It seems like every week brings a new beauty product with a new promise, whether it’s perfect skin, shiny hair or the chance to look 10 years younger. But more often than not, the latest must-have potions only deliver disappointment, not results. Fortunately, dermatologists are the voices of reason when it comes to shopping for skin care that actually works. We asked top derms to give their professional opinions on what products aren’t as amazing as they’ve been made out to be, so you can focus on what really gets results.
1. BB Cream
Say it ain’t so! We happen to have a drawer brimming with different versions of the multi-tasking product, but skin care physician Dr. Tabasum Mir isn’t convinced it’s so great. “All-in-one BB creams are touted as master multi-taskers, and if you have pretty good skin it may be enough for sheer coverage. However, most of us still need to add a moisturizer on. Your best bet is to use an SPF moisturizer with tinted foundation instead.”
Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board certified dermatologic surgeon, adds, “BB and CC creams are just tinted moisturizers. They’ve been around forever. The BB and CC monikers are just marketing strategy. Some are great (Olay‘s is lovely believe it or not), but some are too greasy or thick.”
DERMAdoctorfounder Dr. Audrey Kunin says, “To me, the BB Cream is overrated. Whether meant to be a blemish balm or beauty balm, the truth is these products are little more than glorified tinted moisturizers with sunscreen and a heavy base not in keeping with the American consumers’ preferences. As a dermatologist, I feel that having healthy skin should be the priority, which in turn makes skin beautiful. So it’s about treatment, not cover-up. ”
2. Stretch Mark Creams
Being able to fix all your stretch mark woes with a cream seems too good to be true, and it turns out it is. Dr. Craig Kraffert, board certified dermatologist and president of Amarte Cosmetics, says, “Stretch marks are little more than scars within the dermis – the inner layer of skin. Stretch mark creams do very little (if anything) to improve the appearance of stretch marks. Fresh stretch marks tend to be pink or even red early on. As stretch marks remodel and mature, they become less noticeable and lose this coloration. The best approach to newer stretch marks is to wait for them to improve with time and apply a quality moisturizer.”
3. Dark Spot Remover Creams
“The most overrated skin care products on the market in my opinion are dark spot remover creams,” says SKINNEY Medspa founder Marisa Martino. “Creams sold over the counter are not medical grade strength, and are too low in concentration of the active ingredients that fade dark spots.”
4. Skin Tighteners
It seems those products that promise to leave your face tighter and more contoured are full of it. “Department/drug store products that claim to tighten skin will do one of two things: Nothing at all, or sit on the skin like an old fashioned egg white mask,” says Dr. Engelman. “It is virtually impossible to put makeup over that!”
5. Overpriced Moisturizers
Dr. Engelman warns against those moisturizers that cost big bucks. “Many top-of-the-line products for dry skin are largely mineral oil. Someone with sensitive skin will pay $200 and break out in a rash.” Check the ingredients list to make sure you’re paying for a quality formula, not just a fancy name.
6. Pore Strips
“Pore strips are super overhyped,” says Dr. Mir. “Your pores are usually clogged much deeper down and pore strips are generally just overhyped adhesive tape. There is no way they can grab deeply clogged pores.”
7. Detox Products
“Skin detox products are just the most overrated products ever,” says esthetician Ildi Pekar. “Everyone knows the most effective way to detox your skin is by detoxing internally. They try to sell you stuff that is external which can’t be as effective as detoxing your skin from within. Skip these products and opt for creams that have that contain stem cells and honey, which are good for skin renewal and anti-aging.