Instagram just launched in-app shopping, influencers post the latest, greatest products, brands create catchy campaign. Such is life in the digital age. But how can we really know if something is actually worth it or if it’s just marketing? As I become older and more “responsible” I’m trying to stop buying things just because they’re trendy, and only buy things that are effective. I encourage you to join me as I weed through some products on my current shopping list. All my research was done using Rate Your Routine to do a deep dive into the ingredients. Please note that I researched using my skin type and goals (combination, not sensitive or acne-prone with a goal of less oil and congestion). If you want to see how these will work for you, head on over and pop in your skin goals and those ingredients!
The Claims: By an influencer, for influencers. This mask claims to nourish, hydrate and lightly exfoliate tired, dry skin with a combination of vitamins and ceramides.
The Real Deal: While it does contain some skin-loving ingredients, it also has some pretty questionable stuff in there considering its Clean at Sephora stamp. While it doesn’t contain sulfates or parabens, it is 1) not vegan (I’m not vegan, so this isn’t a complete deal-breaker for me–this is for the people) and 2) it contains PEGs, which are used as an emollient, but also dissolve moisture, oil, and grease. PEGs are used in oven cleaner, but they are technically “safe” in small amounts in skincare. But after reading about it...I’d rather not.
Is It Worth It?: For social media clout, maybe? This works out to $24 an ounce, which I would happily spend on something I could be confident wouldn’t dry out my skin. After looking at the ingredients, I don’t think this product is worth the investment for me.
The Claims: Younger sister to the cult Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, this mist claims to soothe, hydrate and even the texture of skin. It contains watermelon extract, AHAs, apple cider vinegar, and hyaluronic acid.
The Real Deal: This mist can get it! The ingredients are the real deal. One thing to note: it does contain fragrance and sorbitan oleate (a derivative of olive oil) so it could potentially clog pores for those who have acne-prone skin.
Is It Worth It?: $28 is steep for 2.5 ounces of product, but if you have some extra ca$h to throw around, go for it! Glow Recipe has a stellar record of releasing bangers, so I’m sure this is no different.
The Claims: Drunk Elephant knows how to get people to spend bananas amounts of money for their products, but, from past experience, they’ve worked! Their newest release claims to even skin tone and texture, firm, and reverse signs of sun damage.
The Real Deal: Heads up that this product isn’t vegan and it’s fairly comedogenic (it will clog pores). It contains oleic acid, a fatty cleansing agent, coconut oil, and lauric acid, coconut oil derived fragrance.
Is It Worth It?: For me, I don’t think so. With the high comedogenic ingredients, I would rather spend the $74 on something I really need. If you have acne-prone skin or have congestion concerns, look for an alternative.
The Claims: This cleanser is supposed to keep pores clear of buildup, prevent free radical damage, and keep the skin’s pH balanced (ideally your skin should remain at a 5.5).
The Real Deal: This seems like a pretty inoffensive one-type-fits-all cleanser! It has some good ingredients like vitamins B5, C, and E, as well as aloe vera and green tea. It has a naturally derived fragrance, which could be irritating for those with sensitivity.
Is It Worth It?: I believe it is! 8oz of product for $36 isn’t a bad deal (that breaks down to $4.50/oz). In terms of word of mouth, this is another brand that people are loving and recommending, so now that I know the ingredients hold up, I think I’ve found my new Spring/Summer 2019 cleanser!
The Claims: Solution exfoliates dead skin cells, unclogging dirt and oil from pores. Solution claims to reduce blackheads, clear acne and shrink pores (disclaimer: you can’t change pore size) with a mix of AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs.
The Real Deal: I was surprised to see castor oil as an ingredient in this, but it’s a smart move because it heals inflamed skin. Since you’ll be putting about four different acids on your face at once, a soothing ingredient is a must-have. All ingredients are safe, but there is some fragrance hiding in this concoction of acids, so if you have very sensitive skin, skip this one.
Is It Worth It?: I would say so. If you’re in the market for a Biologique P50 dupe at a quarter of the price, this is it. At $24 for 4.4oz, it’s not a bad steal. But seriously, be careful if you have sensitive skin, it could be a little rough.
The Claims: This mask claims to address redness, scars, ingrown hairs (???), and clogged pores with six (yes, six) different acids.
The Real Deal: I’m sus on this just from price alone. You get 1.7oz for $59. Are you kidding me? Aside from the inflated price, there are a couple of things that stood out when I plugged in the ingredients. It contains aluminum, which is questionable. Aluminum is usually found in antiperspirants because it blocks the pores around your sweat glands. Basically, it will block your pores wherever you put it. It also contains limonene, a citrus-derived essential oil for fragrance that is highly sensitizing.
Is It Worth It?: Not today, Satan. After looking at the ingredients, I am only further convinced to steer clear of this one at Sephora. I’d rather invest in a more natural product with ingredients that really work for my skin.