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Photo: Atikh Bana/Unsplash

Whack on toothpaste, stick on potato, slap on ice. These are just some of the beauty trends floating around on TikTok claiming to clear acne prone skin. But do they actually work? While #skincare has practically its own biblical movement on social media, with over 204.5 billion views on TikTok and 110 million posts on Instagram, according to skin expert and founder of SkinB5, Judy Cheung-Wood the trends we’re seeing don’t always translate to clear skin.

Yet new research suggests young Aussies are relying on them anyway, with over one in three admitting to being #influenced by social media skincare content. “With entertaining content and literally millions of acne videos, skincare crazes can spread like wildfire on platforms like TikTok, so it’s little wonder we get caught up in the advice when our skin is aggravated and our confidence is low,” Judy said.

“While the appeal is obvious – quick and simple hacks that promise to change your skin – the reality is usually vastly different and often doesn’t end in the result you saw in the 15 second video.” Here, Judy busts some of the biggest TikTok acne fixing myths, and what you can really do to fight bothersome breakouts. Myth #1 Toothpaste Will Shrink Pimples

It’s an age-old trend that’s been doing the rounds since long before TikTok, but according to Judy, the ingredients in toothpaste are meant for teeth, not skin and can be harmful when applied topically.

“Because of its antibacterial and drying properties, people assume that it is a logical option to dry out a stubborn pimple but using toothpaste on your skin is a definite no-no,” says Judy. According to Judy, TikTok has taken this trend to the next level, suggesting that you should spread the toothpaste over your skin and then use a toothbrush to exfoliate it into the problem area.

“This is a really bad idea! Brushing a harsh toothpaste into your skin can result in irritations, or worse even, makes your skin angrier,” she said.. Myth #2 Saltwater Spray Will Sooth Skin

“Saltwater spray to combat acne has recently taken off on TikTok, with posts recommending combining water and sea salt and spraying it liberally onto the skin to curb breakouts,” Judy said. “While a combination of Vitamin D from the sun, and saltwater is known to help improve acne, a daily spray of saltwater will do nothing to curb a bad breakout which is mostly driven by internal causes that are the root of the problem,” she said.

“While it may offer minor benefits, the reality is it’s a short-term solution and persistent breakouts will continue.” Myth #3 Potato Slices To Target Pimples

“Potatoes contain starches which are oil-absorbing and anti-inflammatory. They also contain Vitamin C which we know can help to promote healing but taping sliced potatoes onto your face shouldn’t be your go-to for addressing acne,” Judy said. “Frankly, it is a waste of time and effort! A Vitamin C serum or light hydration essence is probably a wiser option, but like any topical skincare, it does not address the underlying causes of skin flare ups.” Myth #4 Ice Facials

Ice facials are effectively the process of rubbing an ice cube on your face and are, according to Judy, yet another example of an acne-treatment inaccuracy made large on social media.

“Since the ice doesn’t target the root cause of the acne itself, it’s unlikely to actually help your skin heal or prevent further breakouts.” “This all said, if you pair ice facials with your acne treatment, there is some evidence to suggest it can help calm inflammation, but as a treatment method on its own, they’re fairly pointless.” Myth #5 Hydrocolloid Band-Aids

“Pimple patches have been around for a while but with the cost of living, Tik Tokers have started using generic hydrocolloid band-aids – which promise the same effective results, without the hefty price tag,” says Judy. “I can understand how this may help if you only have a few pimples. With agents like gelatine or sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, these wound care ingredients help to draw out fluid in pimples to speed up healing, plus with a Band-Aid over a sore site, you’re definitely less likely to pick.” All this said, while they’re helpful in treating the odd pimple, hydrocolloid Band-Aids won’t prevent future acne from developing, and aren’t ideal for skin with multiple break out sites. So, what DOES work?

According to Judy, the secret to managing acne and pimples starts from the inside out. “When it comes to acne, if you’re only addressing your symptoms and not the cause itself, you’ll struggle to see results and the vicious cycle continues,” she said. “Instead of topically treating your breakouts, a more holistic approach can get to the root of the issue while addressing break-outs as they happen.

"Holistic skincare, such as SkinB5, does just that, using nutraceutical grade dietary supplements and skin barrier protective skincare, it tackles acne both topically and systemically at a cellular level,” Judy said. SkinB5’s patented formulation with SB5-BIOTRxTM combines the strategic use of high-potency vitamin B5, with other essential skin health vitamins such as Vitamin B3 in an oral supplement is the first step to an effective 3-step system that helps reduce acne from within.

High potency Vitamin B5 is the star ingredient that supports many biological functions inside the body, especially help regulate the over production of skin oil, known as ‘sebum’. SkinB5 is available nationally via Priceline, community pharmacy, or online. For stockist information or to learn more, visit



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