I have always avoided washing my face in the shower because someone told me it was bad for my skin. I've lived by this rule for as long as I can remember.
Just the other day I saw a TikTok of someone applying ice to their face. They said rubbing the ice your skin reduces puffiness and redness. I gave it a shot, and my skin did feel smooth and refreshed. The next day I saw video saying I should not apply ice to my face because the extreme cold would damage it (oops — too late).
I realized that I’ve been following a lot of skincare “rules” that came from hear-say through friends or social media. So how many of the things in my daily routine were really helping my skin, how many were harming it, and how many just — weren’t even make a difference at all?
I’m doing the research on skincare trends so you don’t have to. Of course, I in NO way claim to be an expert on skincare. But I am going to dive a little deeper than the TikTok surface to discover what trends are worth the extra 15 minutes in my morning routine.
Applying ice to your face is said to decrease redness, puffiness, and other inflammation, especially when caused by acne. Even Vogue swears by it, and who am I to question Vogue? I did feel awake and rejuvenated after trying it myself. But were there affects I wasn’t aware of?
According to Healthline’s dive into ice facials, “these claims are only supported by anecdotal evidence” and not “definitive clinical research.” They also make it clear that while it isn’t backed by medical research, it is a cheap and “logical” practice that does have a number of positive personal testimonies behind it.
Ice facials are definitely all the trend — the warning? Healthline did say that applying ice directly to the face can be damaging if there isn’t a cloth or towel barrier between the ice and your skin. And holding the ice on your face for extended periods of time could be lead to burning.
So, I am going to proceed with caution. While I’m not going to go total ice bath, a little chill is quite alright with me.
Washing your face in the shower
There's lots of mixed opinions out there when it comes to washing your face in the shower. Who knew this would be such a prevalent subject in my life? The general consensus, however, is that most people advise you not to wash your face in the shower because it is likely very hot and steamy in there. The hot water can be too harsh for the delicate skin on your face.
According to Self Magazine, "this is especially an issue for those with dry or sensitive skin to be aware of." Women's Health Mag also adds that residue shampoo and body wash could be irritants when doing a shower face wash. Using cooler water in the shower and staying gentle can be an alternative option if you swear by that multi-tasking lifestyle.
Because I refuse to shower at any degree less than scorching, I'll go ahead and continue to wash my face outside of the shower as usual.
Using pore strips
As disgusting as it is to see those little bumps come off that sticky strip, pore strips are a very common skincare tool. They are the go-to way to rid your nose of those annoying pores that just won't go away with a normal cleansing. I'll admit, I toss a pack of pore strips into my cart with each Target run, using them alongside my favorite face mask for my weekly spa day. That is — I did, until I read they were actually doing more harm than good.
I looked to Refinery29 for some answers. They said, "while pore strips may not be busting capillaries and taking names...they still have the potential to tear or injure your skin," and in fact do not provide the deep cleaning that they are often known for. Allure also did some research, stating that if used correctly, they can provide a quick and satisfying fix, but won’t offer long-term results.
So, like the ice facial, I’m deciding to save pore strips for only absolutely necessary moments. Be gentle on your skin, and know that while it's a satisfying experience, it isn't going to make ever-lasting improvements to your skin.
For a year now my face masks have taken complete and total blame for any breakouts around my chin and jaw line — a place where acne wasn't prevalent until the mask-wearing began. Am I wrong for making my masks the scapegoat for my skin frustrations? My research tells me, not at all.
Cedars Sinai reported an increase in patients bringing up acne frustrations and other irritations from wearing a mask. Cedars Sinai's recommendation? Add a layer of sunscreen between you and your mask, and wash your face right when you get home after a long day of mask-wearing. Overall, trying to keep the area clean is essential, and be sure to choose masks that aren't made with an irritating fabric.
It seems that mask-wearing is here to stay, at least for the time being. If you are experiencing breakouts, try to refrain from wearing makeup beneath the mask, and be sure to always cleanse and moisturize.
I’m definitely guilty of seeking out scrubs galore to really give my face that deep-feeling clean. But I’ve recently seen some say that scrubs are actually too abrasive, and aren’t going to lead to the desired results. I was shocked and saddened by this news, so I knew I had to seek the truth.
Here's what I found: exfoliating is definitely a key part of a skincare routine. The secret lies in how you exfoliate, and how frequently. SELF Magazine explains that while scrubs are one way to exfoliate, chemical, physical and even retinoids also serve as ways to exfoliate. So if you are look to move away from the abrasive scrubs, there are options.
Scrubs, especially when used over-frequently may cause micro-tears in the skin, SELF explained, so be sure to use scrubs gently, moisturize, and find the exfoliant that works best for you.
Skincare: More than Just the Surface
At the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all for skincare. The rules that work for someone may not work for you. And what works for you, may not be the trend blowing up online. And that’s okay!
My non-expert advice? Talk to an expert. If you are having skincare problems, its probably best to do the heavy research and ask a source you trust. That way, you can get advice tailored just for you.