TikTok Beauty Trends That Can Ruin Your Skin

There's no denying that certain beauty hacks on the internet have been total game-changers in a good way, such as sweeping your mascara toward your nose instead of upward to make your eyes look wider, per Life Hack. However, there are also beauty trends floating around social media that claim to be beneficial for your skin but are actually the opposite. And some of these trends are proving to be so detrimental that they have certified dermatologists (aka the only professionals you should be consulting about your skin) gasping in horror, according to The Healthy.

On TikTok, which hosts a growing online beauty community that was once dominated by YouTube and Instagram, per Insider, users can find several beauty trends that should be avoided.

"It's kind of a gift and a curse. The gift is there's a lot of information readily available, and it makes it easy for people to digest things with everyday language," dermatologist Dr. Rayna Dyck told HuffPost in August. "However, the curse is that anyone can produce the content, so in addition to skincare experts, great aestheticians, and dermatologists who put out accurate information, there are people who are sharing advice that isn't helpful or is even harmful. But because they're popular or beautiful, everyone is going to try it, even if it's bad for them."

Do not contour with sunscreen

When it comes to TikTok skincare trends, there is one that stands out above the rest as just plain silly: sunscreen contouring (via Glam). The practice consists of applying sunscreen to only certain parts of your face so the unprotected areas get tanned, thus creating a suntan contour (as you might get with bronzer or sunless tanner). This is not only highly time-consuming and, TBH, impractical, but it's also dangerous.

By now, you've probably heard about how important is to wear sunscreen. One should be doing everything within their power to protect their face against sun damage, according to the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses Association. Depriving your skin of SPF on a daily basis can also lead to wrinkles and signs of premature aging. Not exactly the end goal here.

"I definitely would not recommend contouring sunscreen," Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist with Paula's Choice, told Glam. "Skin cancer is on the rise. It is necessary to wear sunscreen every day — rain or shine — because ultraviolet light penetrates even through clouds. It is important to protect the entire face and body with an even layer of sunscreen."

Bottom line: Do yourself a favor, and don't skimp on the sunscreen.

Aspirin should not be used topically

Another skincare trend that was born on TikTok is using aspirin for the treatment of acne, according to Grazia. This trend consists of taking multiple tablets of aspirin, crushing them up, and then using water to turn them into a paste before applying it topically to the skin. The goal is for the paste to act as an exfoliant that relieves acne.

First of all, acne is a skin condition that should only be treated by your dermatologist, as trying to clear acne up yourself can cause further skin damage. "Any manipulation of a pimple can lead to more inflammation, which can increase the risk of scarring," Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal told the Cleveland Clinic. "And your hands are dirty, so you're going to introduce more bacteria and potentially make it worse."

FDA-approved treatments for acne include over-the-counter medication or topical gels. No one has ever approved the use of a homemade aspirin paste to treat acne, so please don't try it at home, as it can cause dryness and irritation. Dr. Ahmed El Muntasar, a U.K.-based NHS frontline doctor and celebrity aesthetician, actually says "I'm scared, guys," in reaction to this ineffective trend in a YouTube video (via Grazia). If a medical professional is scared of this beauty trend, you should be, too.

Don't microneedle your makeup on

Another troubling TikTok trend is microneedling makeup. Typically the cosmetic procedure, which consists of pricking the skin with tiny sterilized needles, is used to stimulate collagen production, according to WebMd. People are also trying microneedling out in the hopes of stimulating eyebrow hair growth, though dermatologists say this method rarely yields promising results, per Byrdie.

However, on TikTok, it appears that people at home are combining microneedling with makeup in the hopes of creating a longer-lasting or semi-permanent effect, per HuffPost. The DIY trend, which essentially creates a semi-permanent tattoo, is just plain dangerous, as it can cause significant inflammation in the skin, as well as permanent scarring and dyspigmentation.

"Depending on the depth of microneedling, you can reach pretty deep in the skin and get bleeding," Dr. Karan Lal of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology told HuffPost. "In the office, we have proprietary serums and platelet-rich plasma that we use after microneedling, which are very sterile and intended for post microneedling procedures. However, when people are stamping makeup, which is not sterile, into the dermis, not only are we introducing a slew of different microorganisms, but we are introducing foreign particles like zinc into our dermis." Simply put, don't try this at home, kids.