The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

Harmful or helpful: Skincare in 2023

Teenagers are overwhelmed and easily misled by “SkinTok,” the myriad of posts on TikTok about skincare products and routines. Image by Maria Boutros ‘24.

Drunk Elephant, Laneige, Fenty Skin, Glow Recipe and Charlotte Tilbury—we all know these products because, well, they are everywhere on TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and billboards across Los Angeles. It is no doubt that these brands have successfully created a strong presence in the beauty industry. But do they really work?

Teenagers are often influenced by social media trends, where skincare routines and product recommendations are widely shared. While this can provide valuable information, it can also lead to impulsive purchases without understanding individual skin needs.

Everyone’s skin is different. Influencers who are advertising certain products on the internet are recommending products that work for their skin wihtout acknowledging that not all products work on all skin types. For example, some skincare products, especially those designed for adults, may contain potent active ingredients that could be harsh for teenage skin. Ingredients like retinoids, strong acids or certain essential oils might be too aggressive for developing skin and may lead to irritation.

“Many teens follow trends without knowing if they are right for their skin,” Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a board certified dermatologist in New York City, Queens and Eastern Long Island, said.

Young, clear skin should be treated with care and kept simple with a face wash, clean moisturizer and an SPF every day. For most teenage skin, less is more.

Grace Cupo ‘24, someone who regularly looks for products on TikTok, uses products she knows are beneficial for her skin.

“I think it’s helpful that there are different dermatologists and estheticians on the app. Since I have more sensitive skin I always make sure I test out a new product consistently to see how it reacts. If I am happy with how my skin looks then I will implement the new product into my routine,” Cupo said.

Although there are hundreds of dermatologists and estheticians on social media, not all of them can be safely trusted and it never hurts to do your background checks and make sure that these are doctors who are recommending the best for your type of skin.

Even when products are recommended, Cupo believes that conducting her own research of  the products before she applies them on  her face is important and helpful.

“I am pretty careful when it comes to buying new skincare. I always make sure that the product is dermatologist approved and has good reviews before purchasing,” Cupo said.

Chelsea Castillo ‘24  goes in-depth with her skincare routine every  morning. She uses products that she has seen in Sephora and on TikTok influencers’ posts.

“In the morning, I wash my face with Panoxyl face wash, and then I go in with the Paula’s Choice BHA Exfoliant all over my face. Next I use a Drunk Elephant hydrating serum. I saw on Tik Tok everyone was using snail mucin so now I incorporate it in my skincare routine,” Castillo said. “Finally, I use the Tatcha moisturizer. My skin feels super soft and glowy after. I don’t do this every day but I probably do it four times a week.”

Unlike Grace Cupo, who checks the ingredients in her products, Castillo falls into the influencer trap. She finds herself purchasing products for the name brand, without knowing what’s in them.

“I heard about my skin care products from Tiktok. I always see reviews that are posted with teenagers showing products and raving about how good they are. When I see their videos, their skin always looks so good and is glowing so I end up buying the same products they have,”  Castillo said.

Similarly, Paige Perkins ‘25 succumbed  to the TikTok lure and found herself buying products that made her break out. She assumed that certain products highly recommended on TikTok indicated that they were automatically good for her skin.

“I used to buy skincare products from Tik Tok and Instagram and a lot of them don’t work as good as they say they do. Brands advertise that their products are all clean and simple but most of the time it’s just not,” Perkins said. “The biggest thing for me was to make sure that I use simple products that I know are catered to my skin.”

From time to time, I’ve found myself easily influenced by TikTok, impulsively purchasing products without conducting additional research. Over time, however, I started to realize that my skin was breaking out. Instead of cutting back and using clean products, I started frantically searching on TikTok for products that help with acne. I was finding products and purchasing them without making sure that they actually catered to my skin’s needs. My skin was the worst it had ever been.

I was so far deep in using products that were not clean and pore clogging that I completely had to start over and had to do multiple chemical peels over a couple months so my skin barrier could start from scratch. I realized that I needed to stop using toxic products and chemicals that were on TikTok because brands try to upsell trendy and quick-fix solutions without considering the long-term impact on skin health.

Now, I recognize that it’s essential to prioritize clean, non-comedogenic products and establish a consistent skincare routine that focuses on repairing and maintaining a healthy skin barrier. This way, I can ensure my skin thrives with nourishing ingredients rather than being subjected to potentially harmful chemicals promoted for fleeting popularity on social media platforms like TikTok.

While the allure of trendy products showcased on platforms like TikTok can be exciting, it’s crucial to approach skincare with mindfulness and consideration for long-term skin health. Finding joy in trying new products is absolutely valid, but being discerning about their ingredients and their compatibility with your skin’s needs is equally important.

Opting for products that are not only enjoyable but also genuinely beneficial for your skin ensures a balance between indulging in the fun side of skincare and nurturing a healthy, radiant complexion. With careful choices and a focus on clean, skin-friendly options, the journey to skincare can be both enjoyable and beneficial.

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About the Contributor
Maria Boutros
Maria Boutros, Social Media Manager
Maria Boutros is the social media manager for the Veritas Shield and a senior on The Hill this year. She started working for the paper her junior year and has loved being a part of the paper and posting fun and interactive instagram stories. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and going to Malibu for shopping and tanning. Overall, she is excited to be working on the Shield for her last year.

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