Plastic Surgeon Dr. George Bitar On The Most Dangerous TikTok Beauty Trends To Avoid - Exclusive

Beauty tips and tricks are trending on TikTok, like face taping, lip injection pens, and nasal tanning spray. But many of these "life hacks" are being shared by untrained individuals, and the products or procedures can have some pretty scary side effects

"Consumers need to be very cautious when trying at-home beauty trends as seen on TikTok. Most of the content creators on this platform who are creating these beauty trends that go viral are not trained professionals, such as dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or licensed aestheticians," warned Dr. George Bitar, a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Dr. Bitar has performed over 10,000 cosmetic facial and body procedures. He is an expert in his field and the founder and medical director of the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, offering skin care, injectables, and cosmetic surgery. In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Dr. Bitar shared with us the worst TikTok beauty trends right now and why you should steer clear of them.

Liquid chlorophyll

Some of the most dangerous TikTok beauty trends to avoid right now are liquid chlorophyll, at-home hyaluron pens, nasal tanning spray, sea salt acne spray, and face taping. According to Dr. George Bitar, "A rule of thumb is: If you think you need to run it by a doctor before you do it, then you probably should!"

Liquid chlorophyll is a supplement that people drink because it is believed to be an "acne cure-all" and is thought to help improve the texture of skin and reduce redness. However, Dr. Bitar said, "Drinking chlorophyll-infused water to get rid of acne or improve your skin can worsen your skin condition." In addition, there just isn't enough scientific data out there to back up these claims. In fact, some of the research results are conflicting, according to Healthline. Additional studies are needed to know the true pros and cons of this product.

At-home hyaluron pens

Hyaluron pens, aka hyaluronic acid pens, should not be used without professional guidance. They were originally created to allow diabetic patients to insert insulin without needles. Now, people are using them to administer hyaluronic acid fillers into the lips, jawline, or nose — because the pens went viral on TikTok.

"You should never be giving yourself lip procedures or any aesthetic rejuvenation at home," said Dr. George Bitar. "Injectables may cause occlusion of blood vessels, leading to skin death and possibly blindness in the most experienced hands, so when someone who is not familiar with facial anatomy injects themselves, they could cause a catastrophe! To put it bluntly –- you would be crazy to inject yourself at home." Furthermore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns both individuals and medical professionals not to use this product because it has been linked with permanent, irreversible body damage. 

Nasal tanning spray

Nasal tanning sprays became popular on TikTok because they are a "sunless" way to get tan — but they're actually meant to "boost the effects of sun exposure or a tanning bed." According to Dr. George Bitar, "You shouldn't be inhaling substances that haven't been studied sufficiently, as using medications nasally can affect your sense of smell. They can also potentially have toxic effects on the cilia of the nose, keeping the nose from moving mucus through it normally." 

Many nasal tanning spray products have a wide range of ingredients, but they most commonly contain tyrosine or melanotan as an active ingredient. "Melanotan is an unregulated synthetic chemical that functions as a hormone and supports melanogenesis, which is the process by which melanin, a black-brown pigment, is produced in the skin," said Dr. Bitar. This chemical is not FDA-approved, and the industry is loosely regulated, meaning that you could be inhaling nasty toxins with negative long-term effects that haven't yet been identified.

Face taping

Face taping is what it sounds like — it involves placing any kind of tape on the face to "freeze" it while you sleep, touted as an overnight cure for fine lines and wrinkles. Supposedly, the tape will keep the muscles of your face in place throughout the night, halting facial expressions, which should prevent wrinkles. 

"Aside from being unrealistic to use a piece of tape to keep your face in place throughout the night, it can do more harm than good," stated Dr. George Bitar. "Using a piece of tape, especially one that is 'supposed' to hold your skin down for a whole night, can damage the skin barrier when you take it off." The tape could be unsafe and could lead to other skin issues like acne. Plus, there's "no scientific evidence whatsoever" that taping even works.

So are there any helpful TikTok beauty trends?

Dr. Bitar recommends that if you're going to get beauty advice from an app, the best way is to follow a board-certified professional like a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or licensed aesthetician. Be wary of beauty trends that go viral that are not posted by a trained professional, and always consult with your aesthetic physician before trying anything at home — especially DIY tips. "Many of [the beauty trends] from non-professionals can do more harm than good," warned Dr. Bitar.

Find out more about Dr. George Bitar and his services on the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute website.