Viral Beauty Hacks You Shouldn't Try

Finding beauty hacks is like a gift from Heaven sometimes. A new trick you can use to make your skin glow or shorten your morning routine? What could possibly be wrong with that?! 

It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. With the skyrocketing popularity of social media, specifically TikTok, where influencers are exploring beauty hacks daily, there are quite a few deceptions that spread like wildfire across the internet. 62% of women have said that they follow social media influencers[i], and 49% of these women trust these influencer’s recommendations[ii], but with some of these viral beauty hacks, they might want to think twice. From getting a natural contour in the sun to using nail polish as eyeliner, there are some baffling beauty cheats out there that you should never try if you want to take good care of yourself – and here are some of the worst. 

Nail Polish for Rashes 

Some claim that using transparent nail polish on visible rashes, such as cold sores around the mouth, will conceal the noticeable effects. It’s uncertain where this so-called hack began, but experts strongly warn against it. Using chemical products like nail varnish on rashes will cause severe irritation and only aggravate the issue, making it worse in the long run. Medical professionals say that if you are suffering from a visible rash, the best thing to do is leave it uncovered and regularly apply antiviral cream or patches to help cure the issue quickly. 

Homemade Facial Scrubs 

Now, many homemade facial scrubs are just great. Natural ingredients like strawberries and honey are steppingstones to beautiful, glowing skin, but many recipes on TikTok classed D.I.Y. facial scrubs contain ingredients that should be nowhere near your face. Components like baking soda and coffee are okay for scrubs to use on your body in small doses, but they are in no way suitable for the sensitive skin of your face. These harsh ingredients can cause microtears and stain the skin, plus can mess with its natural P.H., leading to soreness, redness and tightness. Even ginger, another popular TikTok recommended ingredient, can cause burns and long term irritation if used too regularly or left on for too long. There are many perfectly safe facial scrubs on the market, but if you’d prefer to make your own, look for a tutorial with good, natural ingredients from veritable sources. 

@manishasilwal23coffee face mask#tiktok #musically #ukraine #foryou #coffeefacemask #skincare♬ Original Sound – Unknown

Lemon Juice For Removing Freckles 

Natural freckles can often be a teasing point for some inexplicable reason, especially among teenagers and young people. So, if they find a simple ingredient that claims to get rid of them, many freckled people are likely to reach for it. But, although using lemon juice on your face can lighten the freckles affected area over a significant amount of time, it will also reduce the production of melanin, the skin’s natural protector of the sun’s U.V. rays. Unfortunately, reducing your body’s melanin production to the face can cause allergic or sensitive reactions to the sun, which in turn can lead to phytophotodermatitis. Phytophotodermatitis is an instantaneous inflammatory reaction to light-sensitive botanical agents after exposure to U.V. rays, most typically the sun, meaning your skin could flare up from encounters with plants like buttercups and wild parsley. If you wish to combat your freckles, try vitamin C for a healthy approach.  

D.I.Y. Face Masks 

Like homemade facial scrubs, D.I.Y. face masks can work wonders for the skin, but only those using the right ingredients. Things like avocado and yoghurt can benefit skin, but the masks containing citrus juice, specifically lemon juice, that crop up all over TikTok can be detrimental. Called an exfoliant in many tutorials, citrus juice breaks down the skin’s natural barrier, lowering the pH scale and allowing things to penetrate it that shouldn’t be able to, such as acne-producing bacteria. Not to mention that going into the sun with citrus juice on the skin, even after washing since traces will remain, can again cause phytophotodermatitis because a chemical found in citrus juice can react with sunlight and can have severe effects on the skin. As with homemade facial scrubs, it is best to buy a face mask or choose a recipe from a veritable source. 

@2020_quarantine_lifeLemon face mask was requested🥰🥺💖#fyp #foryou #foryoupage #facemask #lemon #lemonfacemask♬ original sound – slowed songs

Cookie Mascara 

An odd beauty hack that seemed to have originated on YouTube, a woman gave a tutorial on creating your own mascara from Oreo cookies. She claimed that mashing up the biscuit part of the cookie to a powder then combining it with water and primer to a cake batter consistency would create a mascara for beautifully thick lashes that anyone could apply with a regular mascara wand. Although you might have already guessed this, using mashed up cookies as a replacement for any beauty product is most definitely not recommended, but especially not around the sensitive opening of your eyes. The flavouring agents in the treat could cause an allergic reaction, plus tiny particles of the mashed-up product could easily scratch and damage the eye’s cornea. Trust us, and stick with your regular mascara!

