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A Dermatologist Breaks Down 4 TikTok Skincare Trends

Want to scope out the latest beauty trends? There’s no better place for that than TikTok, where creators can demo their favorite beauty hacks — which then take on new life. The best part: Some of these trends are truly effective, and as a result, healthy skin has become more accessible to everyone (as it should be).

There’s a downside, though, which is that not every skincare trend is a good one. Some can actually lead to irritation and redness, and they don’t always have the science to back them up. To clear things up, we asked Elyse Love, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and member of Glow Recipe’s Diversity Advisory Board, to tell us how she really feels about four popular TikTok beauty trends.

The TikTok trend: Using toothpaste for blackheads

First, there was Windex for zits (a trick from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding that we definitely do not endorse). And now, TikTokers are scrubbing their faces with toothpaste in order to eliminate blackheads. That brings up one key question: “Why are people obsessed with toothpaste for acne when we have so many effective, over-the-counter acne-fighting ingredients?” asks Love. “Toothpaste can overly dry the skin and potentially cause skin sensitivities.” She recommends ingredients like salicylic acid, which is a mainstay in our Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner, and retinoids for giving blackheads the boot successfully and safely.

The TikTok trend: Skincare sandwiching

The concept of skincare sandwiching is super-simple: You moisturize before your treatment step (such as a serum) and then moisturize afterwards — essentially, “sandwiching” your treatments between the two applications of moisturizer. Not everyone needs to do this, but it won’t hurt you if you do. “I often recommend the sandwiching techniques to patients with sensitive skin to help them build tolerance to irritating active ingredients — traditionally, retinol or retinoids,” Love says. 

Salicylic acid and retinol can work wonders for skin. This is the right way to use this pairing.

That said, depending on how your skin is feeling, you might want to skip it. “The sandwiching method increases the tolerability of a product but does also mildly decrease the absorption,” she explains. “For that reason, those with normal or hardy skin may get more ‘bang for their buck’ by skipping the sandwiching — but again, there’s no harm done.”

The TikTok Trend: Face shaving

A risky trend on TikTok? Shaving your cheeks, which is like an at-home version of dermaplaning; for the uninitiated, dermaplaning is a cosmetic treatment in which a trained esthetician uses a straight blade to remove the top layers of dead skin, which can help smooth and brighten it. (Think of it as physical exfoliation, but more intense.)

Did you know there’s a right way to exfoliate? Here’s how.

Not surprisingly, Love is not a fan of DIY dermaplaning with a facial razor. “This process does remove those tiny vellus hairs that we all have, but don’t necessarily realize we have,” she says. “This makes the skin look smoother and allows makeup to settle on the skin more seamlessly.” That said, using a straight razor — which tends to be the tool of choice for this — can cause irritation and nicks in skin, especially if you’re not lathering up with a shaving cream first. And it might only exacerbate existing skin concerns. “This is particularly a problem in those who have eczema-, rosacea-, or acne-prone skin,” she says, explaining that it ultimately increases your risk of irritation, breakouts, and even infection.

The TikTok Trend: Layering hydration

We’ve always been huge proponents of layering hydration throughout your skincare routine, so this particular TikTok trend is near and dear to our hearts — so much so that one viral video encourages layering Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner with Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, in particular, to max out your skin’s hydration.

Together, the two work to keep the skin barrier strong and leave skin glowing and plump — which is why Love is a fan. The appeal, for her, is all in the formulations. “The best part of this trend is that it uses water-based products,” she says. “Layering oily products on top of each other can potentially clog the pores — but you can go crazy with lightweight, water-based products like these.”


We had to try the viral 3 step glow from @glamzilla & @mikaylanogueira for ourselves! 💕 ##glowyskin ##glowrecipe ##skincareproducts

♬ Brittle – Gonek

The bottom line: Part of the joy of TikTok is test-driving new skincare hacks, and you shouldn’t have to miss out on that. If you do try out a trend and it takes a left turn — meaning you notice any redness, flaking, or other signs of a weakened skin barrier — no sweat: The Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum can help. It contains five skin-identical ceramides to replenish the lipid barrier and soothing botanicals to help skin recover.

And, in the meantime, you can always follow us on TikTok for the latest, science-backed skincare tips and tricks!

Keep reading about how to keep your skin balanced:


Glow Recipe

Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner


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