5 TikTok Skincare Hacks That Actually Work—and a Few That Don’t—According to Derms
It might get balked at, but since its inception TikTok has gifted us too many gems to count. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve discovered, and we’ve tried. TikTok’s skincare sphere has been particularly fruitful, generating everything from quick-hit educational quips to crazy beauty hacks that legit work. Curious about which viral skincare hacks are actually worth trying, we reached out to board-certified dermatologists, who were quick to shout out their faves.
TikTok Skincare Trends to Try
Using Minoxidil to Help Grow Your Eyebrows
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved topical product that addresses hair loss on your scalp. It works by enhancing circulation and may also extend the active growth phase of your hair. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, says minoxidil can also be used on your brows if you’re experiencing new hair loss there. “However, you have to be extra-cautious not to let it drip or touch the surrounding skin.”
Applying Hydrocolloid Bandages to Zits
Hydrocolloid bandages create an insulated healing environment while absorbing excess fluid, making them an ideal treatment for superficial acne and small bumps. “They dry out acne and expedite healing, provide a protective ‘shield’ over the pimple which deters you from picking, and camouflage visible acne,” notes Amit Om, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Apostrophe.
Using Teabags to Reduce Puffy Eyes
This old hack is back, and Dr. Zeichner says it works. After soaking a tea bag in cool water for 30 seconds, apply it to the undereye area for a few minutes. “The tea contains caffeine which helps constrict blood vessels and remove excess fluid,” he explains. “Make sure your tea is caffeinated, and don’t soak in the water for too long because you want to keep the caffeine in the bag and not let it diffuse into the water.”
Cleansing your skin at least once per day helps keep your skin happy, healthy, and bright. Double cleansing takes the process one step further to ensure you’re truly ridding your skin of the day’s dirt, sweat, sunscreen, makeup, and grime. “I love this trend,” says Papri Sarkar, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Brookline, Mass. “The first cleanse is often with an oil-based cleanser and helps to get stubborn makeup or sunscreen off. The second cleanse washes away any residue that might be left.” All skin types can partake in this one. Just make sure you’re using gentle, hydrating cleansers that won’t strip your skin.
Taming Angry Pimples with Afrin Nasal Spray
“Afrin contains an ingredient called oxymetazoline, which constricts blood vessels,” explains Dr. Zeichner. “If you apply it to a pimple, it can help take the
red out temporarily. Be careful because the pimple may end up looking paler than the rest of your skin for a short period of time.”
3 TikTok Skincare Hacks to Pass On
Now that you’ve been briefed on some of the TikTok skincare hacks derms have green-lighted, let’s talk about some you should definitely skip.
Sunscreen contouring involves applying SPF to only certain areas of your face in order to create a “natural” contour. However, anytime a skincare hack suggests using sunscreen in a way that leaves you unprotected, it’s not a good one. Dr. Sarkar says this hack exposes you to UV radiation, which can lead to skin cancer and premature signs of aging. “No matter if you contour or highlight an area on your face, you probably don’t want a scar there from skin cancer surgery,” she says. “There are amazing skincare products that actually protect your skin with SPF and give you a glow, so there’s literally no reason to do this.”
Performing Your Own Mole Removal
Alexa, play “Oh No” by Capone. This TikTok skincare hack is a definite don’t. “Removing a mole at home is not like clipping your nails or trimming your hair,” says Annie Gonzalez, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Miami’s Riverchase Dermatology. “Among the many dangers of doing this is that the user has no way to ascertain if the mole is benign or malignant. A dermatologist
would know how to identify a suspicious mole and do a biopsy if need be.” Another huge risk of at-home mole removal is infection and scarring. And BTW, she says that even zapping a mole with an at-home laser is not recommended.
Using Baking Soda in DIY Face Masks
We get it—DIY-ing your own beauty masks is fun! Still, there are certain ingredients you should steer clear from, including baking soda. Dr. Sarkar says, “The pH of baking soda is too high for skin. Leaving it on as a mask slowly irritates it, can create small breaks in the skin barrier and even cause a burn or allergic reaction.”