ELLE Expert: It’s All A Sham, We Burst The Bubble On 5 Internet Skincare Trends With A Dermatologist


A terrible habit that I’m trying my level best to get rid of is aimlessly doom-scrolling on Instagram. This has pushed me to waste time, ruin my eyesight even more, purchase beauty products I don’t need and hop on the ‘trend’ bandwagon. There’s always so much happening in the beauty industry that if you blink, you’ll probably miss a new ingredient or some funky way to plump up your lips. Most of the time, I enjoy partaking in these beauty trends. I mean, resorting to barrier care skincare products and owning every formula of sunscreens has done nothing but wonders to my skin.

However, sometimes hopping on the trend bandwagon doesn’t always yield healthy results. The Internet can be a great resource to learn things, but it’s also a place where misinformation is constantly flooding. When it comes to beauty, misinformation is your biggest enemy! Just the other day, I watched a video wherein an influencer mixed chillies into her lip gloss just so that it would have a plumping effect. It doesn’t take long for a trend to pick up and go viral all over with people scrambling to try it out.

Naturally, we’re here to burst the bubble on some of these “internet skincare trends”.

Flax seeds as Botox

For a couple of weeks, my explore page was filled with creators making a concoction with flax seeds and applying it all over their faces because it ‘seemed’ tighter afterwards. If this was even remotely true, I’d be saving so much money in the future. Dr Kiran Sethi, aesthetic dermatologist at Isya Aesthetics and author of Skin Sense explains that the effects of this mask are fleeting and temporary. “A flaxseed mask will be chock full of essential fatty acids and moisture, making your skin feel more hydrated while Botox is designed to relax specifically targeted muscles,” she elaborates. With mild results that can never replace Botox, flaxseed masks are nice if you want to hydrate your skin or want it to feel plump for 10 minutes, but isn’t a replacement for Botox.

Consuming raw garlic for acne

Thank god Edward Cullen didn’t deal with acne! Touted as a ‘life-changing’ solution for acne, people all over the Internet have been popping cloves of garlic into their mouths in an attempt to get rid of pimples. Dr Kiran scoffs at this and says, “Acne is unlikely to scare someone away, but the garlic on your breath definitely will.” Of course, garlic is known to have potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, but no research says anything about its consumption helping get rid of acne. She further explains that consuming garlic is not the solution to dealing with acne, but using ingredients such as salicylic acid and niacinamide is. She recommends visiting a dermatologist if you’re dealing with cystic acne.

Face flooding

My oily skin couldn’t get used to face flooding at all. Instead of extra hydration, I ended up looking sweaty and also had to deal with a nasty purge. Maximum hydration seems like a good idea on the outside but Dr Kiran believes that it’s just a marketing gimmick that doesn’t suit all skin types and all places. “It’s a simple technique that uses humectants, emollients and occlusives to add moisturisation, but it’s only something that works for dry and dehydrated skin,” she says.

Collagen melting masks

I’m not going to lie, I was extremely fascinated by these when I saw videos of masks just melting into your face. However, anybody with a good knowledge of skincare ingredients isn’t oblivious to the fact that topical collagen isn’t as efficacious as it’s made out to be and Dr Kiran agrees with this. “Collagen-melting masks are extremely fun to look at, but they have no functionality at all,” she points out. According to her, topical collagen only moisturises and hydrates your skin but it can’t get absorbed into your skin.

The higher the SPF, the better

All of us have fallen prey to the ‘the higher the SPF, the better the protection’ myth. Dr Kiran strongly believes that a higher SPF doesn’t guarantee you maximum protection. “The more SPF you add, the more oily ingredients you have to add and each extra SPF offers only a few percentage points for extra benefit, with so much extra oiliness,” she says. According to her, SPF 30 is enough quantity to protect you against UVB radiation. Another thing to remember is that a higher SPF number doesn’t absolve you from reapplication!

Which other skincare trends would you want us to try and debunk? Tell us!

- Beauty Writer


More From

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content