What’s the verdict? Expert rates TikTok beauty trends of 2022

… slugging originated from K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) and involves coating your … Specialist debunks six TikTok beauty hacks
This … dermatologist. It breaks down skincare into different days focusing on … it is a fabulous cosmetic tool to have droopy …

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TikTok has become somewhat of a go-to platform when it comes to all things beauty and fashion.

Whether it’s beauty tips, tutorials or just the latest trends you’re after, TikTok’s got your covered. But, what does the experts think about the latest trends?

Beauty and fashion trends seem to pop up daily. Some are life-changing while others can maybe cause more harm than good.

Karen Bester, medical trainer at Lamelle Research Laboratories, investigated some of the top TikTok skincare trends of 2022.

Here’s the verdict:


Struggling with dry and flaky skin? Many TikTokkers believe slugging to be the answer.

According to Daily Sun, slugging originated from K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) and involves coating your skin with an occlusive like petroleum jelly to your skin before going to bed. The belief is that the skin barrier will seal in moisture until the next morning, hydrating dry and flaky skin.

Bester’s verdict: “I believe that balance is very important. We know that occluding the skin will trap water which will in turn help the enzymes in the skin to exfoliate any dry cells that need removing. If we, however, trap too much water this can lead to maceration which is never a good thing.

“So slug along when your skin is feeling dry in general or after having a treatment, when your skin needs to heal. Occlusion is not required every night though; your skin should have the ability to trap enough water if the lipid bi-layer is intact. ALSO — long-term use of occlusive products can be comedogenic (cause breakouts).”


On the topic of moisture. Have you ever tried a moisture sandwich?

Another Korean beauty technique to hit TikTok, a ‘moisture sandwich’ is when products are applied to damp skin (as opposed to dry skin), and products are layered on top of each other. The idea is more or less the same as slugging, but the skin (in this case the lips) are first moistened with water to help better hydrate it. Thereafter an occlusive like Vaseline is applied to further seal in the moisture.

Bester’s verdict: “It is true and well-researched that applying your products to your skin when your skin is still moist after cleansing does help your skin to trap higher concentrations of water and keep it better hydrated.

“Applying a humectant (hyaluronic acid is my favourite) first will also help to draw the water in and will trap the water in the skin. A good moisturiser, applied over the hyaluronic acid-containing serum, will mimic the skin’s biology and oils and will keep this moisture trapped. It will also allow the skin to ‘breathe’.

“Occluding the skin is not required and has its own challenges as discussed under Slugging.”


Pore vacuums are all over online shopping sites like Takealot and in theory it sounds straight-forward enough. In essence, a pore vacuum is a device that uses suction to remove any oil or dirt lodged in the skin. But is it really as easy as sucking out the dirt from your skin?

Bester’s verdict: “I wish that these did work – we could then just go for relaxing facials and not need to have deep-cleanse facials with extractions. Unfortunately, these tools can be quite damaging and cause painful bruising without extracting the comedos. Especially when the skin is not prepared well or with larger, more stubborn congested areas.

“You would need to cleanse and moisturise the skin, maybe use an enzymatic exfoliator just to loosen the congested areas.”

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This trend has some substance and was originally posted on TikTok by a dermatologist. It breaks down skincare into different days focusing on different products.

According to Daily Sun, it involves a four-day skincare cycle, during which active ingredients are applied to the skin for the first two days (usually a chemical exfoliant on day one and a retinoid on day two). For the next two days, the skin “rests” and only moisturisers are applied, allowing the skin to rejuvenate.

Bester’s verdict: “We love this trend. Even though it was made TikTok famous around a year ago, this has been how medical practitioners have always included more aggressive ingredients that have a side-effect profile, into skin routines.

“This removes the need to add lots of ingredients over each other, it lowers the risk for irritation when using products that contain high concentrations of ingredients and it gives us the ability to also combine ingredients used on the skin and look at stimulating the skin in different ways.” 


This is the trend where you literally tape your face to try and minimise fine lines by “straightening” it and get an overall youthful appearance.

Bester’s verdict: “I have not personally tried face-taping, but I think it is a fabulous cosmetic tool to have droopy skin look younger. Joan Collins cannot be wrong! Unless you are ripping off the top layer of the skin – the corneum. That is not a good thing and can cause semi-permanent damage to the skin. Of you are using tapes, maybe use an oil to remove the glue so you do not hurt your skin when removing them.”


This trend is based on the healing and hydrating effect of salt water and users cleanse their skin with salt water twice a day before applying skincare products. The trend is claims to help treat and prevent breakouts.

Bester’s verdict: “There is very little data on the use of salt water in skincare. In ancient (pre-2000) medicine we used salt water to rinse wounds and mouths to lower bacterial load and assist in healing. I do not believe that salt water cleansing will have any negative effects on the skin. The only challenge might be if the salt content in the water is extremely high.

“In this case, the salt can draw water out of the skin and have a drying rather than a hydrating effect on the skin. With regards to toxins and oils being drawn out of the skin, it does not make sense at all. In fact, if you are using so much salt you will probably find that it dehydrates your skin. This is never a good thing.”

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