If I had a nickel for every time I told my friends not to waste their money on X, Y, or Z expensive skin-care product, I’d be well on my way to becoming a Kylie Jenner-level billionaire. With a capital B. Because let me let you in on one of beauty’s best kept secrets: More money does not equal better products.
“Pricey products don’t always translate into effectiveness,” says New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. “In fact, many drugstore brands may perform better than expensive ones, since you may be paying for the packaging rather than what is inside.” While there are certainly some things that are worth investing in (I dare you to try and get me to give up the $166 Vitamin C serum I use every morning), there are others that are not, under any circumstances, worth spending a single penny on for the sake of your skin. Take heed:
1. Jade rollers: I love, love, love my jade roller. It helps me relax my jaw (thanks, chronic TMJ) and feels like a true luxury experience every time I use it—especially when I put it in the freezer. But as fantastic as jade rollers are for making you believe you’ve magically transported yourself to a spa, they admittedly don’t do a whole lot for your actual skin. “They definitely make for a good photo op, but the benefits of diligently rolling your face are going to be minimal to zero from a purely scientific and medical perspective,” says dermatologist Janelle Vega, M.D and Co-founder of BIA Life “[Some claim they will] ‘tighten and relax your muscles,’ which makes absolutely no sense. Will it make you feel good to perform this beauty ritual? Maybe. But mental benefits and physical benefits are completely different.” Ugh, fine.
2. Walnut scrub: There was a whole lot of viral hullabaloo when a well-known beauty brand launched a walnut exfoliating scrub a few months ago, and turns out it was for good reason. “Definitely don’t exfoliate with walnut,” Dr. Vega previously told Well+Good. “The pieces are harsh. The perfect exfoliant should be perfectly round and spherical so it doesn’t cause microscopic abrasion to your epidermis.” With that in mind, go nuts (sorry, had to) with spending money on chemical exfoliants, like BHAs and AHAs, instead.
3. Anything that sounds too good to be true: I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but if you’re investing hundreds of dollars in something that’s promising to give you better, clearer skin overnight… you’re probably being duped. “Products that promise immediate improvements are often too good to be true,” says Dr. Zeichner. “It takes several weeks for a product to exert its effects on the skin.” Don’t let clever marketing tactics fool you. Instead, choose the right products for your skin, and stick with them long enough to find out for sure if they actually work.
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