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Testing TikTok skin care recommendations for oily skin: are these products worth the hype?

Like many people, my skin is something that has changed constantly throughout my life. If I compared my 15-year-old self to my now 20-year-old self, my skin would stand out as one of the most differentiating factors. Of course, this is majorly down to hormones, which – especially for women – are a major contributor to the way our skin both looks and feels. Therefore, although this list may help your skin, it is important to remember that texture is natural, and blemishes are not something to be ashamed of.

In the past year, over the span of three lockdowns now, I have become somewhat interested in the social media platform TikTok. If anyone reading this article knows TikTok, it is undeniable that skincare recommendations dominate the app from time to time. Therefore, I felt the need to put some of these recommendations to the test and compiled a list of some of my personal favourites below: 

1)  *La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50

First and foremost, one of the most – if not the most important – thing to remember within your skincare routine is SPF. Essentially, SPF helps protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays which can subsequently lead to sun damage and skin cancer, making it a necessity. The La Roche-Posay Sun Cream is a lightweight and invisible sun cream which immediately soaks into the skin after use. Recommended by 9/10 dermatologists, this can be great for oily skin as thicker creams can disrupt the oils on your face, making your skin even oilier.

2)  The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary as a whole is an amazing brand. Being both affordable yet effective on the skin, it is my personal holy grail brand. The brand is also cruelty-free which is massive for all skincare users. The Ordinary squalane cleanser is a balm that changes into more of an oil cleanser once applied to the face. Although this product is oilier than others on this list, it will serve to balance these oils and retain your skin moisture at the same time. It saves you from having to scrub at your eyes and face with a cotton pad – which can damage your skin in the long term – and acts as a gentle way to remove your makeup.

3)  *CeraVe Foaming Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin

The CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is a product that you might have seen consistently over social media. In 2020, CeraVe became a holy grail brand on tik tok and many shops were sold out almost instantly. The foaming cleanser is applied to wet skin and aims to clean your face of any left-over makeup, dead skin or dirt. The product contains 3 essential ceramides, including niacinamide which is great for oily skin as it cleans the face but does not strip your natural skin barrier. This cleanser is also fragrance free which is a must for skin care as it will not irritate your face.

4)  The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

If I were to recommend any product on this list, it would be The Ordinary’s Niacinamide. This product began my skincare journey, as it was a product I felt really both protected and cleared my face. The product itself is a serum which you apply to the skin with a dropper and then distribute all around the face. The main aims of this product are to improve excess oil production, and minimize pores while keeping your skin barrier protected. It is important to remember to wear sunscreen however with this product as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

5)  *Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Oil-Free Facial Moisturiser

Moisturising your face is an integral part to any skincare routine, as it can reduce aging in the long-term. For oily skin, this product can prevent your skin drying out and then consequently producing excess oils. This moisturiser is great as it is both oil-free and fragrance-free, two key factors which can really help ease oily skin. It did not irritate my skin personally and I believe this was a consequence of these attributes.

Overall, although it is important to take Tik Tok with a pinch of salt at times, it is undeniable that I have found some amazing skin care recommendations on this platform. These products might not work for you and that’s also very valuable to learn, as it’s so important to find out what really works for your skin and your skin only.

*Although these products are becoming very popular due to Tik Tok, La Roche Posay, Cerave and Neutrogena cannot be considered cruelty-free as they are currently being sold in mainland China where animal testing is required by law.

Second year undergraduate studying BA History at UCL.
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