I’m not a huge fan of trends. But it’s hard to ignore the potential virality of skincare TikTok videos right now. Which mean a lot of you are getting less than wonderful skincare advice as entertainment. And there’s always the possibility that you might actually action some of it in a weak moment. So here’s what I want you to take away from my lighthearted video reacting to skincare TikToks.

1) Turmeric, banana, honey and egg white mask for under-eye dark circles

Now, turmeric is an interesting ingredient. It contains curcumin which studies have shown can inhibit UV damage as its rich in antioxidants, hence the bright yellow colour. HOWEVER: it’s questionable how much you can absorb through the skin and its pigment can stain skin plus it smells... pungent. My advice is to take it orally as part of an antioxidant-rich diet.

2) Overdoing the retinol

Well… we’ve all been here. In a way, some redness and irritation is a rite of passage for retinoid users. The key thing is to understand that the benefits from retinoids takes week to months to arrive. So it’s important to go slow at the beginning to ensure tolerance. The key steps are to pare back any other actives in your routine so you’re just managing your skin’s behaviour with your retinoid. Dose it carefully - no more than a pea. And use it less often at the beginning - every 2nd or 3rd night is ideal. Check out my Retinoid Revelations Series to get a step-by-step guide to starting your retinoid journey safely.

3) Using potatoes to treat a spot

Gosh, this one made me laugh hard. So this viral trend took off because there is a little natural salicylate in the humble potato. HOWEVER: we can easily access salicylic acid in formulation designed for the skin at the pharmacy. And it’ll be at a percentage that’s been shown to be beneficial in blemishes (between 0.5 and 2%). Let’s not cut corners with breakouts.

4) Peel-off masks and wipe-off goos to remove blackheads

Alas, if it only were that simple. You can’t simply peel them off, however seductive these videos might look. Solving blocked pores requires a multidimensional approach. First, you need to use skincare basics that don’t block pores - the term you should look for is non-comedogenic, a principle that runs through the entire Dr Sam’s range. And then you should use ingredients that unclog pores - my go-to decloggers are retinoids, azelaic acid, bakuchiol and niacinamide. You’ll find all 4 of these actives in Flawless Nightly Serum.

5) Disinfectant Wipes

These are an absolute disaster for skin. They most likely contain alcohol and fragrance, which are both irritants, although it’s likely our poor friend is attracted to them to degrease his skin. He should definitely try a salicylic acid based cleanser instead - the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser is a good one.

6) Suction devices for blocked pores

We cannot hoover pores. It’s such a shame but it just doesn’t work. There’s no substitute for doing the hard work and putting in place the pore-clearing steps I mentioned before. These devices are often pricey so save your hard-earned cash and invest in the right leave-on products to actually make a difference to your congestion.

Final Thoughts

Short videos like reels and TikToks are a great way to learn a few nuggets about skincare in a really efficient, speedy way. But please learn from the right sources! Choose your inspiration carefully. Seen a great TikTok you’d like my opinion on? Then share it on TikTok @drsambunting.