With her decades of skincare experience, outspoken beauty expert knows that some things just aren't worth your time or money. Namely...

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There are so, SO many products that I would love to 'throw in the sea' (metaphorical sea – remember the environment, people), and brands making them that I would give a good talking to.

Whether they’re making unproven claims based on the latest buzzword bandwagon or just frightening you into trying to fix a problem you don’t have, the skincare industry is rife with repeat offenders. I’m not singling out any particular brands here, but these are the products that have no reason for being on our shelves. Not. A. One.

Coconut oil

Although coconut oil  has some antibacterial properties and can be used as a cleanser, any oil will take your makeup off. It’s not the second coming. That’s why it belongs here in the GITS (Get In The Sea) list.

Cheap dermarollers

If you insist on doing it yourself at home , buy quality-assured products with short needles, from specialised retailers only. Change it regularly and keep it sterile. Do not buy them online.

Pore obsession

Stop. They are never as big as you think. Pores are not doors – they do not open and close.

Products sold using scare tactics

Don’t buy products out of fear. Certain elements of the skincare industry spend their entire marketing budget telling customers what is NOT in their products, and why they should be scared of certain ingredients, as opposed to what their products WILL do for them. Skincare is safe. There is no reason to buy out of fear.


They do not ‘clean’ your face. They are for Emergencies Only – real emergencies. If you have access to clean water, there is no emergency. They’re also atrocious for the environment. Remember: wipes are for fannies, flights and festivals only. And NEVER flush.

Foaming face washes that contain SLS/SLES (sodium lauryl sulphate/sodium laureth sulfate)

Or, more specifically, anything that describes itself as giving you ‘squeaky clean’ skin. No part of your body should squeak. These products are too drying. Full stop. You may want to also consider removing hair products and toothpaste containing SLS from your routine.

MORE GLOSS: Foaming cleansers that are kind to the skin 

Silly claims and extortionate pricing

Brands that produce ‘statement skincare’, i.e. products that cost silly money for a 30ml of something with a huge claim attached to it, but no clinical trials to back them up. Nothing costs that much in skincare. Nothing.

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At least be honest and tell people they’re paying for the packaging and your mark-up. If you can afford it and enjoy it, great. But if you can’t, you’re not missing out on anything that you can’t get somewhere else for a fraction of the price. If you want leather upholstery and a better sound system in your car, you pay extra, but it doesn’t make the car go faster.

Mattifying products

Unless you are a teenager and/or have oily skin, you do not need mattifying products . Healthy skin has a glow.

Micellar waters

Micellar waters  are fine for removing eye makeup, or your entire face in an emergency with no access to water, but they’re not a one-stop-shop for daily use and should be washed off. Use them as a first cleanse only.

Sheet masks

Aka ‘wipes with holes cut out for eyes’. Think of the environment if nothing else

MORE GLOSS: Can sheet masks ever be environmentally friendly?

Pore strips

I don’t care who you see advertising them, no one who works in and on skin and cares deeply about your skin would ever – ever – recommend these. Horrible things.

Skincare fridges

Fridges  do nothing to enhance the efficacy of products. They are completely unnecessary. All over-the-counter products are tested for stability in extreme hot and cold environments before they are sent to market. However, if you like the feeling of something cool on your skin, go ahead – knock yourself out.

Botox parties

Do not, ever, have your Botox  done at a ‘Botox party’. No reputable practitioner would provide this service in someone’s living room where alcohol is being served.

The first thing you should ask yourself when having anything done is, ‘what would happen if this goes wrong ? Can this person treat me for any reaction/bleeding/burning/bruising/ misplacement/damage?’ If the answer is not a definitive ‘Yes’, then don’t have the treatment. Simple. Legally, I could give you Botox, but I would never do it. Leave it to the medical professionals.

 Extract from Skincare by Caroline Hirons, out now (HQ, HarperCollins). Buy it now.

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