Influencers Tell You These Products Are Essentials, But They’re Not

I love watching YouTube. Who doesn’t? One of my personal favorite videos to watch are beauty tips. From binge-watching celebrity beauty routines on Vogue’s YouTube channel to $200 moisturizer reviews from JeffreeStar, I am addicted to watching these videos. However, there has been lots of buzz in the beauty community about the authenticity of beauty gurus, and whether or not their brand advertising deals cause their opinions to become disingenuous. Over years of watching beauty gurus on YouTube, I have bought items just because a beauty influencer recommended it on their channel. After the trials and tribulations of realizing what products work for me, I’ve learned what is truly essential and what is not essential in my skincare routine. Here are some products that influencers tell you to buy, but are not necessary:


1. Toner

So many YouTube beauty gurus swear by it, but is it really necessary? For all of high school, I used toner, with cotton rounds, as a way to clean off any extra makeup from my face in between cleansing and moisturizing. However, was this step a vital component of my skincare routine? No, it was not. I realized that most toners feature alcohol as the primary ingredient, which is extremely drying to one’s skin. In addition, when using cotton pads to rub the toner into the skin, the coarseness of the pad can cause irritation and wrinkles. The negatives of using toner outweigh the positives. Therefore, I would recommend finding an effective makeup remover to eliminate the need for toner. I love using my Vanicream face wash as it is cleanses my face and removes my makeup all in one so that there is no need for toner!

2. Facial Mist

Facial mists or setting sprays are used in order to set the face after makeup application. Many beauty influencers use facial mists and swear by it. But if you look at the ingredients of most facial mists, the majority of the list includes water, alcohol, and fragrance. Two out of three of the mentioned ingredients are very damaging towards the skin. By using facial mists, you are not improving your skin in any way, so I would stay away from facial mists or setting sprays. An easy DIY for anyone who wants the same refreshing feeling that a facial mist gives you is to put water in a spray bottle and add a few drops of an essential oil of your choosing for the same effect, but for a fraction of the cost!

3. Makeup Primer

Makeup primer is used as a base step before foundation in order to moisturize or cover up pores. I used to use makeup primer everyday, since I was told by the beauty gurus I watched religiously that it was an essential part of your makeup routine. Little did I know that applying this extra step was damaging to my skin as well as a waste of money and time. Many makeup primers targeted at covering up pores have silicones in them which trap dirt and sebum further into your pores and causes pores to become enlarged. Instead of using makeup primers, I would use moisturizer instead. It is great at prepping the skin as it smooths out the complexion.

4. Sheet Face Masks

Sheet masks are all the rage currently. Many beauty brands are coming up with inventive ways of marketing them, like using cute designs. But I’ve found after using sheet masks for two years, the moisturizing and hydrating effects of sheet masks don't last. After a few hours, you would not even remember that you used one. Similar to facial mists, sheet masks usually contain mostly water, alcohol, and fragrance as the primary ingredients. Using a sheet mask that can potentially dry out and irritate the skin is completely unnecessary and is an obvious marketing gimmick.

At the end of the day, we do not need our bathroom shelves filled to the brim with multiple skincare products. Bigger doesn’t mean it’s better. All you really need in your skincare routine are the bare essentials!

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