Cooking shortcuts, plant care, and beauty tricks to transform your look within minutes. TikTok is home to many a hack. But, now, doctors are exasperated with some of the, er, more weirder wellness alternatives, urging TikTok fanatics to do some research before delving down the rabbit hole of Internet-approved tricks.
Slugging, the mammoth-like trend which has taken over TikTok for the last few months, being one of them. The process essentially involves sealing your skin with an occlusive agent, such as petroleum jelly. Certain dermatologists suggest putting a thin layer of Vaseline or similar ointments over the skin to remedy dry skin. For the most part, though, doctors are ambivalent. In a recent New York Times report, an overwhelming amount of dermatologists say this trick is an absolute no-no, likely to clog up pores and cause breakouts.
Professionals are also increasingly mortified with micro needling (puncturing the skin with tiny needles), the sunscreen hack (applying sunscreen to only certain parts of the face) and making natural facial toner at home. The viral sunscreen hack, is just downright dangerous, warn some skincare specialists (after all, if you only apply sunscreen in select areas, you’re at risk of exposing the rest of your face to harm).
There’s also the hacks that pride themselves on speed: AKA, “get rid of acne in minutes”. Suggestions include covering acne with baking soda and/or crushing aspirin and applying the concoction to a pimple. It doesn’t take much scientific explanation to understand that this probably isn’t the best route to clear skin. In fact, according to The Good Face Project, these videos never show the other side of haste: it is impossible to cure a breakout within minutes.
The trends and their consequences can range from major health risks to inflammation. Especially when it comes to DIY-beauty, experts warn that kitchen ingredients and made-at-home products can’t possibly be regulated enough to keep your skin safe.
Dozens of horrifying tabloid stories have outlined just how bad TikTok beauty can get. Possibly one of the most fear-inducing is TikTok’s freckle thread, which has users using sewing needles and ink to tattoo their faces with freckles. Influencers have shared the repercussions of this one, including Australian reality TV star Tilly Whitfield who was hospitalised for trying it. Terrifying.
Of course, we can’t forget that there are potentially life-saving tricks too. Some beautifying hacks, such as lazy pedicures and contour tricks, have had TikTok users flocking back to the app for more. They may seem random, but the simplest tricks have revolutionised beauty routines. Vanese Maddix, a 26-year-old from London, says “I love certain hacks, like the one when you add a natural pop of colour to the lips by dabbing in either pink or red lipstick.” First seen on TikTok, the easy-to-do hack has become a staple favourite.
That said, next time a 60-second beauty trend comes your way, it pays to dig a little deeper first.