There’s a lot of content on TikTok surrounding beauty and beauty trends. From skin care to makeup to hair to nails, there are a million videos that claim to show you how to look good. Most of these videos are harmless, and some of them even have great advice. A few of them, however, have ideas and trends that you absolutely should not try. Even if it looks like it works, some of these trends have side effects they don’t tell you about in the video. Others are just a colossal waste of time, money, or both. Here are just a few TikTok beauty trends to stay away from, because health and well being is so much more important.
There are some really great beauty tips on TikTok, don’t get me wrong. I saw this recipe for a rice water mixture that supposedly makes your hair grow and I can’t wait to try it. It looks great, and most importantly, will not cause any harm if it’s not all that’s promised. TikTok repopularized slugging as a super beneficial skincare technique. It’s not all bad, but there are a few that you might want to avoid. If you’re going to do something that you see on the internet, make sure to always do your research, or ask someone who knows!
This limp plumping trend is something I’ve seen several TikTok creators attempt in the last few weeks. They always come to the conclusion that this beauty hack works! That’s because it does, but there’s a cost. Plump, full lips are absolutely the desirable look these days. There are tons of trends out there to help achieve this look, from overlining to full-blown filler. This particular trend involves making a scrub out of cinnamon and some kind of oil, this video uses coconut. Then you use a toothbrush to vigorously apply to the lips.
This method will, in fact, plump your lips. Cinnamon is abrasive. That plumping effect is actually swelling that comes from micro-abrasions (tiny little cuts) all over the lips. These abrasions can let in bacteria and lead to infection, as well as cause irritation and discomfort. The skin on your lips is super delicate and thin, and it should be treated as such, or you risk scarring. The results of this “treatment” are also super temporary, so it’s definitely not worth damaging the sensitive skin on your lips.
An alarming number of videos are making the rounds on TikTok lately, showing creators piercing themselves at home, often with a piercing gun. It makes sense. In a lot of places, piercing shops are closed, and teenagers ill-advisedly piercing themselves is a time-honored tradition. However, it seems like TikTok is repopularizing the whole thing, and let me tell you, it is an awful idea.
In this video, the creator is piercing her nose with a piercing gun. In another, one girl pierced her cartilage. This is a terrible idea for several reasons. Piercing cartilage at home, with any method, is a bad idea. If you hit the wrong spot, you can collapse the cartilage in your ear. Piercing guns, especially the cheap ones that people are buying on Amazon for this trend, foster way more bacteria than just a needle. They’re harder to clean than a simple straight needle, and that makes it more likely for the piercing to get infected. Just go to a piercing shop. I get this trend, I really do. I was a teenager once, and I pierced my own ears countless times and pierced my own belly button. Just don’t do it. I have regrets. Learn from my mistakes.
This is another TikTok beauty trend that I’ve personally tried. I have very pale skin and very dark hair so I’ve tried EVERYTHING when it comes to cheap hair removal. These inexpensive Amazon facial razors can be really damaging for your skin. Dermaplaning at home, especially without the proper tools, can damage the skin’s barrier and exacerbate any existing issues your skin may have. It can also be really irritating. Think of it as essentially dry shaving. You wouldn’t do that to your legs, so why would you do it to your face? If you really want to dermaplane your skin, leave it to the professionals. As an alternative, leave your beautiful face the way it is, peach fuzz and all, or buy a facial razor with 5 blades and shave your face properly. There’s this huge stigma on facial hair removal, but I promise you, it’s fine. It won’t grow back darker or thicker, and your skin will thank you.
Of all the TikTok beauty trends, this one has the least potential damage possible. This mask machine will not hurt you or your skin, but it will hurt your wallet. This thing is quite expensive. Moreover, it is unlikely to deliver anything resembling results. This machine is fairly simple, you put the desired ingredients in, and it spits out a gel face mask. It looks cool and very appealing, but it is far more economical to just invest in some nice face masks. The machine is great for a fun TikTok video, but unless you are a professional, these masks will do absolutely nothing for your skin. Think about it, professional beauty companies spend hours formulating the perfect set of ingredients to maximize benefits for your skin, with professional chemists. Throwing a bunch of random stuff into a machine is unlikely to produce anything resembling similar results.
For the sake of research, I tried this hack last week, after getting acrylic nails for the first time since high school. The nails were in my way and had to go, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out an interesting looking beauty hack from TikTok. Especially since nail salons in my area closed down right after I got the nails, so at home removal was the only option. This trick involves soaking acrylic nails in a solution of oil (I used vegetable because I wasn’t wasting my good olive oil on my nails), dish soap, and hot water. Then you’re supposed to sit with your nails soaking for 20-30 minutes. I sat for the full 30, on the phone with my sister, and absolutely nothing happened. The nails didn’t lift at all, and were still quite firmly attached to my nails and intact. As a result, I wound up prying my nails off with nail clippers, leaving my natural nails utterly destroyed, which I also do not recommend. Use acetone or just wait for professional help. This one is definitely a flop.
Last, but certainly not least, please do not curl your hair with a radiator. This is a recipe for horrible burns. Putting your face this close to a radiator is a terrible idea. Yes, curling irons get hotter, but they are also much more flexible and moveable to avoid direct contact with the face or ears. Shockingly, wrapping one’s hair around a radiator does appear to curl it, but the risk of burns is just not worth it. Also, it seems like this trend is impractical for curling an entire head of hair, although I’ll admit, I did not try this one. I don’t have a radiator and like my face unblistered. Alternatively, if you cannot afford a curling iron, there is a fantastic TikTok beauty trend showing how to get flawless heatless curls using things like bathrobe ties or socks. It’s easy, cheap, with a much lesser risk of ending up in the emergency room.