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‘It’s like a war zone out there’: 5 skincare warnings from TikTok dermatologists and estheticians 

‘Not the retinol wipes.’


Ljeonida Mulabazi


Self-care has never been more popular than it is nowadays.

It seems like everywhere you turn, whether in traditional media or online, more products are being pushed as the next self-care holy grail, especially within the skincare community. 

While you should take every “tip” or “hack” you see on platforms like TikTok with a grain of salt, particularly those health-related in any way, fortunately, there are some genuine expert voices you can trust. 

In the article below, we’ve listed five skincare tips and warnings shared by board-certified dermatologists or licensed estheticians on TikTok. 

Dermatologist reveals which common products she would never use

Dermatologist shares which common products she would never use
megaflopp/ShutterStock @skinyoureinblog/TikTok (Licensed)

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jean Charles (@skinyoureinblog) posted a viral video listing five common practices she would never do as an expert, and doesn’t recommend for her audience either. 

First on her list: Never pick at or chew warts. “Warts are caused by the HPV virus and can easily spread,” Dr. Charles said.

She stated she’s seen patients develop warts around their mouths from this habit. Dr. Charles recommends using Compound W and covering warts with duct tape at night, as well as consulting a doctor if they don’t go away after a week.

Next, she stated prolonged use of heating pads or space heaters is a bad idea. According to Dr. Charles, these two heating methods can cause a rash called Erythema Abi Igne, which may lead to permanent discoloration and, in some rare cases, skin cancer.

Dr. Charles also advised against using flushable wipes, especially for intimate areas, due to fragrances and preservatives that cause contact dermatitis. “The itch can be unbearable,” she explained.

She avoids natural deodorants too, as they often contain essential oils and scents that can cause skin reactions. Instead, she suggests using benzoyl peroxide washes to target bacteria.

Finally, she advises never walking outside barefoot, especially in public places, to prevent warts and foot fungus. “That’s how people tend to get warts on their feet,” she noted.

Expert says Neosporin isn’t effective for cuts and wounds

Woman talking(l+r), Neosporin(c)
The Image Party/Shutterstock @shereeneidriss/Tiktok (Licensed)

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss (@shereeneidriss) uses her TikTok account primarily as an educational platform for all things skincare. 

In a recent video, she shared a PSA about the potential risks of Neosporin and suggested a better alternative.

“Neosporin, AKA neomycin, which is an antibiotic, is not the holy grail for cuts, wounds, and pimples,” Dr. Idriss says while pointing out the shelf space these products take up.

She warns that Neosporin users have a “higher incidence of getting an allergic reaction or irritation or even developing a new allergic reaction,” especially with “overuse.”

Instead, she recommends the “much better” CVS Health Bacitracin Ointment, calling it “pure,” “simpler,” and “a much better bang for your buck, especially if you have a cut or wound on your face.” She adds, “Bacitracin does help with staph” and is “less likely to cause any sort of irritation or allergic reaction.”

Esthetician says not to buy benzoyl peroxide products on Amazon

Expert says you shouldn't buy from Amazon if you’re worried about benzoyl peroxide acne products
@theegeminiglow/TikTok DenPhotos/ShutterStock (Licensed)

In a recent TikTok video, licensed esthetician Lydia Rose (@theegeminiglow) addressed concerns about benzoyl peroxide products, reassuring viewers they’re safe but advising not to buy them on Amazon.

Rose responded to a worried TikToker’s video where she throws her CeraVe cleanser in the trash, saying, “No hate to the poster, she just relayed information she saw on TikTok… Your skincare is not gonna kill you.”

Rose continues to explain that benzene, a carcinogen, can be released from benzoyl peroxide if products are not stored properly, especially when heated to around 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

She pointed out that benzene is a commonly occurring chemical all around us, saying, “When you pump your gas, you’re getting more benzene in your system than any contaminated skincare.”

However, Rose advised viewers to buy these skincare products directly from manufacturers or in-store, and not Amazon.

Criticizing the way Amazon stores its goods, Rose said, “Amazon is one of the worst culprits of keeping things in warehouses without AC,” she said.

She assured viewers that their favorite products are generally safe, stating, “Our bodies are a machine; it has a filter. Your skin is supposed to keep things out, so please don’t feed into the fear-mongering. You’re OK. I promise.”

Here’s how to spot fake botox, according to experts

Three male doctors (three split)
@zcosmetichealth/Tiktok @andrewcohenmd/Tiktok @drcheraghlou/Tiktok

Doctors on TikTok have been sounding the alarm about fake Botox, urging people to verify that their treatments are authentic. 

In early April, the CDC reported four cases of botulism-like symptoms in Tennessee due to counterfeit Botox. By the end of the month, 22 people across 11 states had adverse reactions after receiving fake Botox, often from non-medical settings like spas or Botox parties.

When asked about this issue by the Daily Dot team, Dr. David Shafer of Shafer Clinic NYC explained, “Patients often don’t know what is being injected into them.”

Dr. Shafer continues explaining that if injected with fake Botox, patients could experience symptoms such as trouble breathing, weakness, and vision changes, which could potentially be signs of botulism poisoning.

Shafer advised, “If the price is too good to be true, then it’s not genuine Botox Cosmetic.” He suggested asking to see the box, as genuine Botox has special holograms.

Another expert, dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose, added, “Truthfully, it can be difficult for patients or consumers to identify [fake products].” She recommended checking for standard vial sizes (50mL, 100mL, and 200mL) and being suspicious of different quantities.

Avoid these four products at T.J. Maxx, says esthetician 

woman with caption 'an estheticians nightmare' (l) TJ MAXX (c) KylieSkin product with caption 'kylie skin. immediate no' (r)
quiggyt4/Shutterstock @elevenesthetician/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Rose Cox

In a viral TikTok video, esthetician Isabella Traboscia (@elevenesthetician) shared which beauty products from T.J. Maxx you should probably avoid.

She begins by calling out retinol wipes, describing them as an “esthetician’s nightmare.” Traboscia questions why makeup remover needs retinol, which is widely used for its anti-aging properties but is not effective at removing makeup. 

Next, Traboscia targets Kylie Skin, particularly its clarifying toner, giving it an “immediate no.” While some Reddit users have defended the product, sharing positive experiences, others have echoed Traboscia ‘s sentiment, reporting breakouts and irritation.

She then critiques Mario Badescu products, calling them “trash skincare.” This criticism is backed by a 2023 class-action lawsuit against the brand for including undisclosed steroids in its products, which can be harmful without medical supervision.

Finally, Traboscia warns against Conair’s true glow microdermabrasion tool. “I just know whoever is purchasing will destroy their skin barrier and bruise their face,” she concluded. 

The Daily Dot