As a woman in her early 40s, TikTok confused me greatly when I first saw it appear on my Twitter and Instagram feed. As someone born on the late Gen X/early Millennial threshold, I am both wary of and yet inadvertently drawn to trending social media apps—I see their value but also fear their influence on a “high functioning procrastinator” like me. So, I was reluctant at first to enter the slightly overwhelming, fast and flashy world of TikTok.
As a skin care blogger and beauty writer, however, it became increasingly impossible to avoid the explosively trending skin care TikTok niche. So, I bit the bullet, downloaded the app, and … well, I lost track of time for a good few hours. The TikTok algorithm is kind of ingenious in that it accurately figures out your viewing preferences with lightning speed, and unlike Facebook or Instagram, the “For You” tab selects personalized content from both followed as well as non-followed accounts for users. It basically only took a day or two (and a few Skincare by Hyram videos), and I had arrived where my skin care-obsessed mind felt right at home.
TikTok figures out your viewing preferences with lightning speed. It basically took a day or two, and I had arrived where my skin care-obsessed mind felt right at home.
TikTok can be daunting for anyone over 30 due to its fast and intensely flashy nature, but once you have shown the algorithm what interests you through interaction with and attention to preferred content niches, it is a true treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment. Take “duets,” for instance: Basically, a duet is a reaction video to an already existing TikTok video, with the original and the reaction shown side by side. This works great for skin care experts debunking false claims from less knowledgeable non-experts and for critiques (or praise) of skin care routine videos. Hyram in particular is known for his skin care routine duets: honest and straight-forward, but always gentle in his reactions to his mostly younger fan base and their skin care habits.
Even if some of the “expert” advice on TikTok may be questionable—such as one infamous video of people applying The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution to their faces and then rolling a prickly dermaroller over the blood-red treatment in a way that will make any skin care lover wince with pain—this should not deter newbies from exploring the best the platform has to offer. Because not only have amateur skin care sleuths discovered the joy of sharing their knowledge, there is also an increasing amount of board certified dermatologists having fun with TikTok’s filters, memes, and music cues.
@kylethomasnew daily skincare routine! ✌️ derma roller + peeling solution!♬ original sound – kyle thomas ✌️
And if insider knowledge from the beauty industry is more your thing than the strictly science-based part of the skin care community, then maybe one of the many beauty editors and writers will be what gets you hooked.
To get you started on the journey into the wonderful world of skin care TikTok, here are some of my favorite TikTok skinfluencers to follow.
The unrivalled king of skin care TikTok, Hyram is a must follow if you want to get your bearings as a newbie on the app. His reaction videos to scary skin care experiments and problematic product choices are legendary, as is his love for affordable derma brands such as The Ordinary or CeraVe, and his severe dislike of the (in)famous St. Ives Apricot Scrub.
@skincarebyhyramReacting to Lily Collin’s Skin Care Routine ✨ LINK IN BIO 👆 ##skincarebyhyram ##reaction♬ original sound – Hyram
The founder of Krave Beauty and YouTube skinfluencer, Liah Yoo has all sorts of fun with the various viral dances and sounds of the app, producing meme-able videos on the importance of wearing sunscreen, fungal acne skin care solutions, or product layering advice. Apart from the fact that her skin is seriously flawless, she also has a lovely, calming way of presenting advice that feels very approachable and real.
@liahyooGood ##skin doesn’t need to cost much🥰 ##skincaretips ##antiaging ##skincareroutine ##beautytips ##skincaretiktok ##beautyhaul ##notfitin ##yourewelcome♬ ALL IN – ZaeHD & CEO
Beauty writer Charlotte Palermino signed up for TikTok partly as a self-experiment, partly for research purposes. Suffice it to say she got hooked just as lightning-bolt-fast as I did, and her informative and often refreshingly blunt videos with consciously controversial titles such as “Why hyaluronic acid might be secretly ruining your skin” (a video viewed over 36k times by now) made her a force to be reckoned with in the TikTok skin care community.
@charlotteparlerWhy Hyaluronic acid might be secretly ruining your skin ##hyaluronicacid ##skincare ##skincareroutine ##clearskin ##acne ##beautyguru ##beauty♬ original sound – Charlotte Palermino
Vi’s TikTok style is a mix of sarcastic comedy and skin care knowledge, entertaining and educating at the same time. A self-described “SPF mom,” Vi has a range of tips on how to master the difficult task of reapplying sunscreen throughout the day, plus sensible and straightforward product recommendations for beginners and pros alike. Her mix of self-deprecating humor and unabashed self-love is wonderfully entertaining and serves as a great role model for people like me who tend to focus excessively on any perceived skin care flaw.
@whatsonvisfacefun fact: I was shy to speak English for the first 10 years in America 😆 ##learnontiktok ##tiktokpartner ##whatsonvisface ##sunscreen ##viet♬ original sound – whatsonvisface
Board-certified dermatologist Dustin Portela is massively influential on TikTok, thanks to his suave looks and fearless debunking of skin care myths. Facing off against false skin care advice and misinformation, and critiquing DIY skin care and its many pitfalls is a particularly big topic on his account. The fact that he doesn’t mind the odd dancing or comedy skit to bring his message across certainly also helps to keep his followers hooked and entertained.
@208skindocReply to @alex_king_94 should you expect a retinol purge? ##learnintiktok ##tiktokpartner ##208skindoc ##skincare♬ Curiosity – Danilo Stankovic
Dr. Joyce Park, a board-certified dermatologist from California, has got you covered when it comes to pandemic-related skin issues. From maskne to hand care, Dr. Park’s account is a true treasure trove of expert skin care advice. She also regularly reviews and recommends effective skin care products and, just like her colleagues, isn’t afraid to face off with non-experts peddling problematic advice.
@teawithmdDown with ##maskne! ##acne ##dermatologist ##dermbypark ##tiktokpartner ##learnontiktok ##todayilearned♬ Banana (feat. Shaggy) [DJ FLe – Minisiren Remix] – Conkarah
Dr. Shah is another member of the TikTok derm crowd and probably one of its most successful ones at that with his currently 1.6 million followers. His “What’s on your skin?” video series helps anxious followers with uncomfortable skin issues such as warts, canker sores, or stretch marks, with Shah recommending treatments and product options. And yes, you can also see a few “pimple popper” videos, if that is something you find strangely satisfying.
@dermdoctorDermatologist Tips ##dermatologist ##skincare ##acneroutine ##acnetreatment ##acne ##skincareroutine ##fyp ##viral♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac