Don’t copy everything you see on the internet, folks.

Halloween is approaching, and while dressing up and trick-or-treating can be real fun, skincare horror stories on the other hand aren’t. We’ve compiled a list of 4 skincare horror stories, give you the lowdown on why they’re bad, and how you can avoid them. 

1. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Thrifty Usage of Sunscreen

“Misinformation is not entertainment.” 

Beauty owner and actress Gwyneth Paltrow came under fire from industry professionals for the amount of sunscreen she uses as part of her routine in a collaborative skincare routine video with Vogue.

She appears to apply a very light layer of sunscreen to the bridge of her nose and underneath her eyes, in what she described as “the area where the sun really hits”. She also said: “I am not a head-to-toe slatherer of sunscreen.” – Oh, the horrors!

This section of the video came under fierce criticism from dermatologists and YouTubers alike, which has been touted as “dangerous” – it’s true.

What was wrong? 

Gwyneth Paltrow’s minimal usage of sunscreen has sparked criticisms in the beauty industry as this may potentially mislead viewers into doing the same, subjecting them to a higher risk of severe sun damage, which can cause sunburns and in serious cases, skin cancer.

All dermatological professionals will emphasise the importance of skin protection and use of sunscreen as repeated sun exposure with little or no sunscreen protection can also cause damage to your skin’s elasticity and collagen production. Over time, this will cause signs of ageing, such as discolouration, wrinkles and fine lines. 

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What should you do instead?

Always use the correct amount of sunscreen to achieve the ideal sun protection. 

The correct amount of sunscreen to achieve the SPF rating on the bottle is half a teaspoon for the face and neck for adults. And it goes without saying that if you will be partaking in outdoor activities such as a day out at the beach, or even hiking, use at least two tablespoons of sunscreen for the rest of your body as well. 

In addition to SPF, other sun protection measures such as wearing a hat, seeking shade or putting on protective clothing are great at preventing exposure to UV rays, which is the main cause of sunburns and skin cancer.

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2. Kyle Thomas’s Brutal Skincare Routine

Instructions are meant to be followed. 

Chemical peel + derma rolling – seriously, what could go wrong, right?


new daily skincare routine! ✌️ derma roller + peeling solution!

♬ original sound – kyle thomas ✌️

What was wrong? 

Rising TikTok skinfluencer Kyle Thomas used a derma roller alongside a chemical peel, and left it on for longer than instructed. This resulted in a severely burnt face.

What should you do instead? 

Chemical exfoliants should never be applied after dermarolling. Although derma rollers are used to increase absorption of products into your skin, you should always seek a licensed professional to perform it for you as you are more likely to hurt your skin when performing it on yourself. If you’re not using your derma roller properly or keeping it clean, you could put yourself at risk for bleeding, bruising, peeling, or even infection. Trust us, you definitely do not want to look like a living zombie.

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Stop using any products if you feel a burning sensation on your skin. It is definitely NOT normal.

It is also important to perform a patch test for all new products first, especially products containing strong acids such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, before applying the product all over your face as you can never be sure how your skin will react to it. 

Lastly, never leave the products on for longer than what is specified in the instructions. They are after all, there for a reason.  

3. Marie Lopez (aka EnjoyPheonix)’s Fiery Cinnamon DIY Masque 

Now, that’s a burning spice.

In her video, Marie Lopez made DIY masques using items that can be found in everyones’ houses such as chocolate, cinnamon and banana, and applied it to her face, claiming that it will help “regenerate and purify” the skin.

But it’s caused some bad side effects, according to fans who’ve tried it out.

What was wrong? 

In one of Marie’s “DIY Masques”, cinnamon was used as a main ingredient and her followers who have tried the recipe experienced burning and stinging sensations on their faces. Not surprisingly, there was backlash from many of her subscribers.

Cinnamon is an allergenic plant that can cause irritation, burning and even blisters, making cinnamon an unsuitable ingredient to be applied onto your face or skin. It should also be noted that there have not been any studies to substantiate the claims of cinnamon being able to ‘purify your skin’. It may be a treat, but not on your face for sure.

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What should you do instead?

You should never blindly trust everything that you see on the internet, not even your favourite influencers, as they might sometimes be wrong. Always do your due diligence before jumping on the bandwagon to ensure that any piece of information found online is reliable. 

Also, it is important to always do a patch test to find out if your skin is allergic to any products or ingredients. NEVER apply any products straight on your face as your skin may be allergic to it. 

Lastly, if any products you apply on your face and skin start to burn, rinse it off immediately. We cannot reiterate this more, it is NOT normal to feel any burning sensations when any form of products are applied on your skin.

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4. Izabela Stress’s Painful Full Body Peel-Off Mask Challenge 

Ouch, that hurts.

Ever since Izabela Stress uploaded her full-body peel-off mask video in January, a huge number of YouTubers and makeup lovers around the world had joined in and attempted the same painful challenge. 

What was wrong?

While Izabela Stress did not seem to experience any form of pain when removing the mask from her body, the same could not be said for others who followed in her footsteps. Hoards of videos have surfaced on the internet showing bewildered beauty fans crying and screaming in pain while attempting to peel the product off their faces. Ripped skin is only cool if it comes in the form of makeup.

What should you do instead?

Again, instructions are there for a reason. If a product doesn’t say it’s suitable for the face, you better make sure to avoid bringing it near your face. The skin on our face is naturally thinner and more sensitive than the rest of our body, and anything overly strong will definitely cause harm to your skin.

Also, even if you are intrigued by challenges, don’t do something just for the sake of its popularity. And if you really have to do it, make sure to try it on a small portion of your body first, before applying the product all over your body to prevent any painful and nasty experiences. 

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Congratulations for making it through the list of skincare horrors! Keep in mind that information found online (yes, that includes tips from your favourite influencers) are not always 100% accurate. Do your own research and use (un)common sense to assess if you should follow anyone’s skincare hack and routine. Witching you a happy Halloween!

In Good Hands,