The Sunscreen’ Hack’ 

With lockdown driving everyone inside for the majority of last year, the summer was a well-anticipated time of year for people with outdoor spaces in 2020. Being able to step foot outside, even if it’s only your back garden? The freedom! With the temperatures rising, a young TikToker emerged with her sunscreen hack that she was ‘convinced would work’. She claimed that applying a 90 SPF sunscreen to the areas of the face where one would typically apply highlighter and using a 30 SPF sunscreen (or none at all) on the rest of the face would result in a natural contour courtesy of the sun itself. Experts worldwide collectively cringed and were quick to argue against using tan lines to create a ‘natural’ contour. They said the sun exposure would heighten the risk of skin cancer later in life and accelerate the ageing process, causing things like wrinkles and age spots to appear much earlier. Specialists recommend that one ounce of sunscreen is applied to every exposed area[iii], and adequately applied SPF protection is essential to stop skin damage and further issues.

@stopiteliI am convinced this works! #tutorial #contour #summer #lifehack #hack #beautyhack #snatched #tiktokwellness #hiddentalent♬ original sound – Eli Withrow

P.V.A. Glue for Blackheads 

Another mystifying beauty claim is that P.V.A. glue – specifically Elmer’s – will help clear your face of those pesky blackheads. The claim is that leaving the glue to dry on your skin then peeling it off will pull out all the grime from your pores, ridding your pores of all the clogged grime and dirt. This is apparently due to an ingredient in the glue called acrylates. Acrylate is a binding chemical molecule, and there is evidence that its use in beauty products, such as nail varnish, can cause adverse reactions to the skin, eyes and throat – meaning it should not be used on the face. Although these reactions aren’t present in everyone, experts still say that using P.V.A. glue on blackheads is entirely ineffective and to opt for retinol creams to get rid of them instead. 

Homebrew Toner 

There are many tutorials to make your own toner all over TikTok, using ‘natural’ ingredients like roses, eucalyptus, thyme and other flowers or herbs taken from the garden. This might seem okay – there can’t be much wrong with ingredients fresh from the garden, right? Well, technically. These blends won’t necessarily harm you, but they will go rotten very quickly and don’t have any actual benefits to give to the skin. The extracts found in store-bought toners have been expertly taken from the plant itself and are engineered for safety and longevity. Even though it seems to use the same ingredients, your own concoction will start smelling quickly and could cause irritation if dirt or wildlife has been festering in the plant. Although toners aren’t a necessity for normal skin, buying a proper toner from a reputable brand will be best for the skin if you have oily or acne-prone skin – you’ll see a difference surprisingly quickly with an appropriate toner! 

@fashionlushdon’t throw away your old roses! Make rose water, ur skin will be stoked 🥀#rosewater #diyskincare #skincarehacks #homemaderosewater #may4th♬ original sound – Erica Stolman Dowdy

Using Nail Polish as Eyeliner 

Unfortunately, nail polish does not have its endless uses. Just as it should not be used to cover up rashes, it most definitely should not be used to replace eyeliner. The warnings on the bottles are there for a reason! There are so many chemical ingredients in each little bottle of nail polish that could severely damage the eye (remember acrylates?), and it can also cause skin stains, chemical burns, an acidic P.H. and dried-out skin. Not only that, but nail polish won’t come off with simple micellar water, and nail polish remover will be just as bad for your eyes and skin as the nail polish itself. 

D.I.Y Lash Lifts

Companies often pay beauty influencers to advertise their products, and nowhere is this more prevalent these days than TikTok. At-home lash lift kits can be found all over this app, whether through influencers advertising the company or new accounts trying to get a lift. Although these might seem safe because they’re pre-made kits, the possibility for mistakes and danger is wide open here. Your eyes are extremely sensitive, and anything to do with them should be handled by a professional. This includes things like perming and tinting your eyelashes because there is a significant chance you’ll make mistakes unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Getting the product in your eyes is highly likely and can cause severe damage due to the chemical ingredients, so lash lifts, tints, or perms should always be handled by a trained professional. 

@aasiya_laterLash lift 🤝 no mascara😁 Literally a lifesaver🥲 #lashlift #diy #lashes #fyp

♬ drivers license x ocean eyes – carneyval

Be Careful with Your Skin

With lockdown cutting off most people’s regular salon visits and beauty shopping trips, D.I.Y. solutions have seen a boost over the last year or so. But, unfortunately, although some of them have endless health benefits for the skin, there are others, like the ones we’ve just been through, that can be very dangerous for your body. So before trying any beauty hack that you come across online, whether it’s on TikTok or a blog site, make sure you double-check the technique and ingredients before jumping right in – it’s better to be safe than sorry! 

To find out how best to take care of all your beauty needs, why not have a look at our online beauty courses? We’ll provide you with high-quality teaching that you can learn from at any point of the day or night – whatever fits your schedule. With our accessible step-by-step courses, you can be safe in the knowledge that you are in good hands!

Have you heard of any other baffling viral beauty hacks? Let us know in the comments below! 

Sources 

[i] https://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2019/12/13/how-influencers-are-making-over-beauty-marketing/ 

[ii] https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/20-influencer-marketing-statistics-that-will-surprise-you 

 [iii] https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-much-sunscreen-to-use-on-face