Hydrocolloid bandaids have been going viral on TikTok lately for their supposed acne-clearing benefits. Not only are they more affordable than most name-brand pimple patches, they can also be found at just about any local drugstore. But, do they actually work? We talked with Dr. Michelle Henry, founder of the new Skin & Aesthetics Surgery of Manhattan and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weil Cornell Medical College, to get her take on this and several other viral TikTok skincare trends, plus which ones she supports and which ones she recommends avoiding.
Hydrocolloid bandages are going viral on TikTok—yay or nay?
They're okay as a bandaid, because they are quite soothing, so they're similar to the stickers and all the ones that you see. We've been using them for a long time for wounds and because they're anti-inflammatory, they kind of protect the area, so it’s not shocking that people have enjoyed them.
Are there any skincare trends you’ve seen on TikTok that you would avoid or advise against?
Toothpaste on pimples––don’t do it! I’d also avoid the at-home peels that people can buy online because they can really burn and disfigure your skin. You have to be really careful with at-home peels. Also, the Hyaluron Pen, which are pens that, under strong pressure, can insert/inject hyaluronic acid into lips—these can be really dangerous when used incorrectly.
Are there any that you support?
I support all the cool trends where people are trying on their sunscreens, showing which ones work. I’m also a fan of the skin slugging, using Vaseline to lock in new moisture if your skin is particularly dry.
With so many impressionable users on TikTok, what advice do you have for those who are watching skincare videos/tips and implementing them in their own routines?
Know that skincare is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It has to be unique to your skin type, to your skin concerns and to your skin needs. Just because it worked for a TikTok user, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. But, the good thing about these videos is that you can take any information you’ve learned, and if it’s something you’re curious about, you can ask your dermatologist and they can help guide you on whether it’s appropriate for you.