5 TikTok Viral Skincare Hacks That Experts Say you Should Definitely Avoid

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Skincare

If you scroll beauty-favourite app TikTok right now, you’ll find advice on almost every skin concern. Pimple popping, blackhead purging, facial fuzz dermaplaning – you name (or search for) it and some video, somewhere, has the answer.

The topic is so popular, in fact, that #skincarehacks has already racked up over 200 million views on Gen Z’s favourite platform, and is full to the brim with handy skincare routine tips, time-saving tricks and at-home skin solutions.

But for all its genius viral skincare hacks – think ‘moisture sandwiching’ and skin icing with cucumbers – TikTok is also home to some pretty… jarring skin advice. And unfortunately, some of the latest buzzy trends going viral are unregulated, unsafe, and led by those without proper training or expertise.

Be it popping cysts at home (a no-go zone) or applying Vaseline on your nose to remove blackheads (definitely not!), some hacks not only don’t work, but will do your skin more harm than good in the long run.

What’s wrong with some TikTok viral skincare hacks?

TikTok is a great place to mindlessly consume short clips to learn life hacks, rip off dance routines and obsess over feta pasta – as well as to learn cool new beauty ideas.


@imbrandonfarris_eating Have you ever tried to peel off a charcoal mask?! #facemask #peelingmask #hurting #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Brandon Farris

But, a word of warning. Since, as with all social media platforms, TikTok content can be created and distributed by anyone, rather than exclusively experts, the skincare advice you see isn’t always endorsed by dermatologists, aestheticians, and other trained skincare pros.

“The nature of the platform means anyone can post videos on a variety of subjects, even if what they’re saying isn’t quite accurate or responsible,” agrees Sam Cinkir, founder of cosmetic clinics, Este Medical Group. “Too often we see videos go viral claiming to offer expert advice on how to deal with skin problems, but some of this advice can be downright dangerous.”

Of course, approaching TikTok’s myriad skincare hacks with caution is a given, but as Cinkir adds, doing your research and only seeking advice from experts is crucial, given that some skin concerns need independent advice from a registered derm or GP.

What are some of the TikTok skincare hacks to avoid?

Glad you asked. Below, two experts – Cinkir and Bruce Green, a chemist and founder of the SOS Serum Skincare Range –talk you through the viral skincare hacks to avoid right now and why.

1. Popping cysts

Inspired by the likes of Dr Pimple Popper, viral videos showing professional extractions of cysts (fluid-filled lumps that can appear anywhere on the body) have been cropping up on TikTok for some time now. Unfortunately, as Cinkir points out, it’s fuelling the hype around popping cysts at home, with amateurs trying to get rid of cysts without proper training or the use of gloves.

“Cysts are usually harmless and can disappear on their own over time but they can become painful if infected,” he says. “It is often difficult to tell if lumps are cysts or something more sinister that requires medical treatment so it’s best to visit your GP to get a proper diagnosis.”

Cinkir urges that you should never try and pop a cyst at home, period. “If it’s infected, this could easily spread and they can easily grow back if you do not remove the sac. In some cases, you may need antibiotics to treat the infection.”

READ MORE: FYI —These Make-up Mistakes Could Be Making Your Acne Worse

2. Peel-off face masks

Yes, we too will admit that watching blackheads disappear into a peel-off face mask as if by magic is equal parts mesmerising and gross. But, as addictive as these videos are, there’s a lot of growing concern among experts surrounding some of these viral clips.

Peel-off face masks are often used to get rid of blackheads, but more people are now using them to deal with everything from acne to flaky skin and even sunburn. “Despite often being labelled as ‘skincare hacks’, these masks can actually leave your skin looking and feeling much worse; this is due to the traction they gain on your skin, making them very difficult and painful to remove,” says Cinkir.

The safer option? “For blackheads, acne and flaky skin, opt for a gentle exfoliator 1 or 2 times a week or see a professional dermatologist for treatment”. As for sunburn, try a cooling agent like aloe vera and avoid any harsh ingredients.

READ MORE: 5 Amazing Local Beauty Brands To Shop At We Are EGG. PLUS! Win A R1000 Voucher To Shop Them

3. Skin tag removal

Those who are squeamish need not look up the countless viral videos depicting at-home skin tag removal. While a very common problem, TikTokers have taken to removing cysts at home with the likes of floss which could cause heavy bleeding, and leave infection or scarring behind. Worse yet “one of the traditional methods [to remove cysts at home] cuts off the blood flow to the area and causes it to drop off,” says Cinkir.

The safest bet is to show the tag to your GP: “they’re better positioned to judge whether it’s safe to remove at home, or whether professional help is needed.”

4. Foot peels

“Foot peels work by using different acids, such as Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (or AHAs) and salicylic acid, to break down the skin and separate the old, dead skin from the new, fresh skin underneath,” Bruce explains. A quick search on TikTok and you’ll find countless videos all as gross as the next, in which overnight foot peel treatments exfoliate the skin, causing it to shed.

“While these acids are safe for most people to use, they can be harmful to people who have any broken skin; any skin issues such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis,” Cinkir warns. “Patch testing should always be carried out before using a product, particularly when the product contains strong acids.”

READ MORE: Face Mapping: 9 Things Your Pimples Can Tell You About Your Health

5. Dermarolling in the morning

In theory, using a derma roller before applying skincare to allow for better absorption of ingredients is a good idea. But, experts say to avoid trying this hack in the morning.

“Use your Derma Roller in the evening before bed as this will give your skin enough time to heal. First, cleanse, then use the roller – but gently – then cleanse again and apply your moisturiser or night cream,” says Green, who stresses the importance of cleaning your roller every time you use it too.

This story was originally published on womenshealthmag.com/uk

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