Good Or Bad? 5 TikTok Skincare Trends – Dissected

Good Or Bad? 5 TikTok Skincare Trends – Dissected

Are social media skincare hacks harmful or helpful? To follow, our thoughts on five of the latest beauty fads doing the rounds…

Isn’t social media awesome? Well, it is, until it isn’t. You see, the problem with giving everyone a voice and a platform on which to share their skincare routines and DIY beauty hacks is that not ‘everyone’ is an expert. In fact, most people are far from it. Of course, there are plenty of fabulous makeup artists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and aestheticians you can follow across Instagram, YouTube and TikTok and a lot of them have incredible advice to offer. There’s also a lot to be said for things like Facebook Groups where, if you struggle with chronic skin issues, you can connect, learn and find solace from others with similar concerns.

But then there’s all the other 'stuff' from people who have so much to say… about things they don’t know that much about. And this is the kind of information that can do more harm than good. This is why we’ve sifted through some of the most recent viral skincare fads you might want to be wary of. Instead, read on for the real truth about how best to take care of your skin.

1. Slugging

What Is Slugging?

Skin slugging might sound gross, but it’s become a huge deal on TikTok, with its hashtag currently notching up around 1.5 billion views.

Not to be confused with most people’s least favorite mollusk, slugging involves smearing a thick layer of petroleum jelly all over your skin as the last step in your nightly skincare routine. Do so and you’re guaranteed to wake up with the softest, most moisturized skin ever. So they reckon, anyway.

Is Slugging Good For Your Skin?

This trend started gaining momentum almost two years ago, but it will not go away. Therefore there has to be something in it, right? Well, petroleum jelly is an occlusive ingredient that creates a seal over your skin to help lock in moisture. So, sure, it will definitely stop water from evaporating from the surface of your skin as you sleep, we’ll give you that. However, petroleum jelly has no hydrating qualities. At all. This means it doesn’t really moisturize your skin, it just stops any moisture that’s already present from escaping from the surface of your skin.

Not only that but petroleum jelly creates a barrier over your pores, completely blocking them and causing no end of problems for oily skin types. Namely, breakouts like you will never believe.

Much Better Advice?

Rather than slathering your skin with what is essentially just ‘grease,’ you’re much better off applying night cream to not only lock in moisture but to help hydrate and feed your complexion with skin-loving ingredients like antioxidants, ceramides, peptides and/or vitamins and minerals.

Our Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream is a great bet or why not try the combo of our new Rejuvenating Longevity Serum and Renewing Longevity Moisturizing Cream?

2. Potatoes For Pimples

What's It All About?

Dealing with acne can be a real struggle. Especially when you reach adulthood when you were promised your skin would be so much clearer. But it’s not common to be plagued by breakouts as you get older. In fact, research shows that around 25 percent of American women in their 40s suffer from some kind of acne.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that there are so many short-term hacks for dealing with pimples. Back in the day it was toothpaste and nail varnish remover (gasp!). Now it’s slices of raw potatoes. The idea is that you tape a small slice over your spot to make it magically disappear. Some TikTokers have even resorted to rubbing the whole darn thing over their skin.

Are Potatoes Good For Your Skin?

Don’t get us wrong, we love a potato as much as the next person. But on our dinner plates, not taped to our faces. So, why has this acne hack become such a thing? Ha, your guess is as good as ours but the main draw is that potatoes have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are both known to help reduce redness and unwanted pigmentation.

They also contain exfoliating and oil-reducing properties and feel nice and cool on the skin which is a big deal when you have a big, throbbing red zit on your chin. So maybe, just maybe, they might offer some short-term benefits. But little more than that.

Much Better Advice?

If you’re an acne sufferer, you’ll understand that short-term fixes are all well and good but, in truth, it’s all about the long-term. This is why we prefer to treat and control breakouts with smart skincare that’s been specifically (and safely!) formulated for the job. Products that contain science-led and dermatologically-tested ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil and AHAs are going to offer your skin way better benefits than a bag of your best russets. Sorry, but they just will.

