Should my Skincare Routine be Instagram-Worthy?

Emily Reed

Social media is reshaping the beauty industry, especially Instagram and TikTok. When I open TikTok, my screen immediately floods with skincare routine videos, product recommendations, and advice from influencers and dermatologists. At first, I enjoyed it - it helped me build my routine, make my skin glow and finally get rid of my under-eye circles. These videos tell us what products to buy, what to avoid, and how to incorporate them into your routine. Access to this information is necessary, and the science behind skincare has never been more accessible or inclusive.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki

With TikTok becoming increasingly popular, so did the skincare community on the app. Popular creators like @SkincareByHyram showed that skincare doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. Instead, many creators emphasize the importance of using high quality, dermatologically tested products. Many creators - though not all - thrive on products that are clean and affordable; promoting brands such as The Inkey List, The Ordinary and La Roche Posay. Skincare sales have skyrocketed, especially among younger demographics, primarily due to social media guerilla marketing.

There’s a wide range of skincare-focused content creators on TikTok and Instagram, telling you how to shape your skincare routine, some elaborate, expensive, and time-consuming. A given skincare routine may include a dual cleansing moment -- oil and water-based -- followed by toner, serums, eye cream, zit cream, and a moisturizer. Oh, and don’t forget, if you apply retinol one night, you have to apply your hyaluronic acid the other night. In the morning, SPF is an absolute must. And Vitamin C. And Niacinamide. Not to mention your jade roller to help with puffiness!

It’s not to say that all of these products don’t have a purpose, but if you want to maintain your lambent complexion, are all of those products worth the investment? Is your $84 Drunk Elephant eye cream going to help your dark under-eye circles, or should you just get more sleep? Although what some of these creators may be saying is true, some social media influencers, such as the comical and brutally honest @WhatsOnVisFace and dermatologists insist that all you need is a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF.

There’s already been plenty of debate around the use of eye creams and their necessity -- or lack thereof. Building an elaborate skincare routine requires investment. Eye creams are one of the more expensive aspects of this. Despite eye creams having less potent ingredients than face creams, serums and high-end moisturizers, they tend to be pricier.

Is it just clever marketing, or is it a science that benefits our skin? In short, yes! Among many other skin specialists and dermatologists on TikTok, @WhatsOnVisFace vouches for the use of eye creams. The skin around the eyes is incredibly delicate. It requires gentle ingredients and a different style of care. When looking out for an eye cream, keep an eye out for essential ingredients, such as vitamin c, caffeine, aloe vera, and green tea. All of those ingredients aid in decreasing puffiness and can help your skin look better when you miss out on some hydration and extra hours of sleep.

The 12 step routines have become insanely popular on social media, and sometimes, I think I’m doing something wrong if I don’t have the new La Roche Posay night cream. If you want to participate in your 12 step routine, it’s not bad at all, but if you do have one, make sure you know all the ingredients in your products are compatible. Combining so many products can lead to skin irritation and possibly inactivating some products because of the combination of ingredients.

Social media, especially Instagram, has put forward a whole new type of marketing; we’ve been able to connect with brands whenever we want. We may not need some products, but with the brand promotion in our face on social media constantly, we can’t help but think about those products when you’re in Sephora or the drug store.

Photo by cottonbro

Emily Reed

“There’s always room for more mental health advocacy. Mental health looks different on everyone, and I feel that if I can write about my experiences, surely someone will be able to relate. Sometimes I struggle with my mental health when I’m doing something I’m supposed to love, like traveling, and although it seems weird at the time, it’s totally okay -- our emotions and feelings will always be valid.”
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