'It's just so dangerous' - Warning over TikTok skincare trends

Growing numbers of people are getting a skincare education from social media such as TikTok
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.58 11 Apr 2024

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'It's just so dangerous' - War...

'It's just so dangerous' - Warning over TikTok skincare trends

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.58 11 Apr 2024

Share this article

People are being warned to avoid DIY skin treatments at home that can result in serious injuries.

There are growing numbers of people getting skincare education from social media such as TikTok.

Consultant Dermatologist Caitriona Ryan told The Pat Kenny Show  one such trend is known as 'sunscreen contouring'.


"There's all sorts of viral trends that come through TikTok," she said.

"But this is probably one of the more dangerous ones I've heard about.

"Young people are putting on their sunscreen only in particular places on their face so that they get sun in certain areas to give them a sunkissed look, in the same way they put on their make-up.

"I don't know how anyone's going to look better with red, scaly patches all over their face - it's just so dangerous".

DIY chemical peels

Prof Ryan said chemical peels can work in the right setting.

"What's happening with TikTok is 'skinfluencers'... are showing people how to do it themselves at home," she said.

"They're ordering in different chemicals - TCA, glycolic, salicylic acid - and telling them how to mix it and how to put it on.

"Of course that's going to end up causing major problems in certain people if they do it wrong; but also it's not suitable for their skin type".

Prof Ryan said people can have an allergic reaction or even burns if it's mixed or applied incorrectly.

"They can end up with bad allergic contact dermatitis or actual burns from the acid that they use," he said.

"If you have a bad enough burn you scar your face and scarring is forever".


Ms Ryan said there are more devices on the market being used for micro-needling procedures that puncture the skin to generate collagen.

"It's done to a certain depth in a clinical setting," she said.

"You're making wounds in your skin; if things aren't sterile and very clean you can cause infection.

"On top of that if they aren't good devices you could cause scarring with the wrong one".

Glue for blackhead removal

Prof Ryan said using glue to clear pores often has the opposite effect.

"Putting glue on your face [means] you have to get it back off again so people are ripping off their skin," she said.

"Certain people have allergic reactions to glue... but often it will actually clog their pores.

"The glue sticks in their pores and they'll widen their pores - just don't do it".


Prof Ryan said slugging can see people put on their usual skincare followed by Vaseline or a similar substance to moisturise the skin.

"I think this really came about during COVID [with] people trying to increase the glow and radiance of their skin," she said.

"That can be helpful for people with really dry skin but for people with normal skin it can cause a lot of congestion and break them out in acne".

Prof Ryan said 'slugging' shouldn't be done with certain skin types.

Main image: A woman with a skincare face mask, 25-2-22. Image : Zoonar GmbH / Alamy 

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Caitriona Ryan Chemical Peels Dermatologist Micro-needling Skincare Slugging Sunscreen Contouring The Pat Kenny Show TikTok TikTok Skincare TikTok Skincare Trends

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