skin. Try: YovinoMD Filler in a Bottle - it contains 4 different HA molecules!