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Influencers Share How Much Money They Spend On Skin Care

Thanks to beauty influencers on platforms like YouTube and Instagram, we now have skin care tutorials and beauty product reviews at our fingertips 24/7, driving consumer curiosity and purchasing trends. Meanwhile, the internet has gotten an upgrade with 4K resolution on new TV screens, and YouTubers and Instagrammers are seeking out treatments to look their best in HD.

Some influencers are going to extreme lengths to get their skin camera-ready amid this daunting new technology: Lailli Mirza and Madi Bernard have shared their maintenance routines with their viewers, with Mirza spending $30,000 in one week. 

Jackie Aina released a 30-minute YouTube video last month titled “$7,000 Maintenance Week! High Maintenance Is Expensive Honey” chronicling a visit to her longtime esthetician for a facial and microdermabrasion treatment followed by laser hair removal, which is her “most expensive treatment.”

When you’re watching someone in 4K, they tend to show up a little differently,” Aina notes in the video. “So there are things that I do because I am a person of influence and because I’m a YouTuber that I probably wouldn’t do if I just had, like, a corporate, regular day-to-day job.”

She adds: “You can only do so much at home, you know?” 

Dorión Renaud, an influencer, actor, recording artist and owner of Buttah Skincare, agrees. He told HuffPost: “HD was a game-changer! I mean, as a viewer, I love it, but as an actor and entertainer, it can be daunting. It’s one of the reasons I started undergoing treatments on my skin and really going the extra mile with my product usage.”

“I’ve tried microdermabrasion, micro-needling and laser treatments, but my favorite is the HydraFacial that I get,” Renaud said. He isn’t the only one investing in this popular medical-grade facial that vacuums pores, exfoliates and hydrates without any downtime. The 30-minute, three-step HydraFacial is performed every 15 seconds worldwide, with the cost varying from $200 to $300 per session. One treatment every four weeks is suggested for maximum results. 

Racquel Natasha, who boasts over 180,000 followers, views skin care maintenance as a part of her job and has tried trendy procedures like Forma, which is a $600 noninvasive face-lift. The treatment requires at least five sessions for best results and monthly maintenance thereafter. 

“I tried the Forma treatment and it was good,” she said, noting she prefers the Vampire Facial and “will absolutely be going monthly for those.”

The Vampire Facial became a beauty trend after Kim Kardashian shared a photo on Instagram of her treatment in 2013. The procedure, which involves extracting platelet-rich plasma from a client’s blood and performing a micro-needling treatment that injects it into the skin, made headlines in 2019 after two people who received a Vampire Facial in New Mexico were diagnosed with HIV.

But that hasn’t slowed down the popularity of the procedure, which can cost between $800-$1,200 per session, with multiple sessions (usually 3-6 visits) required every four to six weeks and including two to three days of downtime. 

Aside from looking flawless in 4K, influencer Aileen Olmedo uses her platform to share her journey with hormonal, cystic acne. 

“I try to be as honest as possible and absolutely appreciate how different my upbringing and hustle are from other influencers on the scene,” Olmedo told HuffPost. “I feel that resonates strongly with my readers and followers – everything [from college education to my apartment to my everyday expenses] has been on my dime.”

Olmedo applies that same transparency to her skin care as she shares her journey with no filter. “It was intimidating at first. I’m fully aware of how screenshots and social media work, so to put my face out there for frenemies and ex-Tinder baes to judge was a risk. But once I started, the messages of support and solidarity in the fight against unexplainable cystic acne made me feel so comfortable in my skin.”

Olmedo told HuffPost she’s likely spent “over $2,000” on skin care this year, and “it would’ve been higher if I didn’t scour the internet and Reddit for promo codes. The most expensive treatment(s) have been my facials [and peels] at Heyday.” 

“Their facials make up the bulk of my expenses but I can’t give it up just yet,” she added. 

With all of the new technology, do influencers feel more pressure than ever to be “Insta” perfect?

“It is inevitable not to feel that way,” Natasha said. “Since I was young, I was always a perfectionist. I would definitely say that plays a huge part in my career. Sometimes it is hard to find that healthy balance.”  

Olmedo takes a bit of a different approach: “I couldn’t be perfect if I tried! Like Cardi B once said, ‘I’m a regular, degular, shmegular girl’ from Queens.”

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The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Gary Motykie, a board-certified plastic surgeon and owner of Motykie Med Spas, has worked with the likes of Kylie Jenner and Sofia Riche. “I’ve been using chemical exfoliants, specifically The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution from Sephora," said Motykie, who is working on his own skin care line. "Chemical exfoliants or washes are a great alternative to beaded cleansers like St. Ives.” <br><br>Find it for $8.70 on Sephora.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

To cleanse his skin and keep it moisturized, Motykie uses CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser. “It is a great, affordable, hydrating cleanser,” he explained. <br><br>Find it for $13.79 on Amazon.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

Motykie also stressed the importance of using a sunscreen every day. “After I cleanse, I use EltaMD’s Broad Spectrum SPF 46," he said. "In 2019 this almost goes without saying, but you should always apply SPF, not just on hot, sunny days.” <br><br>Find it for $35 on Amazon.

Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin and Nails

Packed with biotin and vitamins C and E, Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin & Nails enhances skin, hair and nail growth and comes recommended by Elizabeth Mullans, a board-certified dermatologist who has been practicing for more than 20 years. The vitamins also promote the growth of collagen, an essential protein that promotes skin elasticity and helps it to appear more youthful and healthy. <br><br>Find it for $9.98 on Amazon.

RoC Correxion Eye Cream and RoC Sensitive Eye Cream

Mullans also recommends RoC Correxion Eye Cream because it's good for decreasing signs of aging around the eyes. RoC Correxion Eye Cream contains superstar ingredient retinol, which helps correct fine lines and wrinkles. RoC also has a formula for those who are sensitive to retinol and need something gentler. <br><br>Find it and the sensitive formula for $17.95 on Walmart.com.  

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Calling retinol "liquid gold," Zain Husain, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of New Jersey Dermatology and Aesthetics Center, recommends Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream. “These products work by increasing skin cell turnover, boost collagen production and help keep the skin looking youthful by diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps combat acne and uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation,” Husain said. <br><br>Find it for $74 on Sephora.

Obagi Professional-C Serum

Zain is also a fan of vitamin C serums because vitamin C is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Zain said, “I love Vitamin C because it assists in skin cell damage repair and protects against free radical agents that can harm the skin. Vitamin C also has anti-aging benefits including diminishing fine lines, reducing redness and brightening your overall complexion.” If you want to incorporate a vitamin C serum into your routine, Zain recommends Obagi Professional-C Serum. <br><br>Find it for $102 on Dermstore.

Alastin Restorative Skin Complex

Retinol alternatives “work by increasing collagen, the building block of our skin, without irritation or sun sensitivity,” explained Deanna Mraz Robinson, a board-certified dermatologist from Westport, Connecticut. One of her favorite anti-aging products is Alastin Restorative Skin Complex, a peptide-based serum that improves collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. <br><br>Find it for $195 on Alastin’s website.

Care Skincare Eye and Lip Nourishing Cream

Robinson also likes Care Skincare Eye + Lip Nourishing Cream, which she described as “a dense cream with a light-diffusing finish that softens the look of fine lines and dark circles; it absorbs quickly and won’t drift into eyes or interfere with makeup." <br><br>Find it for $30 on Care Skincare’s website.

Isdinceutics Melatonik 3-in-1 Night Serum

Another favorite of Robinson’s is Isdinceutics Melatonik 3-in-1 Night Serum, a vitamin C and bakuchiol-based serum that helps reduce fine lines and pigmentation and improve texture. <br><br>Find it for $160 on Isdin.

La Roche Posay Melt In Sunscreen Milk

“Broad-spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging tool,” said Sheila Krishna, a board-certified dermatologist who serves on the advisory board for Smart Style Today.  “Broad-spectrum means it protects from both UVA and UVB rays, and a high SPF is generally anything over 30.” Her personal favorite is La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 because “it blends in very well into all skin types and doesn’t smell strong. It has excellent protection and SPF and stays on for long periods of time.” <br><br>Find it for $21.99 on Dermstore.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

Krishna also recommended vitamin C because “it is a potent antioxidant that absorbs free radicals from ultraviolet damage, pollution and general skin wear and tear. It also assists in collagen production and improves fine lines.” She personally uses SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum. <br><br>Find it for $166 on Dermstore.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

“Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is a great moisturizer that uses hyaluronic acid to plumps the skin very nicely. I use it every day and I like that it is universal so works with most skin types,” said Sapna Palep, a board-certified dermatologist who works at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. She added, "It’s an effective non-clogging moisturizer for people needing some extra moisture.” <br><br>Find it for $23.99 on Ulta.com.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

“Vitamin C, topical retinol, and sunscreen are what I consider the ‘holy trinity’ in skin care. I incorporate a vitamin C serum as a quintessential component in my morning skin care regimen,” said Rina Allawh, a board-certified dermatologist who practices at Montgomery Dermatology in Philadelphia. “My top pick is the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, containing L-ascorbic acid, pumpkin ferment extract and pomegranate enzyme. This cruelty-free product helps to both exfoliate and brighten the skin. I found that the ingredients are safe, effective and gentle on sensitive, dry and acne-prone skin.” <br><br>Find it for $80 at Sephora.

Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Foundation

Allawh also recommends using foundation to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “My top pick is the Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging skintone matching makeup,” Allawh said. This foundation is cruelty free and has an SPF of 20. “I find that the lightweight liquid formula and buildable texture is ideal for my Mediterranean skin type.” <br><br>Find it for $13.99 on Almay.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.