Doctors issue stark warning AGAINST TikTok's viral calamine lotion make-up hack

'It might make you look good in the short term, but it's just not worth the risk,' said an expert

Doctors issue stark warning AGAINST TikTok's viral calamine lotion make-up hack
The so-called 'beauty hack' encourages applying calamine lotion on the face before using foundation and other make-up (Westend61/Getty Images, Amazon)
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LOS ANGELES, CULVER CITY: A recent 'beauty hack' trend on TikTok suggests using calamine lotion as a foundation or after makeup. Medical experts warn that youngsters following this trend are at risk of severe reactions and skin damage.

Calamine lotions are available in drug stores at a minimal rate. However, it is recommended to be used only to reduce pain and itching caused by minor skin problems, including sunburn, insect bites, and stings. 

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What is the new TikTok 'beauty hack' trend?

The trend is mainly aimed at people with oily skin, and one TikTok star states, "Create a barrier between their skin and the foundation they're putting on, to keep the oils from breaking up the foundation." In a TikTok video that has more than 7.3 million views, @BrittanyBowman applies the lotion over her whole face with a make-up brush. The video is captioned: 'I heard calamine lotion gets rid of acne scars and dark marks.' In another video, with more than 700,000 views, she applies her foundation over the calamine layer and claims: 'It'll dry out your current pimples but won't prevent future acne.'

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(@Brittney Brown/TikTok)
In a recent video of Brittany, she says calamine lotion won't change future acne (@Brittany Bowman/TikTok)

What are the warnings given by doctors?

Consultant dermatologist Dr Alia Ahmed at Frimley explained to the Daily Mail that when used long-term, it could cause intense damage to the skin and its layers. "The lotion draws moisture out of the skin and can also act as a keratolytic, meaning it can exfoliate the skin. This is helpful when dealing with wet, itchy skin rashes, but leaving calamine lotion on for prolonged periods on areas like the face, under or as make-up, can lead to excessive skin dryness, which will manifest as scaly or flaky patches with redness." Further, Alia added, "Over-exfoliation leads to problems like rashes and sensitivity, and ultimately could cause damage to the skin barrier."

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Later, the doctor claimed, "There seems to be a general social-media trend for trying out things as cosmetics that aren't intended for this use, whether it's milk of magnesia, calamine lotion, or otherwise. This should be avoided. Damage might not be immediate, but over time could become pretty unpleasant. It might make you look good in the short term, but it's just not worth the risk."

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Shortage in calamine lotion supplies

There is an acute shortage of calamine lotion in the country. The hashtag #calamine has been used more than 2.3 million times on TikTok alone and the trend has triggered a surge in demand. The Department for Health and Social Care confirmed that it was aware of intermittent supply issues of the lotion. However, more supplies are expected in early September. Well, Pharmacy chief pharmacist Ifti Khan spoke to the Daily Mail and said, "Some of this is due to a recent spike in chickenpox, but there's also a trend on social media advocating calamine lotion for cosmetic purposes". Further, he said, "Calamine lotion treats a wide range of skin condition that cause itchiness, including chickenpox, insect bites, stings, measles and sunburn. But it should only be used by those who need it, and for treatment of medical conditions."

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