3. Sunscreen Contouring

What Is Sunscreen Contouring?

If we had to choose just one viral beauty trend that gets our blood boiling the most, it would be sunscreen contouring. Stupid at best, downright dangerous at worst, sunscreen contouring is when you apply sunscreen to select areas of your face and body only, in order to intentionally create tan lines for a contoured effect.

Some people have taken to applying a lower SPF to areas of their face they want to tan more, and a higher SPF to those they want to remain pale and ‘highlighted’ but either way, this is bad news. 

Is Sunscreen Contouring Good For Your Skin?

Absolutely not. Not even slightly. The sun is responsible for almost 90 percent of skin aging, accelerating the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and dark spots. This means it’s absolutely essential to protect ALL exposed skin to the damaging effects of UV radiation. Because tan skin = damaged skin. End of story. Not only that, but c’mon people, skin cancer.

Much Better Advice?

First, in order to truly protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun, you need to apply SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen every day to all areas of exposed skin. The alternatives are just not worth it. And if you do want to create contours on your face and body such as highlighting your cheekbones, sculpting your nose or defining your abs, stick with a self-tanning lotion or makeup. Easy. And way less damaging.

4. Lemon Juice As Toner

What's It All About?

Pure lemon juice. As toner. Simple as that.

Yes, lemons are astringent, yes they’re packed with vitamin C and yes, vitamin C is awesome for the look, feel and health of your skin. But when life gives you lemons, do not squeeze out their juice and use it to tone or brighten your face.

Is Lemon Juice Good For Your Skin?

Citric acid can be an incredible ingredient in many topical skincare treatments, offering great antioxidant qualities and helping to fight environmental skin damage. However, skincare products are formulated in certain ways and use very specific concentrations of ingredients in order to help benefit your skin without causing irritation. Pure lemon juice, however? The opposite. Applying it in its pure form can seriously irritate your skin, screwing up your barrier function and causing long-term issues with hyperpigmentation and sensitivities. It can even burn your skin if you’re not careful.

Keep yours for the G&Ts and leave lemon skincare cocktailing to the pros, OK?

Much Better Advice?

Get your fix of vitamin C from a facial serum that contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) which is a gentle and very effective form. Our Vitamin C Facial Serum is always a big favorite but we also have the mighty Vitamin C Super Serum + which really amps up your glow factor. We like to use it twice a week, alternating between this and the OG.

5. Face Taping

What Is Face Taping?

This cheeky little trick has been used by Hollywood’s finest for decades so sorry, TikTok-ers, but you did not invent this one. Also known as wrinkle taping, the idea behind it is that you strategically place sticky tape on your face, usually overnight, to lift the skin, reduce muscle movement and therefore reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s most often used under the eyes, at the edges of the cheeks, over the forehead or across the chest area.

You can also use face tape to provide an immediately lifting effect, keeping it on for an event, for example, whilst camouflaging it with heavy makeup.

Is Face Taping Good For Your Skin?

As an immediate wrinkle-reducer and skin-smoother, face taping is actually pretty effective. But it’s a very short-term fix and takes a lot of clever makeup artistry to cover the tape and make it look natural.

As an overnight solution however? Yeah, we’re not convinced. For one thing, the glue that’s used on the tape can be super irritating for some skin types, especially if it’s used under the eyes where your skin is thin and extremely delicate. And for another, leaving the tape on for long periods of time can clog your pores and encourage breakouts. The phrase, ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire,’ comes to mind.

Much Better Advice?

Two words: effective skincare. Cleansing and exfoliating regularly, treating your skin with daily antioxidants, applying sunscreen daily and using age-defying ingredients like retinol, bakuchiol, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C? So much better than silly old face tape that might be OK for ten minutes but will do no good in the long-term.

Try our new Smoothing Collagen Serum, Firming Collagen Day Lotion and Collagen Boosting Skin Supplement which are great for healthily preventing premature aging.


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Georgia Gould

Georgia Gould

Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.