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08th May 2021

Doctors warning young people against ‘sun cream contouring’ TikTok trend

Melissa Carton

It has become the latest viral trend.

TikTok hacks and trends have taken on a life of their own in the last year with more and more people taking up the popular fads.

There have been some, like cleaning and food hacks, that I’ve tried out and loved but there are others that are questionable at best.

One of the most recent ‘beauty’ trends to have emerged from TikTok has been condemned by doctors as dangerous and many are warning young people to avoid it – sun cream contouring.

A video, which was uploaded by @stopiteli and liked over one million times, has caused outrage as medical professionals say that the advice given is very unsafe.

In the video the TikToker explains that she purposely only puts sunscreen over some parts of her face so that the other parts will tan (or burn), therefore giving her a constant contour effect. Confused? You’re not alone.

“Haters will say it doesn’t work, but I am convinced that if you put a base sunscreen of SPF 30 on and SPF 90 on all the spots that you would put highlighter on, the sun will contour your face where you put bronzer and you will be naturally snatched all summer”

Many doctors including Dr Simran Deo have come out against the video saying that attempting to do this type of ‘sun cream contouring’ can cause skin damage or even skin cancer.

“Although using SPF to contour may lead to temporary tan lines in areas where you would usually use make-up to create the same effect, once those tan lines fade you can be left with more permanent skin damage, which presents at a later age and is not so easy to reverse.

The harsh UVA, UVB and UVR rays of the sun can lead to early signs of ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines, areas of hyperpigmentation such as lentigo or deeper pigmentation known as melasma.

It can result in damage of the skin cells leading to skin cancer and pre-cancerous changes, as well as having an effect on your immunity.”

With over 40,000 people (at the time of writing) having already shared the video, it’s scary how many young users may have already been influenced to try this dangerous trend.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland and it is recommended that you wear a broad spectrum sunscreen everyday, even when it is overcast.

For more information on sun safety visit the Irish Cancer Society website.