5 Trends Prof. Richard Wants You to Avoid


From the downright absurd, to all style over substance, Professor Derek Richard from Queensland’s Cancer and Ageing Research Laboratories critiques the latest skincare trends on Tik Tok and lets us know the ones that are all hype and the ones we should avoid.


This trend has grown in popularity thanks to the Korean skincare market and involves applying Vaseline to your entire face before you go to bed. The result is that your face looks like a slug and the technique is supposed to prevent trans-epidermal water loss and keep your skin moisturised.

“Slugging using Vaseline may help to reduce moisture loss through evaporation of the skin, however I feel there are better technologies out there that can do this without the downside of this technique. The  EPI-gN™ Serum  followed by the Intensive Night Repair  will re-hydrate and lock in the moisture. My worry with the slugging technique is that long term use may alter the types of bacteria that colonise healthy skin due to creating an anaerobic environment. It also has the potential to clog pores over time so people who suffer from acne or similar skin conditions may want to avoid this technique,” explains Professor Richard.

EPI-gN face serum hydrates and locks in moisture

Sunscreen Contouring

This is one of the most terrifying Tik Tok trends we’ve seen to date, this trend involves contouring your face with sun burn rather than makeup. The result is achieved by applying sunscreen to certain parts of your face so others tan and give a contoured look.

“Sunlight is composed of the visible spectrum we all see. It also contains radiation that we cannot see in the form of harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV). While this technique may give you the contoured look you are after, it will also cause genetic damage to the cells that are not protected by sunscreen. Those areas will age more rapidly, develop wrinkles and most importantly will have a much higher risk of getting skin cancer. I would not recommend this approach; short term gain will lead to long term harm,” Professor Richard explains.  

Sunscreen contouring - applying sunscreen to selected areas

Ice Facials

The theory behind this trend is that applying ice directly to your face can reduce acne, wrinkles and will also help with oil control. As Professor Richard explains, this is trend is more hype than one that will give long term benefits to your skin.

“Cold treatment of your skin to reduce puffiness has been shown to work in a limited way. The logic behind it is simple, cold water or ice causes the skin to respond by reducing blood flow to the face, thus reducing heat loss. This will also lower the temperature of the skin cells which may reduce inflammation. Users of this technique seem happy with the results although it should be noted it needs to be a regular activity as the benefits are short lived,” states Professor Richard. 

Pimple Patches

Using Hydrocolloid patches on pimples to reduce the severity and size of the pimple. “Pimple patches have been shown to have limited success in clinical studies. This includes reduction in redness of the acne and overall severity over a seven-day trial period. So, I would steer clear of this trend,” states Professor Richard.

Sea Salt Water Treatment

Spraying a mixture of sea salt and water onto your face twice per day to rid your skin of adult acne. “Sea salt spray has been popular for a long time. It’s believed to function by allowing sodium and chloride ions to enter the skin causing a degree of osmotic stress on your skin cells. It will also impact the facial nerves through the mechanosensitive piezoelectric channels. Does is help with acne? There is no scientific proof to date that it works unfortunately. Some people have reported success but without a proper clinical study the benefits of this treatment remain debatable,” explains Professor Richard.

Even though Tik Tok is a great source of entertainment, it’s not the best place for expert skincare advice. When trying a new skincare routine or procedure be guided by professionals and clinical studies rather than the latest viral video on Tik Tok.

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