Do you ever look back at beauty routines of years past and wonder, “What the heck was I thinking?” You’re probably not the only one. Various beauty trends have come and gone throughout the years, and many of them should stay in the past. Skincare in particular is one aspect of the beauty industry that has come a long way.

If you’re curious about which skincare trends to avoid, here are five trends to leave in the past, plus some modern-day replacements.

1.    Using Baby Oil and Iodine as Sunscreen

Gone are the days of lathering your skin in baby oil and iodine to darken your skin in the sun. Today, you can still get some color, but proper sun protection is required. Years ago, sun exposure was thought to be good for the skin. There’s no denying that the sun provides health benefits; it can boost mood, improve sleep quality, and so much more. But too much of it can cause premature aging and even skin cancer.

If you’ve failed to use proper sun protection in the past, you may be dealing with an array of skin issues now. Signs of aging such as wrinkles, uneven texture, and pigmentation changes can all prove to be quite bothersome. Fortunately, medical-grade skincare and prescription treatments can be used to treat concerns like melasma, wrinkles, and more.

Use This Instead: A Broad Spectrum Sunscreen With SPF 30 or Higher

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF 30. Broad spectrum means that it will protect against both kinds of UV rays — UVA and UVB. UVA causes signs of aging while UVB causes sunburns and skin cancer. You can still get a nice tan with an SPF 30, but your skin will be better protected.

2.    Using Harsh Exfoliators (AKA the Apricot Scrub)

You likely remember the infamous apricot scrub that was popular in the early 2000s. Pretty much teen and pre-teen had this in their skincare lineup at some point. It was loved for its fruity scent and deep exfoliating properties. At the time, it was thought that you were doing your skin a favor by using such a product. Turns out that wasn’t actually the case.

Exfoliating isn’t a bad thing. In fact, you should exfoliate 2-3 times per week to remove dead skin cells and keep the skin clean and soft. But exfoliators should be gentle enough to where they aren’t damaging to the skin. Extremely harsh exfoliators such as the apricot scrub contain large particles that create microtears in the skin. This causes inflammation and irritation, the exact opposite thing a good skincare routine should do.

Use This Instead: A Chemical Exfoliator

Use a chemical exfoliator instead of a physical exfoliator to avoid microtears in the skin. There are a variety of exfoliators that are great for different skin types and skin concerns. Choosing the best one for you is sure to improve the look and feel of your skin.

3.    Using Toothpaste as Acne Spot Treatment

Toothpaste was once thought to be an effective acne treatment for its ability to dry out stubborn zits. As it turns out, toothpaste might actually be doing more harm than good for your skin. The chemicals in toothpaste can be too harsh and irritate the skin. Needless to say, if you suffer from acne, there are much more effective treatment options available.

Treating acne requires specific ingredients and a strict skincare regimen. Over time, trends have evolved to reflect a more thoughtful approach to treating skin conditions like acne. There are products that can address the root cause of acne or treat the occasional zit.

Use This Instead: Spot Treatment With Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid

If you need a way to treat the occasional zit, there are a variety of acne spot treatment options available. Look for products with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as the active ingredient.

4.    Using Astringent as Facial Toner

Ah, the ever-so-popular bottle of astringent. Once upon a time, this was thought to be a crucial step in any skincare routine. People bought into this fad because it was thought that the best thing for a breakout was to dry out the skin. While high-quality toners can have many benefits, hydration is also key to achieving a clear, glowing complexion.

Astringent is a chemical that shrinks body tissue and temporarily tightens the skin. It may feel like it’s doing something good, but it’s actually over drying. It can also cause irritation and lead to worsened breakouts.

Use This Instead: Toner With Alpha Beta Hydroxy Acids

When choosing a toner, look for alpha beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These ingredients exfoliate the skin, minimize excess oil, and can even shrink the size of pores.

5.    Using Overly Scented Body Products

Most people are guilty of buying a body product just for the scent. Whether it was a body wash or a lotion, you likely want to smell good. So, this means buying products that will make your skin smell good, right? Well, not necessarily. Yes, scent is important to most people. But products that smell overly fruity or just have a really strong fragrance usually aren’t the best for your skin.

Fragrance sensitivities are becoming more common as people are exposed to a variety of chemicals each day. Products with a lot of added fragrance can cause redness, irritation, and itchiness, which is the opposite of what you want from your skincare.

Use This Instead: Fragrance-Free Products or Naturally Scented Products

When it comes to body wash and hydrating body lotions, most dermatologists will recommend fragrance-free. However, if you do want to smell good from the products you’re using, opt for naturally-scented products. For example, look for products with coconut oil. Or, if you prefer a fruity scent, look for something with a fruit extract included.

Some skincare trends are best left in the past. Fortunately, when you put a trend to rest, there’s usually a great modern-day, highly-accessible alternative to replace it. When it comes to your skincare routine, make sure you’re staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest options. When you take the time to find the best products, you’ll find that they do the job so much better.