TikTok is one of the biggest, most influential social media platforms today. It has amassed over 1 billion active users around the world since launching in 2016. But, with these many users creating and/or discovering new content, it can be easy for trends to spread quickly. While skincare trends may be accurate and helpful, there are many that are harmful to the skin. That’s why we’re breaking down 5 TikTok skincare trends and whether or not you should avoid them.
If you’ve opened up your TikTok app at all this year, you couldn’t miss the viral trend known as slugging. This originated as a K-Beauty trend and involves slathering petroleum jelly over the face. It’s called slugging because of the petroleum jelly’s slimy texture that’s similar to the mucus of a slug. Slugging is used as the last step in a nighttime routine and is said to lock in serums, and moisture, and prevent water loss. Check out TikTok user @soggycereal78990521 demonstrating the trend here.
@soggycereal78990521 Tik tok made me do it 😐 #sluggingmethod #skincare #acne #fypシ ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show
Does it work?
While this trend does seal in hydration, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) does not recommend slugging for acne-prone skin. They state “avoid putting petroleum jelly on your face if you are acne-prone, as this may cause breakouts in some people.” The petroleum jelly may also be too greasy for those that have oily skin. This particular trend is dependent on skin type, so it is not beneficial to everyone.
2. Face taping
Another skincare trend taking over the TikTok world is face taping. This trend is where users apply tape on areas of their face overnight to prevent movement, and ultimately minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The users then remove the tape when they wake up in the morning. This process is repeated nightly for at least a week, with progress being recorded daily. Watch TikTok user @theaussierapunzel try out this trend here.
@theaussierapunzel I didn’t think it would work 🤯 trying the face taping trend! #beauty #skincare #fyp ♬ Hits 2021 (Mashup) - Trinix
Does it work?
According to Chicago board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Horn, this can have the opposite effect and make fine lines and wrinkles even more noticeable. He explains, “when you tape your face to hold muscles still, you’re preventing them from doing what they’re supposed to, thus adding resistance. In doing so, you’re training your facial muscles to work harder and, in turn, become more powerful. Over time they can become stronger, accelerating the formation of fine lines and wrinkles you were hoping to avoid.” He also notes that removing the tape every morning can damage the skin barrier and cause redness, irritation, and acne breakouts.
What does work: We recommend using effective skincare products that visibly minimize fine lines and wrinkles like our glowoasis glowshot supercharged hydrating serum and probiotics + murumuru ultra calming toner.
3. Sunscreen contouring
Have you heard about the TikTok trend where users intentionally create tan lines across the face using sunscreen? This trend, known as sunscreen contouring, is where users apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or lower to areas where bronzer is typically used. This allows those parts of the face to tan for a “makeup-free glow”. The original video, posted by user @stopiteli, has almost 2 million likes and over 42,000 shares.
@stopiteli I am convinced this works! #tutorial #contour #summer #lifehack #hack #beautyhack #snatched #tiktokwellness #hiddentalent ♬ original sound - Eli Withrow
Does it work?
Dr. Joyce Park, a dermatologist in Northern California states, “this is a bad idea. Any tanning of the skin is a sign that DNA damage to skin cells has occurred. Sunscreen is not meant to be used only as a highlighter in select areas. You need an even application throughout the whole face to protect from photo-aging and skin cancer.” This trend can increase the risk of sunburn, wrinkles, sunspots, and skin cancer.
What does work: For that sunny glow, choose products that brighten and improve your skin tone like the glowoasis powderporefect powder-to-foam enzyme cleanser and milkdew pH balancing moisture milk toner.
4. Skincare fasting
Skincare fasting is another trend that has been making the rounds on TikTok. For this one, users take a break from using all or “non-essential” skincare products. The logic is that when we take this extended pause from our skincare routine, the skin is able to reset itself and strengthen its barrier. A healthy skin barrier is important because it helps retain moisture and protect the skin from harmful irritants. Catch a glimpse of TikTok user @malihaihenacho participating in skincare fasting here.
