Which Skincare Trends Actually Work and When?

The world of skincare can sometimes feel flooded with different techniques, products and golden rules that sometimes contradict other golden rules, and this is doubly the case if you interact with social media.

Particularly from 2020 onwards, platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have become a double-edged sword, as whilst they are often an excellent source of natural skincare tips, product recommendations and advice, you have to do a lot of digging to sort out good advice from bad.

Ignoring some of the more ridiculous suggestions that would be outright dangerous, here are some of the more popular social media skincare trends, and when they actually work.

Moisture Sandwiching

Whilst often used as a term for skincare layering, the actual moisture sandwich technique involves dampening your skin and locking in that moisture using moisturising products and a thicker balm to lock it in.

This is useful not only for preventing dry skin but also for people attempting to try new skincare products such as retinol whilst being mindful of the risk of irritation that can come from the strong ingredients.


One of the most overtly strange and somewhat controversial beauty trends inspired heavily by Korean beauty influencers, slugging involves using Vaseline or another similar petroleum jelly and coating your face with it before going to sleep.

It is meant to lock moisture in, but the use of a petroleum-based product specifically is the point of contention, as whilst it is an occlusive that can lock in moisture, it cannot moisturise by itself and will not solve any underlying issues with a person’s skin barrier.

It is ultimately a temporary solution to a longer-running issue.


One of the greatest skincare trends of the last five years is a response to people reaching a breaking point trying to keep up with skincare trends and have increasingly elaborate morning and evening routines.

This approach is simply eschewing all skincare products other than the absolute basics, of which you choose high-quality, natural products and ensure you use them regularly.

The logic is that the best skincare routine, much like the best exercise routine, is the one you can stick to regularly and consistently. You do not need an elaborate routine to do what four key products could do.

Exactly which products work for skinimalism can vary but it typically includes a cleanser, a moisturiser, SPF protection when out in the sun and something more specialised to a particular person’s needs.

Whilst not as flashy as a lot of social media trends, this is probably the one that works best.

Skin Cycling

Whether it is an exercise routine, a diet or a skincare routine, there is such a concept as too much of something good, and skin cycling aims to alternate skincare products to avoid your body being overloaded by a range of strong ingredients.

There are a lot of different skin cycling techniques, but the most common is a four-day cycle involving exfoliation on night one, retinoids on night two and two rest days using moisturisers, protectors and hydrating serums.

If you are going to use a lot of skincare products, by far the best way to do it is through regular, disciplined rotation.

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