They can be hard to resist: they’re often new, simple, maybe even inexpensive and often sound like fun. But in many cases, those very qualities are why they don’t work. Usually, the proven skin care ingredients—like hyaluronic acid, peptides, niacinamide—have extensive studies showing their effects. That’s why dermatologists use them and why they recommend over-the-counter formulations that have them as well. As far as the other stuff that crops out and is touted as the “latest and greatest,” well…let’s take a look.
Fermented Skin Care: This is part of the Korean beauty trend that has become quite popular recently. So the idea is that fermented ingredients in serums and masks work well to control acne while exfoliating and hydrating the skin gently.
But actually: the ingredients in these products can’t get past the outer layer of skin to do anything, and there’s nothing to suggest that fermentation makes the ingredients any more effective than other, on-fermented ingredients.
Facial Exercises: Recommended by some, supposedly help keep skin “in shape” somehow so as to stave off wrinkles.
But actually: Dermatologists believe that these exercises could have the opposite effect and promote wrinkles.
Baking Soda to Exfoliate: The idea here is that it will get rid of dead skin cells and clean your face nicely.
But actually: It’s way too harsh to exfoliate your delicate facial skin and its pH levels are totally wrong for your skin, stripping away the skin’s protective acid mantle.
Venom: Rumor has it that Kate Middleton favors bee venom while Gwyneth Paltrow supposedly favors snake venom. Ok, so the snake venom supposedly acts like Botox because of paralyzing agents and bee venom somehow signals the body to produce more collagen.
But actually: Neither have a shred of clinical evidence to back them and most if not all dermatologists will tell you that no over-the-counter product actually increases collagen production as such.