It’s no secret that TikTok is packed with incredible beauty and wellness hacks, such as how to create the perfect winged eyeliner with dollar bills or how to fake salon curls by wrapping your hair around a radiator. However, not everything on TikTok is intuitive. Indeed, one Australian reality television star was left scarred and temporarily blind in one eye last year after an at-home acupuncture attempt inspired by TikTok went badly. And it’s becoming more prevalent.
While the platform’s trends have an attractiveness, it is this simple application of them without understanding the science underlying them that has landed people in hot water—or worse.
Therefore, how can you determine which viral beauty tips to attempt and which to avoid?
Contouring with sunscreen
Sunscreen contouring is a technique that involves applying sunscreen to specific regions of the face to keep the skin paler while leaving the rest unprotected to tan to generate a contoured tanning look and definition. Huron describes this TikTok craze as “huge skincare no.
“It’s harmful aging, and hazardous technique,” she explains. “Exposing bare skin to the sun not only causes premature aging and burns, but it can also cause skin cancer. Thank you!
Slugging is one of TikTok’s most famous beauty hacks: you apply a thick moisturizer or Vaseline to your face and leave it on overnight to hydrate the skin. According to Mallory Huron, beauty and health specialist at Fashion Snoops, the trend originated in South Korea, where dewy and plump skin is fashionable. It eventually found its way to TikTok, where its popularity has grown.
According to dermatologist Dr. Muneeb Shah, Slugging is an effective strategy to retain moisture and restore a compromised skin barrier. “Clean, moisturize, and then apply your selected ointment,” he advises. “I do not recommend slugging in addition to strenuous activities like retinol or exfoliating acid since it can amplify their effects. Use occlusive moisturizers sparingly over gentle ingredients.”
Amazingly, shaving your legs with sandpaper has become a craze, thanks to TikTok. However, as Dr. Shah cautions, this should not be attempted at home. “While sandpaper is effective at removing hair, it is also harmful since it removes skin. This can result in discoloration and scarring—all the more so because the legs heal slowly after injury.”