8 Beauty Scams That You Literally Buy Into

The beauty industry rakes in billions of dollars every year, so it’s not going to hurt them to blurt out this uncomfortable truth: A lot of beauty products are total effing scams. I don’t mean scam in the sense that they’re, like, fake or something. No, that jar of moisturizer packed with antioxidants is very real. It won’t leave you covered in hives or something. It’ll, hopefully, do what it is advertised to do: moisturize your skin. But, honestly, that one and a half ounce bottle of moisturizer from Sephora isn’t really worth $55, no matter how amazing it feels on your skin. You’re mostly paying for the pretty bottle and some brand recognition.

But I’m still going to buy that $55 dollar moisturizer because I’m a monster.

Still, it’s not just that fancy moisturizer that you’re getting scammed into buying. There are other beauty products, from all price ranges, that are a total waste of money because they’re either overpriced, misleading, or end up being more trouble than they’re worth. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out these eight beauty scams you literally buy into. Yes, buckle up while I drag you for continuing to buy dry shampoo.


Glossier's Balm Dotcom

Guys, I've got a lot of love for Glossier. I'm ride or die for their Cloud Paint blush and Boy Brow. And their Balm Dotcom line of skin salves smell great. People swear by 'em! But if you ask me, unless you're buying a scented or tinted one, your Balm Dotcom isn't significantly different than run of the mill Vaseline. I know, I know, tragic, but it's true. Balm Dotcom might throw in some extra goodies like antioxidants, but I'd be surprised if you'd notice the real difference between Balm Dotcom and the petroleum jelly wasting away in your medicine cabinet. Glossier's Balm Dotcom comes out on top when it comes to aesthetic though, so at least there's that.

Buy it at Glossier for $12

Dry Shampoo

Okay, don't kill me, but honestly...dry shampoo is a scam. Yes, sure, for those of you with oily hair it can be a lifesaver in a pinch. But let's be real: Too many people become too reliant on it. After a while, you'll get so much product build up from all those fine powders in the dry shampoo that when you finally do wash your hair, you'll have to work even harder to get your hair clean.

Buy it at Urban Outfitters for $9

Eye Cream

This is the sneakiest beauty scam in the book, guys. Listen up: Your under eye skin isn't drastically different than the skin on the rest of your face. Sure, the area around your eyes is more sensitive, and the skin there is a little thinner, but there is no such thing as a moisturizer that is only effective when applied around the eyes. This is a way for companies to get you to spend a ton of money on a product for one itty bitty part of your body, when in reality any good moisturizer will work just fine. It's like when a makeup remover specifies that it's an eye makeup remover. You're not just using it on your eyes, right? Of course not. Get what I'm saying here? So sure, if you want a specific cream for your eyes, go for it. But remember that any other moisturizer packed with awesome ingredients will also make your eyes just as happy.

Buy it at Goop for $90

Dior Diorshow Mascara

A friend of mine recently told me that she thinks high end mascara is a scam, and after I thought about it, she might be right. While high end brands might have nicer wands, many of them have the exact same formula and longevity as your average drugstore mascara. If you love that mascara you copped at Sephora, keep using it! But don't assume that it's automatically much higher quality just because you paid more for it. Packaging and brand names go a long way.

Buy it at Sephora for $28

AHA/BHA Facial Cleansers

People are really getting on the AHA/BHA train, which makes the skincare fanatic in me so happy. AHAs help remove dead skin cells and fade blemishes and dark marks. BHAs help unclog pores. It's a dream combination, especially for people with acne prone skin! But it's really better to get your daily AHA/BHA dose in the form of serums or toners that sit on the skin, not a cleanser that you wash off. Your skin isn't really benefitting all that much from the AHA or BHA if it is just sitting on your skin for a few seconds and then washed away. You can still use these cleansers--I love the one pictured--but it won't be the most effective way to treat your skin. If you have sensitive skin, however, this might be a good move for you.

Buy it at Ulta for $30

Clarisonic Skin Cleaning System

This is pretty controversial, but hear me out: It's kind of a waste of money to spend a lot of money on a face brush. When you add up the price of the device itself and the brush heads that you have to buy on a regular basis...that's a lot of money for something that might not actually do that much to keep your face clean. Plus, these face brushes can be a little too harsh on the skin; you really don't need one of these items to keep your skin clean. But if you insist on using one because it makes your skin feel good, at least buy a cheap one!

Buy it at Sephora for $169

Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

When it comes to an SPF that you use on your face, you just need to find one that doesn't make you want to rip your face off. Some sunscreens are too heavy, some too oily, some too drying, and some too white (my fellow dark skinned girls know that awful white cast all too well). But you can find the SPF loaded product that works best for you in products from a wide price range. You don't have to buy a high end SPF to get the job done!

Buy it at Sephora for $45

Cellulite Remover Cream

Please, don't waste your money on lotions, creams, and other topical treatments for things like cellulite and even stretch marks. A cream isn't going to make your cellulite go away. In fact, there's nothing that can make your cellulite go away. When it's there, it's there, and you have to make peace with it. And when it comes to stretch marks, most fade over time, and incredibly deep set and dark scars might need a prescription treatment to really fade away. But for the most part? These products might convince you that they're doing something...but they're not, really. They're just making your skin feel good.

Buy it at Sephora for $45

Fess up: Do you buy any of these items? What other beauty products are you convinced are low key scams? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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