Beauty experts warn against expensive TikTok trends, hair slugging, skin cycling

Sometimes you can pick up an amazing beauty trick during your nightly doom scroll – but for the most part, you need to be sceptical about the advice of influencers, experts have warned.

From heatless curls to skin flooding and using ice to ‘chisel’ your jawline, there’s been no shortage of tips filling our TikTok feeds in 2023.

But experts have warned’s The Beauty Diary, that caution needs to be taken with many of them, while there are others you need to avoid altogether.

Melbourne dermal clinician James Vivian said many skincare ‘hacks’ shared on social media in the past 12 months have left him concerned while others were, to put it simply, a waste of money.

Skin flooding

“When I heard about ‘skin flooding’ I laughed out loud,” he said of the method that is also sometimes known as ‘moisture sandwiching’.

For those who haven’t stumbled across this term, it’s a method that involves drenching the skin with layer upon layer of targeted, hydrating ingredients.

But James, who owns James Vivian the Clinic in Toorak, isn’t buying it.

“What do you think we’ve been doing all these years?” he said.

“We all apply skincare to our skin to keep it bright, hydrated and clean and this is what skin flooding is. Skin flooding is also known as putting on your serums and creams. It’s not a hack.”

Another example of this is ‘skin slugging’, a moisturising technique that involves slathering the face with an occlusive product as the last step in your evening skincare routine, to lock all the products in, but while dermatologists state it works, many argue it is unnecessary.

Skin cycling

Skin cycling is a rotational skin care regimen that alternates between using active ingredients and letting the skin rest and recover over a four-night period – but according to James, it is makes a complex process more complicated than it needs to be.

“If skincare wasn’t already confusing enough, along came skin cycling. I exfoliate on Tuesday, I use my Vitamin A on Thursday, I mask on Friday… or was that Saturday? Can’t remember,” he scoffed.

James, who has been in the skincare biz since 2004, said it is”essential to give the skin what it needs on a daily basis”.

“Consistency is key and skin cycling creates a regimented routine that won’t suit all skin,” he explained.

“Each skin needs a different approach so if you are skin cycling then give it what it needs and when and listen and watch your skin to know if you need to be more or less frequent with your skincare.”

Gua Sha

This treatment involves ‘scraping’ skin with a massage tool which originates from a traditional Chinese medicine practice. Those who rave about the practice state it lifts, tightens and shapes the face – but James said any benefit you may see afterwards is temporary.

“It takes more than some crystals to produce these results in the skin, however, these devices can stimulate our lymphatic system which can lead to reduced facial puffiness and under-eye dark circles,” he explained.

“Some temporary firming can be experienced when using the right pressure but it will be short lived. It is a lovely moment of self-care in the bathroom, however.”

It’s not just skincare hacks that have captured attention online, with award-winning Sydney hairstylist Jaye Edwards also warning consumers to be careful about what they try at home.

Slugging hair

One trend that truly took off in 2023 was “hair slugging”, which involves coating your hair in oil and letting it soak for several hours – or even overnight – before rinsing it out.

But unless you have curly hair, Jaye warns you’re literally wasting your money dousing your locks in excess product, which we all know in the current economy aren’t cheap.

“If you’re not investing in the best products for your hair, you end up washing products down the drain,” he stressed, adding that curly haired girls need to consider the quality of the products and the ingredients they are using.

“For my curly, thicker haired girls I recommend the O&M Seven Day Miracle Masque, it contains heavier oils such as Organic Coconut Oil and Macadamia Oil, which will leave your hair deeply hydrated,” he said.

“Hair slugging can enhance the definition of curls, whereas it could cause thinner hair to become greasy, and can cause product build-up on the scalp, leading to breakouts along the hairline.”

Jaye, the owner of EdwardsAndCo – a chain of salons across Australia, said wrapping hair overnight can “help the product penetrate your scalp and hair cuticles”.

Heatless curls

This hack initially seems harmless, as by eradicating heat it seems you’re removing the tool that is known to damage hair, but Jaye stresses you still need to be careful.

The technique involves wrapping dry or damp hair around a flexible object, such as a ribbon, headband or even a sock, and sleeping with it overnight.

“While it’s great that people are trying to protect their hair from heat damage, there is a risk of hair breakage if you wrap your hair too tightly,” he said.

“Make sure you are using a hydrating masque, to prevent damage. Depending on your hair type, this trend may or may not work for you.”

At home split end hair trimmer

“I have been seeing this trend all over TikTok, and it’s something I would avoid,” the expert colourist stated.

“I always avoid at home tools and gimmicks when it comes to trimming your hair.

“If you are concerned about your split ends, speak to your hair stylist and they can help you customise a cut that promotes the full health of your hair, without resulting to any at-home hack jobs.”

If you have a question about a beauty product or an item you’d like to see road-tested in The Beauty Diary, jump into our official Facebook group where you can join like-minded beauty junkies. You can also catch me on Instagram.

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