Despite the bad rap, it gets from a lot of people for its incredible addictiveness (which makes it an elite procrastination tool), every now and again TikTok offers up something genuinely interesting/useful. Apparently, there’s a creative and innovative bunch of people there looking to share the often weird but clever ways they’ve made their lives just that little bit easier.
One Tiktok ‘hack’ that had a lot of people talking early this year, and bears a lot of relevance for us in Aotearoa ahead of what could be an absolutely scorching summer, comes from user Eli Withrow (username; @stopiteli), who claimed she had found an unconventional way of creating a natural contour effect on her skin. The method she describes in the short, 15 second clip involves a strategic application of sunscreen, first applying a layer of SPF 30 on her whole face, then subsequently applying a layer of SPF 90 to her ‘highlighter’ zones (chin, nose, above the eyebrows, across the cheekbones). The logic here is that the sections only supported by the base layer of SPF 30 will tan darker than the rest of your face, creating a natural contour effect.
By now we should all be old enough and wise enough to know that not everything we see or read on the internet is true (other than on M2 and M2woman.com, that stuff is all true, trust me) and this particularly goes for apps like TikTok, where qualifications and sources are scarcely provided. Withrow was correct in predicting that “haters will say it doesn’t work” as the video was immediately met scepticism from other users and experts in the medical fields. Plastic surgeon and fellow Tiktok’er Anthony Youn (username; @tonyyounmd) dissected the theory in a duet video of his own, explaining that while Withrow’s logic is sound, in theory, the difference in the protection offered between SPF 30 and 90 is so minuscule that the result would be hardly noticeable.
Other experts decried the suggestion of using the sun as ones make-up palette, highlighting the fact that there’s are a myriad of make up products and fake tans designed to help users safety achieve this outcome. As the clip circulated, the idea soon became the fodder for memes all over the app, with other users mocking the strategy by attempting to tan abs on their stomachs with the selective sunscreen technique (also not recommended by experts).
Basically, the lesson here is, once again, the internet is full of ideas that sound great in theory, not so much in practice. Instead of fooling around with overly complicated sunscreen patterning, maybe just invest in a quality bottle of bronzer and call it a day.