For better or worse, I became addicted to TikTok in 2020. More specifically, I became addicted to skincare TikTok. I followed beauty influencers like Skincare by Hyram and found myself buying products that actually fit into my budget: $7 “brightening” serums and $10, 16 oz. facial cleansers that barely fit on my counter because the bottles are so large.
My main concerns are dryness, dull texture, and acne scarring from a six-month stint on Accutane. While the drug successfully purged my skin of all the acne I was destined to have for the rest of my life, it left me with a good bit of dark spots and an uneven tone. I was committed to improving it; and now after months of testing, I have found a lineup that has genuinely changed my skin—while simultaneously making my routine a bit more affordable in comparison to my impulse purchases from Drunk Elephant and Estée Lauder. An effective routine that doesn’t break the bank? What more could I want? Thanks to TikTok, here are the products that I now call my tried-and-trues!
Hydrating Facial Cleanser
I am a Glossier addict, so I had been using Milky Jelly Cleanser for the past four years. Then on a whim at Target (after a TikTok binge), I grabbed the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser—and boy am I glad I did. This face wash has a striking resemblance to Milky Jelly, both in consistency and gentleness. The ingredient formula highlights ceramides (which can prevent wrinkles) and hyaluronic acid, which both help to lock in moisture and protect your skin—an essential in the Chicago winters. As the temperature has been dropping and the heater in my apartment has been on full blast, I’ve been extra dry and patchy on my forehead. This cleanser has been keeping that at bay. I might just go full force and purchase the giant tub of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream as well.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Being fully transparent, I had tried this product before. But upon downloading TikTok, I discovered I was using it completely wrong… at the risk of burning off a layer of my skin. I like to call this “the blood mask” because I always see pictures of influencers with this maroon goop layered heavily on their skin. In applying the product in such a way, you’re going to be uncomfortable, itchy, and could even be damaging your skin. Using too much of a highly-concentrated AHA can cause redness and flakiness. Not the vibe. So, I followed the rules of TikTok and added a light, almost pink-toned layer. The mask didn’t burn anymore, just had a light tingle. And after a few weeks of bearable use, I noticed the texture of my skin had evened out, my acne scars were beginning to lighten, and my face was so soft. Score! AHAs and BHAs are key for safely removing dead skin, improving dull and uneven patches, and plumping up your skin for a youthful glow. Since you only have to use a pea-sized amount, this $7 mask will last a long time.
As an avid user of jade and rose quartz rollers, this $10 Amazon ice instrument was naturally my next purchase. Just pop the tool in the freezer, and in the morning, rub the icy goodness all over your face. As I would use my jade roller, I like to use this one after my skincare routine to allow my products to sink in better. This tool has little beads inside so the rolling ritual is like a luxury facial massage at home. Plus, if you’re anything like me and you’re trying to get used to an early-morning routine, this roller is the perfect wake-up call.
Super Glow Serum
My biggest skin concern is scarring and texture; so, whenever I see a new product claiming to fix those things, I run to the store (or my computer) for a bit of retail therapy. So naturally after several TikTok recommendations, I went to my favorite brand Glossier to test out their vitamin C. Turns out, it’s true: The ingredient will gradually fade scars and smooth out texture. It also has anti-aging benefits. I’m only 22, but best to start early, right?
I’ve been using this product for only about a week, but I am already a huge fan. After four uses, I swear my scars have significantly lightened and my skin looks brighter. My chin was covered in little spots due to my new enemy “maskne,” and thanks to this product, the dots are barely noticeable now. The formula features exfoliating acids and niacinamide, ingredients that are proven to fade scars. It’s also dye-free, fragrance-free, and vegan, making it super gentle. No burning here! Whether you have acne scars, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, this product is sure to come to your rescue.
Lash Lift Kit & Brow Lamination Kit
I have dark, thick eyebrows with several patchy spots, and I’d also like to note they are completely different shapes. I swear the hairs on my left eyebrow grow straight up while the hairs on my right grow to the side—and I think one might even be slightly higher than the other. But I digress. My makeup routine consists of layering multiple brow products to get the effortless, bushy look à la Lily Collins. With this regimen, my life and brow routine are way easier. The lamination kit allows you to shape your brows semi-permanently. After cleansing the area for product and oil, you add the gel, shape your brows, cover with cling wrap, and leave on for eight minutes. And there you have it: beautiful, bold brows! This kit can also be used for eyelash lifting.
By using all of these products, my skin concerns have become, well, less of a concern. And my bank account is happy, all thanks to TikTok.