@malihaihenacho I have been doing this for YEARS! And it’s always done wonders for my skin overall. 🧐Skin fasting is unique to the individual. Some slowly eliminate products while others go cold turkey. For a complete skin fast, you stop using all of your skincare products entirely- that means NO cleansing or toning, or applying serums, hydrators, or moisturizers. Letting your skin’s own natural sebum do all the balancing and protecting. Just like any other detox or reset, skin fasting can be helpful for those who want a fresh start. Personally I do it once or twice a week. It’s important to listen to your skin throughout the process, which can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. 🧙🏻♀️DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend skin fasting for those who have skin disorders like eczema, uncontrolled acne, rosacea, melasma, or other skin disorders that do require topical products to help-especially if you have a skin condition that requires active ingredients. It is advisable to speak to your dermatologist or prescribing physician about taking a break from any prescription products that you are currently using, as some should not be stopped. Finally- Not protecting your skin with sunscreen is a risk. If you've used any acids in the last three days, especially retinol, then you must continue to wear sunscreen and limit sun exposure. #skincare #skincaretips #FilmTeyvatIslands #viral #malihaihenacho ♬ GASLIGHT - INJI
Does it work?
So, what’s the verdict? Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe feels this skincare trend “isn’t necessary or beneficial”. She explains, “choosing not to cleanse your skin with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser in the evening can lead to breakouts in acne-prone skin. Your skin is still ‘facing’ the day, whether you are using nourishing ingredients or not, and in the evening, your skin will have accumulated dirt, sweat, and pollutants that are adhering to your skin after a full day of exposure to the environment.” Dr. Bowe believes the concept of skin fasting likely originated from the overuse of active ingredients like retinoids and exfoliating acids. She explains that taking a break from using products with those active ingredients may help the skin, but it is definitely not a good idea to stop using skincare altogether.
What does work: Staying consistent with a clean, effective skincare routine that supports and balances the skin microbiome. Give our vegan probiotic skincare a try with the ultimate oasis value kit.
5. Aspirin treatments
Did you see the TikTok trend where users make an exfoliating paste out of crushed-up aspirin? These users mash up at least two aspirin tablets very finely and then mix the particles with water to create a mask-like paste. The paste is spread evenly onto the face for 3 minutes before it’s rinsed off and patted dry. This trend recommends applying the paste to the face every few days and is said to “cure” or get rid of acne. Check out TikTok user @_laurenwolfe_ creating her aspirin mask for acne here.
Does it work?
Board-certified dermatologist and instructor at New York City’s Mount Sinai Dr. Susan Bard set the record straight on this trend. She explains “aspirin is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. While aspirin — acetylsalicylic acid — appears to be the same as salicylic acid used to treat acne, they are different molecules.” Dr. Bard continues, “it’s important to realize that aspirin is an acid and that applying such acid in an unregulated concentration can lead to chemical burns, dryness, and irritation.” Using aspirin to clear the skin can have the opposite effect. This trend can make acne worse and scarring more likely.
@_laurenwolfe_ tiktok deleted this!! 👿 ACNE HACK make this viral again to save a life #fyp #foryoupage #acnetreatment #skinroutine ♬ original sound - Lauren Wolfe
What does work: Gentle exfoliators like the glowoasis powderporefect powder-to-foam enzyme cleanser that sloughs dead skin cells and unclogs pores.
Stay consistent with your skincare routine
We’ve often been told to believe everything we see in the media — including social media. But, these 5 TikTok trends prove maybe we shouldn’t. Just because a TikTok video says a trend helps your skin and delivers fast results, doesn’t mean it can. In fact, these TikTok beauty trends may be hurting your skin and causing long-term damage. Before you try out any skincare trend, remember it’s important to get all the facts from an experienced dermatologist who know best.For more skincare education, follow us on TikTok here!