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Some great beauty trends have come from TikTok, but sunscreen contouring is one that experts wish would vanish out of digital existence.
The technique sees people applying SPF to certain areas of the complexion, like under the eyes and underneath the cheekbones, and omitting it on the rest of the face. The idea is that after a few hours in the sunshine, skin will naturally tan in the non-SPF areas and result in a contoured effect.
Unfortunately TikTokers have been finding out the hard way that this technique can end in a nasty sunburn instead of the desired Kim Kardashian-like contour.
One app user who learned the power of the sun first hand is Chrisa McLane (username teachermclane). The middle school teacher attempted the hack after seeing it on TikTok, but quickly wished she hadn’t.
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“Have you ever watched a TikTok and thought it was a really good idea?” she asks in her video.
“So you decide to contour your face with sunscreen to have a natural highlight and you think it’s going to look fantastic. Well it’s not. Not a good idea.”
Christa ends the video with a close-up look of her ski-goggle sunburn, which in no way makes her look either glamorous or chiselled.
Although she may be the worst burned of the bunch, a quick scroll through TikTok shows dozens of others attempting the trend for themselves – something experts are despairing over.
“Sunscreen should be worn on any surface areas that are exposed to the sun; all over the face, ears, neck, décolletage and the back of the hands,” explains Dr Shaaira Nasir, consultant dermatologist at Sk:n Clinics.
“The long-term effects of excessive sun exposure include an increase in chances of developing skin cancer, premature ageing and pigmentation problems. The safest way to contour the face is by using products such as bronzer or highlighter.”
Dr Nasir also points out that a minimum of half a teaspoon of sunscreen is needed to fully cover the face and neck – even on cloudy days.
The dangers of minimal or selective SPF usage have been brought into question as of late, after Gwyneth Paltrow controversially stated in a Vogue interview that on a regular day she’s not “a head-to-toe slatherer of sunscreen”, but prefers to put some on her nose and the eye areas, where the sun “really hits”.
Thanks for the “advice” Gwyneth but we think you should stick to making, er, niche candles.
*Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK, there are almost 16,000 new cases of melanoma skin cancer every year. If you're worried about a new mole or a changing mole, see Sk:n Clinic's mole mapping service here.
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