In contemporary times, social media has supplanted traditional media as the primary source of news and entertainment for many individuals. The rise of social media, particularly platforms like TikTok, has given birth to a new breed of influencers known as “skinfluencers,” who dispense a wide array of skincare tips and secrets to their vast following. While some of the content shared by these skinfluencers is benign and even beneficial, a portion of it may have adverse consequences. How, then, can one discern whether the advice imparted by these skinfluencers is innocuous, advantageous, or potentially harmful?
Consider their Source
Skinfluencers, like other influencers, predominantly lack professional expertise in the realm of skincare. Typically, individuals ascend to influencer status by amassing a substantial following, which often leads companies to seek out creators with a significant audience. These companies, in turn, provide products to influencers free of charge in exchange for promoting them to their followers. It is essential to exercise caution when engaging with influencers. One way to identify sponsored content is by looking for the label “Promoted” above the influencer’s name. When such a label is present, it signifies that the influencer is receiving compensation for endorsing the product. While compensation doesn’t inherently indicate the product’s lack of efficacy, it underscores the importance of conducting your own research. A more prudent approach may involve trying tips or trends shared by influencers, particularly when they aren’t pushing a specific product. For instance, consider following advice about exfoliation when the influencer doesn’t advocate for a particular product. This approach minimizes the potential bias tied to product promotion and allows you to make more informed skincare choices.
Stay Away Skincare Trends
TikTok skinfluencers often propagate trends that pledge remarkable results, which may not be attainable or, in some cases, could even harm the skin. At Swinyer Woseth, we’ve identified three such trends that we strongly advise against:
- DIY Microneedling: Microneedling is a procedure that entails creating tiny punctures in the skin with the objective of stimulating collagen production to enhance skin tightness. When administered by a qualified dermatologist in a sterile setting using medical-grade equipment, microneedling is generally safe. However, the dermarollers sold for DIY microneedling are not of medical-grade quality, and users are not often informed about the necessity of maintaining a sterile environment. Engaging in DIY microneedling with non-medical grade tools carries potential risks, including skin infections and the inadvertent spread of sores and skin issues, including skin cancers. It is strongly recommended to consult with a medical professional for safe and effective microneedling treatments.
- Sunscreen Contouring: This method involves deliberately omitting sunscreen application on specific areas of the face to encourage tanning and accentuate those specific areas. While this approach might provide short-term aesthetic benefits, it significantly elevates the risk of sunburn, premature wrinkles, sunspots, and skin cancer due to unprotected sun exposure. A safer alternative for highlighting these areas of the face is to utilize skincare products specifically formulated for this purpose. These products offer a safer means to achieve the desired effect without compromising skin health.
- DIY Injections: Engaging in DIY injections, particularly with the needle-less technique involving a hyaluronic pen, poses substantial risks. This approach employs pneumatic pressure to inject substances into the skin, but it lacks the precision and control associated with professional medical procedures. The potential dangers of DIY injections are significant and can include infection, scarring, occlusion of blood vessels, tissue necrosis, and even blindness if not executed correctly. It is paramount to emphasize that such procedures should only be carried out by trained medical professionals in a controlled and sterile environment to ensure safety and minimize risks. DIY injections, especially with the use of hyaluronic pens, should be avoided due to their potential for severe complications.
We highly encourage you to consult your dermatologist before you try something you see from a TikTok skinfluencer, as they can explain to you the risks and rewards that can come from the process that is being recommended. If you need a dermatologist, we at Swinyer Woseth would be pleased to answer any of your questions. We are here for you.