Which TikTok Beauty Hacks to Try at Home (and Which to Skip)

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Those with acne-prone skin, in particular, should avoid slugging at all costs, because Vaseline forms a barrier that can lead to breakouts.

2. Sunscreen contouring

Sunscreen contouring is when you use sunscreen on certain areas of your face as a way of keeping skin lighter, while everywhere else is left unprotected to tan, to achieve a contoured tanning effect and definition. This TikTok trend Huron describes as “a massive skincare ‘no’.” 

“It’s an incredibly dangerous, aging, damaging method,” she says. “Not only does exposing unprotected skin to the sun lead to premature aging and burns, it can also lead to skin cancer. No, thank you!”

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But Dr. Shah has a more nuanced take. “I’ve seen some people use a base of SPF30 with a contouring layer of SPF50 and while I don’t recommend this, it’s not the worst thing I’ve seen on TikTok,” he says. “I recommend at least protecting your skin with SPF30+ and reapplying every two hours.”

3. Sandpaper shaving

Shaving your legs with sandpaper has, astonishingly, become a trend thanks to TikTok. However, as Dr. Shah warns, do not try this at home. “Using sandpaper can certainly remove hair, but it’s terrible because it removes skin as well. This can lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring—especially since the legs are slow to heal after injury.”

Huron agrees: “Not only is sandpaper an ineffectual hair removal method (both shaving and waxing are safe for skin and gently exfoliate at the same time), this is one of those TikTok trends where even trying it out could be damaging.”

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4. Drinking chlorophyll

Drinking chlorophyll has become a go-to wellness trend on TikTok with dozens of videos on its “benefits.” In addition to improved skin and reduced acne, TikTokers claim that chlorophyll boosts energy, reduces bad breath and can even improve body odor. Chlorophyll is a pigment found in plants, which plays an essential role in photosynthesis. “The theory is that everything that’s packed in chlorophyll to sustain plants, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, is also good for human health and wellness,” says Huron.

“It does have tremendous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” Dr. Shah notes, “but it is definitely being overhyped on social media right now.”

According to Dr. Shah, there have been a few studies showing that chlorophyllin (a derivative of chlorophyll) can be helpful for treating acne when applied topically. “However, liquid chlorophyll has not been shown to have that benefit,” Dr. Shah says. “It’s relatively safe, but there is a small risk of a phototoxic rash called ‘pseudoporphyria’ developing after consuming liquid chlorophyll.” Instead, Dr. Shah recommends a simpler and more enjoyable hack: eating more green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and broccoli, all naturally high in chlorophyll and without any nasty side effects.

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5. Microneedling

Microneedling is a beauty treatment using a dermaroller to prick the skin with tiny needles as a way of generating collagen production for its smoothing, firming and toning effects.

It can be highly effective when carried out by a medical professional, but some TikTokers are taking it into their own hands, with detrimental results. “With microneedling, you are poking little holes into the skin that allow bacteria and allergens to enter,” says Dr. Shah. “If the skin or device is not clean, this can lead to infection.” In other words, do not try this at home.

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