If you are the kind of person who enjoys the metaphysical internet wormhole that is skincare, fashion, and beauty blogs, you’ll know that it doesn’t take too long for things to get a little, uh, weird. These blogs often report on new skincare techniques and procedures which appear to have been created solely for dramatic effect, in hopes that a rich, famous skincare enthusiast will try it out and, with any luck, put it on their Instagram account. You know, like Gwyneth Paltrow‘s intentional bee-stinging initiative. January Jones‘ placenta pills. Kim Kardashian‘s infamous blood facial.
Now, many of these procedures are just that–procedures, which is to say that they involve making an appointment (sometimes with an actual doctor), sitting in a chair, and letting someone else execute whatever skincare-based magic they claim to do. Many of these cost quite a bit of money, too (the blood facial will set you back about $2,500, for example) and, as such, aren’t totally accessible to the average person. But there are some other skincare techniques and products that, while they might not carry quite the initial shock value of a blood facial selfie, still sound a little weird when you first hear about them. So, check out these beauty and skincare tips that sound weird, but actually work super well:
1. Chemical Exfoliation
Buy Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel from Sephora for $16
Chemical exfoliation as, like, a concept, is horrifying. Right? To me, at least, it sounds like something that would does not exfoliate so much as it strips the skin and leave raw, pulpy, and red. But, as it turns out, chemical exfoliation (which involves using certain creams and lotions with certain acids) actually significantly better for your skin than physical exfoliation (the more commonly-known version of exfoliation that involves scrubs and microbeads), since physical exfoliation scrubs can leave microtears in the skin. Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, polish the skin, since they encourage new cell turnover instead of just sloughing them off.
2. Oil Cleansing
Buy cleansing oil from Primally Pure for $18
If you, like me, have combination skin that veers more towards “oily” than anything else, chances are good that actual oil is the last thing you want to put on your face as a means of cleansing it. But if you try an oil cleanser one time, chances are good you’ll be hooked–they remove makeup and leave the face looking supple and clean without over-drying or looking super oily.
3. Face Oils
Face oils are another thing that you might feel an aversion towards if you’ve got breakout-prone skin. But face oils are a seriously great moisturizer–it provides lasting, non-sticky moisture that protects the skin and can also work as a makeup primer. These, unsurprisingly, are particularly effective for dryer skin, though there are formulas that can work for all skin types.
4. Micellar Water
Buy Yes To micellar water from Ulta for $8.99
The idea of micellar water probably won’t freak you out so much as it might underwhelm you–if you look at the bottles of micellar water in the store, it looks like regular, fresh-outta-the-tap water. But! While it does look like regular tap water, its effects are anything but–micellar water is purified water that contains “micelles” (AKA tiny bits) of cleansing oil, so it’s an easy, low-maintenance way to remove makeup and refresh the skin. It’s a great option if you’ve tried cleansing oil and thought it was too heavy, but still want a one-step cleansing option.
5. Face Products With Probiotics
Buy AO+ face mist from Mother Dirt for $49
If you know anything about probiotics, you probably know that they’re dietary agents usually found in foods like yogurt and miso soup that can aid with digestion. But a lot of new products coming out this year have probiotics in them, which can help with skin cell turnover and regeneration, AKA an overall glowier face tone.
6. Lotions That Contain Hyaluronic Acid
Buy Priming Moisturizer from Glossier for $25
Hyaluronic acid is another thing that, like chemical exfoliation, probably turns you off by its name alone–anything with the word “acid” in it does not sound like anything you want to put on your face if you want it to look good. But hyaluronic acid is actually a chemical that’s already naturally present in the body that helps lubricate the joints and skin. This means that any product with hyaluronic acid in it will help it maintain its elasticity over time.
Dermaplaning is a (professional) procedure that involves taking a sterilized, straight-edge blade and running it gently over the surface of the face to shave off dead skin cells. This sounds scary, but proponents of the process say that it gives an immediate softening effect and helps makeup go on and stay on much easier, too. (This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway–don’t do this one at home! Inadvertently slicing off your face is a bad way to start your month, probably.)
In other terrifying-sounding-but-effective beauty procedures, there is microneedling: A process that involves running what looks like a tiny paint roller with needle points on it to boost collagen production and circulation in the face. I’ve never done this, so I can’t vouch for it personally, but people say that it creates a more vibrant-looking face (without makeup) instantly.
9. Colloidal Silver
Feel like putting metal all over your face? No? Well, you might want to soon–a new beauty trend that sounds a little cracked out but purportedly words pretty well is colloidal silver. This is an ingredient that has natural antiviral and antinflammatory properties, which means that it’s great for anyone with acne-prone skin–look for it in masks, lotions, and serums.
10. Superfood Face Products
Buy Youth to the People face cream for Sephora for $48
So, you probably already know that things like kale and spinach are good for you. Duh. Everyone knows this. But you probably didn’t know that they’re so good for you that they can also benefit you by putting them on your face–apparently, the nutrients from vegetables can help keep the skin firm and clear. You can buy from one of the brands that use superfood ingredients, or DIY a face mask with veggies from your fridge. You still need to actually eat your veggies to get their full effect, obviously, but you can get an extra boost by integrating them into your skincare routine.
11. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is, uh, exactly what it sounds like–taking a dry bristle brush and swiping it over your skin (on your body–it’s too rough for your face). Apparently, this can help with anything from exfoliation to digestion, since it stimulates the skin cells and encourages regeneration. I’ve never done it, but an old intern of ours used to swear by it–plus, it should be good for an ASMR feeling, if you’re into that kind of thing.