If there’s anything that I know we’ve all been doing in quarantine (besides marathoning the entirety of Hulu and Netflix) it’s falling down the rabbit hole of videos on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. I swear you can learn how to do basically anything on the internet now, and beauty content still takes the crown for some of the most watched content there is. I don’t know if y’all feel the same, but I could spend hours watching someone put on makeup and chatting about any topic. And even as someone who considers themselves more of a vet than a newbie in the beauty industry, I’m always surprised by how often I find myself seeing new techniques and looks that I have never seen before. The thing is, it’s not always a good kind of surprise. Take these three TikTok skin care no-no’s for example.
I’m always surprised by how often I see new techniques I have never seen before. The thing is, it’s not always a good kind of surprise.
TikTok Skin Care No-No #1: Makeup Removal With Coconut Oil & Makeup Wipes
Coconut oil is one of the OG “green/clean beauty” staples in my mind. And while I personally can’t use pure coconut oil on my face without facing some major consequences in the form of breakouts (I can’t recall having any issue with coconut oil used in a formulation), I don’t think there’s anything inherently bad about using it on your face. You also won’t catch me using any cleansing oils or balms that require a face cloth of some sort to remove simply because I cannot be bothered to deal with extra laundry. My household is an emulsifying oil cleansers-only household, and that will not change any time soon, but there is also nothing wrong with using the washcloth method that I know many of my fellow skin care lovers in the UK are huge fans of.
That being said, I don’t know what is possessing people online to slather on coconut oil to remove makeup and then scrubbing it off with a makeup wipe. And when I say scrubbing, I mean scrubbing HARD, y’all. I can’t even pinpoint a singular person or account responsible for making this because I’m seeing multiple posts with, at minimum, hundreds of thousands of views, and honestly, I think this combination of a non-emulsifying oil and sanding away at your skin with a makeup wipe is very confusing and really unnecessary.
@crissscortezz13Stop damaging your skin! #learnontiktok #promua #protips #skincare #makeup #beauty #LetsCook #ArtSkills #mua #beautyhacks #makeuphacks #xyzbca♬ original sound – crissscortezz
Sure, if your skin can tolerate coconut oil and you use an inoffensive makeup wipe that isn’t made of abrasive material and/or loaded with fragrance, this cleansing method could potentially not cause any harm at best. But there are so many beautiful oil-based cleansers that will rinse off clean with water (and therefore no scrubbing) or beautiful face cloths that are much softer than any wipe out there (and are also reusable so you’re not just needlessly blowing through potentially hundreds of makeup wipes of per year). Just be gentle y’all, please.
TikTok Skin Care No-No #2: Dermarolling Over Acid Mask
Speaking of being gentle, all the words that you can think of that are the opposite of gentle seems to be one of the common threads I keep running into, especially on TikTok. There are so many things I’ve seen that I want to caution against due to the potential damage—and I mean serious damage—that they can cause, but I stumbled across a particular post that really just shot to the upper ranks of horrifying. I’m actually scared that some of y’all or people you may know might even consider taking this advice.
@kylethomasnew daily skincare routine! ✌️ derma roller + peeling solution!♬ original sound – kyle thomas ✌️
Long story short, someone was demonstrating how to use a very high percentage acid mask (30% AHA and 2% BHA to be exact), and they stated that they left it on much, much longer than recommended in the directions and then stated that they were going to use a dermaroller over said mask. I don’t even know how to begin to express that I do not want you to do this. Please, for the love of all that is plump and glowy, do not do this. You could cause extremely severe irritation to your skin, and you’re very close to crossing into chemical burn territory that is likely to require medical attention.
@dermdoctorUrgent PSA ##duet with @kylethomas ##skincare ##skincaretrends ##peelingsolution ##theordinary ##dermatologist♬ original sound – kyle thomas ✌️
I have a lot of feelings on the market trend that’s taken over in the last few years of companies offering these insanely high percentages of active ingredients, as well as some thoughts on these “at home” kits for procedures that really should be left to professionals. But there is no scenario in which a licensed professional would combine dermarolling with an acid mask, and I do not know a single aesthetician or dermatologist who would recommend you do this at home. You’re literally pushing acids into open wounds on your skin. Just do not. Please. There is a different way to achieve whatever you’re trying to accomplish, and this will never be the answer.
There is no scenario in which a licensed professional would combine dermarolling with an acid mask. You’re literally pushing acids into open wounds on your skin. Just do not.
TikTok Skin Care No-No #3: DIY Toothpaste Mask
I know that some of you out there are old enough to remember this “new trend,” and I can’t believe that I’m talking about it again, but toothpaste face masks have come back into the skin care sphere online. I thought this was a skin care demon that was banished and sealed away for all eternity, but it popped out of its cage and is making an appearance again. Why we don’t learn from the past mistakes of others I will never understand, but here we are.
I don’t even understand the thinking behind this in the first place, but people still think that applying toothpaste as an all over face mask or a spot treatment can somehow help their acne go away. Maybe it’s because toothpaste is used to keep our teeth free of nasties, and the thinking is that somehow it will translate to your face. But it does not. There is no scientific evidence to support this. The amount of minty/tingly ingredients often found in toothpaste is more likely to irritate your skin, which is already experiencing inflammation and irritation if you’re dealing with breakouts. There are so many more elegantly formulated and effective treatments for breakouts available now, and if you need a quick fix, pimple patches or hydrocolloid patches are overall so much more effective in calming breakouts than toothpaste. Put down the Colgate, y’all.
The internet is the gift that keeps giving, and I genuinely think there is so much great advice that you can find on various Twitter threads or Instagram stories. But we’ve got to use some discernment and try to be as smart as possible about the advice that we’re taking, especially when it’s from people with no career or educational experience in their fields. Of course people without accreditation can have very valuable and helpful advice, and a degree or job title doesn’t make someone automatically correct, but just exercise some caution, y’all. With the way that this year has been, I don’t think anyone needs unplanned emergency room visits because of some ill-informed TikTok skin care advice. I hope y’all are having a good and safe week!