September 2020

TikTok skin hacks

In short, no. To find out more, we’ve asked Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, Dr Adil Sheraz.

Hack: Applying sunscreen only in certain parts of the face for a ‘natural’ contour effect.

Dr Sheraz says:

Sunblock is vital in protecting our skin against the effects of UVB and UVA both of which can lead to skin cancers such as melanoma and of course premature aging.

A layer of sunblock should be applied equally to all areas of the face or sun exposed sites. Using the sunblock in certain areas would be putting your skin at risk of burning and therefore increasing risk of skin cancers. Also, in the long run it would also lead to premature ageing and pigmentation of the skin

Hack: DIY mole removal.

Dr Sheraz says:

Moles on the skin can vary from being entirely benign (harmless) to dysplastic (mildly abnormal) to melanomas (potentially lethal skin cancers). Any new or changing mole should be reviewed by a doctor or dermatologist to rule out worrying features. Moles should not be treated with home remedies as this will often not work, may scar but you may also inadvertently be treating a skin cancer which could continue to grow and spread under the skin without you realising.

Hack: Making lips appear plumper using eyelash glue.

Dr Sheraz says:

Eyelash glue contains cyanoacrylate which is known to be a contact allergen. This can often cause irritation around the peri-oribital skin. The skin on the lips is very sensitive and delicate. It has around 3-5 layers of cellular thickness compared to around 16 on the facial skin. Therefore, applying a potentially allergenic chemical to lips could result in a severe reaction. In certain cases, it may even cause granuloma formation, which is a lumpy skin reaction that can scar and permanently disfigure.

Hack: DIY face masks using citrus or coffee for fairness or brightening of the skin.

Dr Sheraz says:

Many cosmetic formulations contain citrus and coffee as part of their ingredients, however these levels have been tested for their safety on the skin. Whether they work or not is a different matter, however they are safe. When you apply, for example lemon juice to you skin you have no idea on the strength or amount of the citric acid within it. This can results in severe irritation, but more importantly citrus fruits contain chemical including furanocoumarins and psoralens, these are strong photosensitisers, meaning they will react strongly to sunlight and I have seen many cases where this has resulted in severe blistering, this condition is known phytophotodermatitis. There have also been case reports of lemon juice resulting in white patches on the face known as leucoderma.

There is not enough published data with regards to the application of coffee to the skin to make an informed decision to its effectiveness or safety. 

Remember, the skin is the body’s largest organ – look after it! For advice on skin issues always speak with a Consultant Dermatologist.

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