Teen Tok: A Teen’s Talk on TikTok Skin Care
By Devi Khanna Ramprasad with expert insights from Dr. Andleeb Usmani, DO, FAOCD
Make sure you consider these tips before getting your skin care regimen from social media, the drug store, or the refrigerator.
Apps like TikTok promote to young audiences that in order to have an accepted lifestyle you have to keep up with the trending skincare regimens, which can get extremely expensive, and the advice given varies widely. “Tik Tok is making people aware of the importance of skin care,” says Dr. Andaleeb Usmani, D.O., board certified dermatologist and owner of TruDerm in Wellington, Florida. “Specific products shared on social media may be helpful but not always.”
Consider the source
TikTok trends almost always end due to conflicting counter-information. For example, social media mega brand Mario Badescu™ was a recent trend, but had an even more recent downfall, when competing social media skin care specialist Hyram Yarbro, also known as Skin Care by Hyram™, revealed on his YouTube and TikTok platforms that the brand Mario Badescu™ “offers no real benefits to the skin” and that they were adding fragrances in their products. Hyram is also well known for giving budget friendly, but effective, skin care alternatives, as well as pointing out faulty ingredients in the most popular brands.
You will undoubtedly have to do your own research, or consult with your dermatologist, before beginning each new skincare routine. “Off brand or generic skincare regimens often have inactive ingredients. If they are not well made they are not as stable. Examples are over-the-counter salicylic acid and especially vitamin C, which have the potential to be poor quality,” adds Dr. Usmani.
Also be mindful that organic does not necessarily mean better.
“Some over the counter products may claim to be organic but that doesn’t mean they are effective or well made,” says Dr. Usmani.
Consider the cost
Caring for your skin is very important but you don’t have to spend your life savings on it. “Effective skincare does not need to be expensive to be good, but it really depends on what we are treating to find the most effective option,” says Dr. Usmani.
Name brand skin care routines cost on average $75 and last 6-12 months while off-brand skin care routine costs on average $40 and also lasts 6-12 months according to my research. Knowing how long your products will last allows you make a more informed decision when investing in your skincare.
If splurging on a product that you aren’t even sure you will like is a concern, there are subscription skin care sample boxes. Ipsy, Birchbox, and Allure are three of my favorites that I’ve personally tried and have found their contents to be of quality.
Consider the kitchen
Homemade skincare masks are also a great alternative so long as you get the formula from a trusted source such as Formula Botanica. “There are ingredients such as Neem or Turmeric which promote anti-inflammatory benefits. We also use masks with honey and lemon in my culture,” says Dr. Usmani.
A common turmeric mask used in India is easily made by mixing a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, one and half tablespoons of organic honey and a teaspoon or milk or yogurt, then applying to the face for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing off. Use caution as this mixture can stain fabric.
Consider the glow up as you grow up
Hopefully my article encourages you to have the best skin possible and to not neglect your skin. “If nothing else, wear sunblock. It prevents (future) wrinkles, sun damage and skin cancer in one shot. Image is my favorite, at around $35, but Neutrogena is really good for younger people,” says Alyson Khanna, professional makeup artist and owner of Eyecon Cosmetics. Get ready for your middle school glow up on a middle school budget!