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Truth and TikTok Skincare Trends: Face Icing, Dermaplaning and Slugging

Our algorithm’s got us good. Another day, another batch of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube videos packed with glowing skin trends to tempt us.

And while Skin + Me champion scientific skincare and clinically-proven efficacy, it’s sometimes fun to take a look at what’s happening on the other side of the axis. 

We glance over a few social media skincare trends that you might have clocked yourself, and see if they make sense. 

Ice roller, face icing and cool-rolling your face

Two trends here, both a bit chilly.

Firstly the concept of rubbing balls of ice across your skin, also known as ‘icing’. The (misguided) promise here is that ‘icing’ your face every few days will boost rejuvenation by making pores appear smaller and constrict blood vessels in the face for a fresher appearance. 

Don’t do it. 

By holding ice against the face, you risk damaging skin cells and irritating skin with extreme coldness. In fact, a simple splash of cool water gives a temporary ‘tightening’ effect much more gently. Icing is definitely a trend that gives us shivers.

The second trend, using a chilled jade roller or gua sha tool to gently boost lymphatic drainage, is much safer. A cool sculpting face massage can reduce puffiness for a temporary glow. Done right, it’s a gentle way to give your skin a revitalising boost.

Shaving your face (dermaplaning)

While a bit of facial fuzz is perfectly natural, TikTok and Instagram influencers certainly aren’t downing tools when it comes to dealing with it.

Why? The claim is that occasional shaving (cleanse thoroughly first and use a clean, specifically small sharp blade at a 45-degree angle) can act like an exfoliator, cleaning away dead skin cells and light fuzz that can dull the skin.

Our Dermatologists at Skin + Me advise avoiding dermaplaning completely because it’s irritating to the skin. Even more so if you have a sensitive skin type, are prone to ingrown hairs, have acne or an inflammatory skin condition, or have just added retinoids to your skincare routine, which can temporarily make skin more sensitive.


A K-beauty trend (originating in South Korea) that took beauty social feeds by storm, ‘slugging’ is the occlusive face-coating trend that’s as uncomfortably skin-congesting as it sounds.

An extreme attempt to prevent moisture from escaping the skin, coating your face in petroleum jelly is plugged as a top bedtime hack. The idea is that you’ll wake up with a ‘refreshed, hydrated’ complexion.

Hold it right there. Vaseline creates a barrier on top of your skin and will more likely clog your pores than leave you with a baby-like glow. And that’s before we factor in the damage it’ll do to your lovely silk pillowcase

When we mentioned it to our Dermatologist, she conceded that occasional slugging around the delicate eye area where it’s prone to dryness may be okay but to avoid the T-zone and skip the Vaseline completely if you’re prone to blocked pores.

The principle can work when skin is inflamed and dermatologists are trying to prevent water loss. However, day-to-day it’s not needed and the occlusive effect will likely lead to breakouts.

On balance, this trend works better as a conversation starter rather than in your bathroom. 

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