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From Slugging To Wet Skincare, This Is What A Dermatologist Rates On TikTok

Whatever videos the TikTok algorithm sends your way, chances are, you're watching a lot of them. Australian users spend 23.4 hours a month on the app — a massive 40% increase since the beginning of 2021.
Perhaps some of those hours are spent hunting for recommendations on #BookTok or watching tarot card pulls, but it's likely that a good chunk of your time is spent on #SkinTok.
It's hard to ignore the skincare corner of the app. Appealing videos about beauty hacks, skincare routines and product suggestions litter our feeds. But given that this content is getting churned out by a range of people — some with expertise, many without — it attracts a lot of criticism.
So, today we're chatting with Dr Jo-Ann See, Dermatologist and Founder of All About Acne, to get a professional's take on the murky landscape of skincare TikTok. We know that many dermatologists (including Dr See) are wary of certain skincare trends on the app, but here's what she says TikTok actually gets right.

The slugging trend

Slugging is huge on TikTok, with the hashtag racking up over 300 million views. If you're not familiar with the hyped-up hack, you lather petroleum jelly onto your face (or hands) before bed to lock in moisture and hydrate your skin all night.
The verdict from Dr See? It's handy for people with dry skin or eczema.
"People tend not to like it because it's gooey and thick, but certainly for people with dry skin, it can be useful," says Dr See.
However, it’s not something you should do all the time as the thick consistency can clog your pores and lead to pimples. To avoid breakouts while tackling dry skin, Dr See suggests applying only a thin smear of petroleum jelly, once or twice a week max.

The 'wet skincare' hack

The wet skincare hack is a simple tweak to your existing skincare routine. After washing your face, rather than drying it off completely before applying a serum or moisturiser, you leave the skin a bit damp. Then, apply your products as normal.
Dr See not only approves of this hack, but it’s something she advises her own patients to do to get more out of their targeted skincare products.
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“The skin will be more moist and hydrated, so anything put on it will absorb better compared to a drier outer skin layer,” says Dr See. 

The rise of #Dermtok

According to Dr See, what TikTok gets right is that it speaks to everyday people. With the #SkinTok hashtag racking up over 4 billion views, it's clear that skin content strikes a chord.
But where it falls short is in getting effective treatment practice across. In response, we're seeing a rise in dermatologists jumping onto the app. Dr Muneeb Shah (@dermdoctor) is one who now has a whopping 15.4 million followers in just over two years.
Whether they're debunking dangerous myths, explaining ingredients, or offering general tips, this is, naturally, one trend that Dr See can definitely get behind.
"Dermatologists train for many years to be experts in skin health and have a wide understanding of the science and biology involved in dermatological issues," says Dr See. "I would be more reassured seeing a TikTok done by a qualified, respected dermatologist if advice is given regarding skincare and medical issues."
It's worth scrolling through #DermTok to find some new experts to follow if your current "For You" page is lacking in qualified skinfluencers.

Double cleansing

On TikTok, videos of users removing foundation from oranges are always doing the rounds. The idea is to show us just how much makeup we can miss when cleansing once. Obviously, oranges aren't exactly like our skin, but the nudge to double cleanse and get the leftover grime out holds up with dermatologists.
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"The first cleanse gets rid of all the makeup, pollution, SPF and grime from the day, as well as dead skin cells and sebum," Dr See explains. "The second cleanse just picks up the rest of that same stuff."
Dr See doesn’t recommend that patients use too many products, and suggests re-using the same cleanser for each step. Try something gentle and unclogging like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Foaming Gel Cleanser to double cleanse with, so your face is properly cleaned and ready for the next step of your routine.
Dr See also shares that there are also a few trends that there's no harm in trying for fun — think frozen cucumbers as face rollers or skincare fridges to cool certain products down. By all means, indulge if you want and enjoy those cool sheet masks, just know there's nothing really beneficial about them.
As always, take your TikToks with a grain of salt and if you do have any skin concerns, chat to your GP.
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