If you’re part of the cult of people that embraced skincare during the pandemic, then you know what it feels like to blindly follow social media trends, just in case something works for you. From sleeping in a Vaseline mask to dunking your face in a bucket of ice every night, a lot of these trends that garner views on TikTok and then move onto other social media platforms, aren’t all that effective. And some are just downright weird. It’s a slippery slope that leads down a rabbit hole and suddenly you have an entire shelf of skincare products. Half don’t work and the other half don’t suit you.
This is a common dilemma. We would say TikTok is to be blamed, but let's face it, we’re suckers for a good beauty trend. We just need help identifying the ones with legs from the murky ones. We spoke to Dr Sonia Tekchandani, celebrity dermatologist, and founder of Tender Skin International, who broke down some of the most famous skincare trends. Read on to know if the routine you follow is doing your skin any good or not.
A lot has already been said about skin cycling. And all these conversations have left us with numerous questions. Is it one of the whacky skin trends that the Gen Z-led platform is known to perpetuate? Does it have any merit? How does it work? After watching seemingly a million Instagram reels on the topic, we asked Dr Tekchandani how and whether skin cycling actually works.
She explained that skin cycling is a four-day process. Day one is exfoliation, day two is using actives like retinoids, and the next two days are meant to be a break for the skin. She says, “This concept is not new and it has quite a few benefits. Following this routine can significantly help in improving the skin’s health. It especially helps to prevent inflammation or irritation of the skin.”
In the long run, skin cycling reduces signs of ageing, fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and breakouts. It works to improve the skin barrier and protects it from various conditions, especially those that crop up due to all the excess products that we use. Think of this like a work routine for your skin. If we take rest days after three days of bench presses because our bodies need a break, why shouldn’t your skin get the same treatment?
According to Dr Tekchandani, there are no major disadvantages to skin cycling. However, your skin needs time to adapt to the new routine. She says, “The products that are usually used in skin cycling routines involve AHA and BHA-based products, followed by hydrating moisturisers. However, when we use exfoliants that contain AHA, BHA, retinol, etc., your skin might end up flaking, or you can experience mild redness or inflammation.”
If this is the case, consult a dermatologist and get the right actives for your skin.
Face water dumps
What is the first thing you want to do at the end of a hot, summer day? If your answer is to dunk your face in a bucket full of ice, you would be in the majority category. In fact, this skincare trend is not only doing the rounds of TikTok and other social media, but is also a favourite of celebrities (including Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif). And as absurd as it sounds, it’s not for nothing.
According to Dr Tekchandani, face water dumps are an excellent method if you are looking for an instant glow on the face. She says, “The blood rush to the face makes it glowing and radiant and rejuvenates the skin. Also, ice cold water or ice cubes are a great agent for skin tightening and firming. It helps reduce enlarged pores, diminishes superficial wrinkles and fine lines, and aids in sculpting the face. Dumping your face in ice-cold water can reduce puffiness, redness, and bloating. Besides, this method aids in calming down any irritation or inflammation.”
It’s not all fun, cold games though. If you think you can just perform the ice bucket challenge every night and have Greek Goddess-like skin, you’re wrong. According to Dr Tekchandani, you can’t do this every day. It’s only for the days your skin needs a quick boost. And even when you’re opting for this method, she says to ensure you don’t dip your face in cold water for very long (no matter how refreshing it feels) because the cold can dry the skin out and quicken the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Your skin will thank you for the cold facials every self-care Sunday.
As we age, our skin barrier weakens and loses the ability to repair itself. This is why our skin starts to feel saggy. It’s also why we have wrinkles and fine lines. Skin slugging, as TikTok correctly figured out, is a method that helps to bring and lock in moisture. Dr Tekchandani explains the trend as, “Skin slugging is a skincare method that suggests applying a petroleum-based product or any occlusive product as the last step of your skincare routine to seal the ingredients.”
This method helps your skin to repair itself by using a thick layer of an ultra-hydrating moisturiser to seal in all the moisturising products you use in your night routine. However, Dr Tekchandani warns that if you are using this method too frequently, it can lead to clogged pores. And this isn’t the only red flag that crops up with skin slugging. She says, “Even if you use the wrong products, like petrolatum-based products such as petroleum jelly, you can end up with acne or blackheads and whiteheads. Since these products are occlusive and are quite sticky.”
Furthermore, skin slugging should only be used by people who have extremely dry skin or people using oral retinoids for acne or suffering from certain skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or atopic dermatitis.
Is your skincare routine long and convoluted? Do you use an entire host of products on your face without realising what your skin is really yearning for? You might need to clear your skincare shelf. Marie Condo, it using another trend TikTok got right—skin minimalism. This trend was born out of the shift in the beauty world from makeup to skincare.
Dr Tekchandani says, “Following a 10 or 12-step skincare routine is not everyone’s cup of tea. And using those many products doesn’t necessarily yield the best results. Rather, skin minimalism focuses on what your skin really requires and breaks down the complex steps into three to four simple steps, including your night regime.”