TikTok is great for many things, particularly when it comes to beauty hacks. Creators on the popular video-sharing platform have given rise to a host of new beauty techniques that have gone viral but sometimes, there’s not much scientific evidence or expert opinion backing up these trends and all their proclaimed benefits.
From Gua Sha-ing to slugging and microneedling, aesthetician Waleed Talib from Vera Clinic gives us the the lowdown on these popular TikTok beauty trends - and why you may want to avoid them.
With over 103 million views on TikTok, skin icing promises to tighten and contract skin, de-puff and sculpt the face. The viral trend involves rubbing ice cubes all over the face to achieve these benefits. Alternatives to ice cubes can be a jade roller kept in the freezer overnight or a cryotherapy tool. While the effect of ice on the face can have the touted benefits, there are also some things to look out for. “The extreme change in temperature can cause redness and sting,” says Talib. It is best to adopt the practice gently and in moderation for the best results.
Another popular viral skincare trend, called slugging, involves coating your face in Vaseline to moisturise your skin overnight. While the trend has over 120 million views in TikTok currently, this hack can in fact clog your pores and cause further breakout. “Instead, use a moisturiser suitable for your skin type overnight,” says Waleed.
Microneedling uses a derma roller to prick the skin with tiny needles as a way of generating collagen production for its smoothing, firming and toning effects. With over 364.9 million views on TikTok, and an increasing number of beauty clinics offering the procedure, microneedling is considered relatively safe and effective. However, it’s not without its risks. Firstly, it is possible for the wounds from the microneedling to get infected if the skin is not kept clean. You may also be at risk of an allergic reaction from the creams or serums that penetrate the skin via the microneedling holes. Secondly, the needles can cause irritation and rashes to the skin. “Ensure you are aware of the after-effects before having the procedure,” Waleed warns.
Gua Sha massage
The gua sha facial massage is an ancient tool made from crystals that is used during the final stage of a skincare routine which claims to smooth skin, improve elasticity, and prevent skin-ageing.While the tool does provide certain benefits, Waleed says there is no evidence which supports using them in your daily skincare routine. However, if it makes you feel better and more beautiful, we say go right ahead! Plus, the coolness of the crystal definitely feels soothing against the skin.
Toothpaste on spots
While it's true that several ingredients found in toothpaste are drying to the skin, this hack can cause irritation and may not benefit the skin, says Waleed. Ultimately, this home remedy for breakouts isn't worth the risk.
DIY face masks
With over 2.9 million TikTok views there are many DIY home face exfoliating scrubs made from household ingredients including lemon, honey, sugar and coffee. Although they do not include any harmful ingredients the granules commonly used in DIY exfoliating scrubs can have rough or jagged edges and these can be harsh on the skin, potentially leaving it red and raw and ultimately a shop-bought face mask can do a better job.