7 skincare products you don't really need, according to an expert.

We've said it once and we'll say it eleventy million times again, but the skincare market is one very loud, noisy and confusing place for any lass with a face.

There's new skincare products launching every other day, and social media is absolutely thriving with whacky claims and fluffy marketing hype.

And while we love anything beauty-related just as much as the next person, sometimes it's worth being a little cautious about what skincare bandwagon you're jumping on. 

More often than not, you can find yourself spending a lot of money on hyped-up TikTok-approved products that don't really do much for your skin. Which is disappointing, really. Especially when a packet of crisps costs, like, $7 right now.

Watch: Speaking of skin, remember that time we tried to find out if luve was good for wearing under makeup? Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

So, how do we know what's legit? And what's just good marketing, convincing us to spend more money on things we don't need?

We spoke to an expert to find out. 

An important note to read first: We just want to make it very clear that skincare is a 'you do you' type of game. So if you like using any of these products/trends/tools below, and they work for you and you enjoy the way they make you and your skin feel, that's great! Go forth! Each to their own.


Everyone's experiences with skincare is different — and just because it doesn't work for one person, doesn't mean it's not going to work for you. We're just sharing what we learnt below.

With that out of the way, here's what Professor Deshan Sebaratnam of Liverpool Hospital said when we asked him which skincare products (and trends) aren't worth spending on.

Prepare yourself for some seriously controversial opinions!

1. Food-based skin care.

Off the back of the 'clean beauty' trend, slogans like 'skincare you can eat' have become popular claims slathering all over packaging. But is food-based skincare really better for you? 

"Food is meant to be eaten, not applied to your skin," said Dr Deshan. "Skincare containing food products (eg pawpaw, olive oil, etc.) might actually irritate the skin and can also lead to food allergies." 


"Our current understanding is that, for example, if you apply peanut to the skin, the immune cells in your skin recognise it as a threat and then when you eat peanut, the immune cells in your gut launch a reaction against it. This is particularly the case in people with conditions like eczema."

So, if you're someone with sensitive skin, it could be worth pulling back on any food-based skincare to see if it makes a difference to your skin.


2. Gua sha.

In case you've been having a very long snooze, gua sha tools absolutely blew up a few years back, and they're still kicking around many people's beauty routines. 

If you haven't heard of them, they a smooth-edged tool originally used in Chinese medicine to 'scrape' the skin. 

Fast forward to today, and they're marketed as promoting lymphatic drainage in the face and removing excess fluid. They also promise other benefits, like 'lifting' and 'contouring' the skin, as well as the ability to help 'push' serums deeper into the skin.

But do they actually... do anything? According to Dr Deshan, no.

"It might lead to some transient changes in blood flow within the skin, but is there is little evidence that supports its benefit," the doctor told Mamamia. "For most people, it's probably a waste of time."

3. Expensive skincare.

It's an age-old beauty question: is expensive skincare really worth it? There are luxury skincare brands out there with products that just cost So. Much. Money. 

According to Dr Deshan, most expensive products don't offer much over affordable products you can pick up in the chemist or supermarket. Which is good news for our bank accounts, at least.

"You don't need to spend lots of money on skin care; many cheap products work as well as expensive ones," he told Mamamia. "Look for products with staples like niacinamide, alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C and retinols."


"You don't need to spend a fortune. Brands such as The Ordinary or Ego Pharmaceuticals are formulated well and at a good price point. Save your money to invest in more expensive procedures like lasers or injectables.

4. Subscription skincare.

Personalised skincare is another area of the beauty market that has exploded in recent years, with more and more brands using treatment plans and prescription-grade ingredients to target individualised skin concerns.

However, Dr Deshan told Mamamia, "Most of the ingredients or medicines in subscription skincare are available over the counter or with a script from your GP at a fraction of the price."

As we mentioned before, if this is something that works for you and it makes your skin look and feel great and you can afford to splurge on it — go for it!

5. Skin care masks.

No... not the masks!

According to our expert, the humble facial mask doesn't actually do as much for your skin as you probably think.

And we just...

"It's nice to feel like you're pampering yourself and the theatre of it is fun, but these probably don't do that much," said Dr Deshan. 

"You could apply the same actives in a cream or serum to your face and achieve the same benefits."

Just TRY to pry us from our beloved sheet masks!

6. Vitamin infusions.

Chances are you've seen celebrities and influencers posting about those trendy vitamin IV drops, but if you've ever wondered if they actually... work... here's your answer. 


"These are a gimmick with no evidence," said Dr Deshan.


"For most people with a normal diet, these are a complete waste of money."

So, there you have it. Save your money, friends!

7. Drinking water to improve your skin.

Okay, it's not necessarily a product, but this is a huge myth Professor Deshan wants to clear up. because no, drinking water won't improve your skin. No matter how many times celebrities say it.

"This is a myth. Drinking more water won't improve your skin, it just means you'll go to the toilet more. It has no bearing on your complexion or conditions like acne or eczema."

"I think the most important thing is to be intentional with your skincare. What are you trying to achieve?"

"Once you know this, use products that will help you achieve your goals. And when you're on a winning ticket, stick to it —  consistency is often the key."

What do you think of the above? Do you use any of these products/treatments? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@dr.deshan

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