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Blog beauty trends

4 Skincare Products That Need to Stay in the Past

New skincare trends can be fun, innovative, and a great way to try products. They can improve your routine a lot… but so can letting go of things that we’ve found are no longer healthy. Think of the things like alcohol-laden toners and micro-beads.

Some of these skincare trends have been super popular in the past, but no more! If you’re still using these, it’s time to ditch them and go for some healthier alternatives.

1. Harsh physical exfoliators

There was a time when a facial cleanser with nut shell or kernel particles was the gold standard for exfoliation. We thought that burning, stinging sensation meant it was working. Now we know that physical exfoliants often lead to over-exfoliation, over-drying, and micro-tears (ouch). Sharp or hard particles damage the skin barrier and can allow bacteria into the skin, not to mention cause serious irritation. 

Alternatives: Chemical exfoliators do exactly what you need them to do. They loosen dead cells, dissolve makeup, and deep-clean pores without scratching your skin. AHAs are great for smoothing rough, dull skin and fine lines. BHAs fight excess oils, acne, and de-clog pores. Chemical exfoliants also aren’t reliant on your technique - you can’t scrub too hard. Just make sure you use sunscreen after.

If you really love physical exfoliants and must use them, use something with gentle, rounded particles. Rice, oats, and sugar are good choices, as they dissolve and soften when mixed with water. Follow up with some barrier boosting ingredients.

2. Ultrasonic facial brushes

These brushes work a lot like an electronic toothbrush. They’re promoted as a way to thoroughly exfoliate and cleanse your skin. However, they tend to be quite expensive. For the cost of one brush (not to mention all the replacement brush heads) you could buy a lot of quality skincare. There’s also no evidence that using a brush is better than just using a cleansing product and your hands. It can lead to over-exfoliation — using too much pressure or a brush that is too stiff can hurt your skin barrier.

Alternatives: Double cleansing is a much more affordable alternative and does just as good a job cleaning your skin and dissolving makeup. We also recommend using chemical exfoliators a few times a week. There’s less room for error, and they’re less likely to damage the surface of your skin.

3. Micellar wipes

Cleansing wipes can be super convenient, especially if you don’t have access to a sink. Unfortunately, they can give you a false sense of security. They aren’t a replacement for makeup remover and cleansers, especially long term. Dirt and residue can build up over time, irritating skin and causing breakouts.

Alternatives: There are a lot of travel-sized options for cleansers, or you can decant your favourite product into travel containers. If you’re worried about mess, there are powder cleansers that won’t spill in your bag, as well as balm cleansers that don’t drip. If you do end up using a micellar wipe, follow up with a proper cleanse as soon as possible.

4. Pore strips

Peeling a pore strip off your nose and seeing all the blackheads and gunk come out of your pores is super satisfying.  But all too soon, the blackheads and oils come right back. Pore strips don’t actually treat or balance your skin, and can even strip it, causing it to produce more oils. The really sticky strips can pull your top layer of skin right off!

Alternatives: Good old salicylic acid will take care of blackheads and clogged pores for you, without damaging your skin in the process. It’s also better for you in the long run, because it reduces inflammation and helps control oil production. If you need something stronger, an occasional retinol product has a lot of benefits, including fighting acne.


If you’re still using any of these potentially damaging skincare products, we hope you’ll try some of the alternatives we’ve suggested. They’re better for your skin and will help maintain a healthy barrier in the long run.