By Emma Davis
Beauty TikTok is constantly buzzing with new beauty hacks and trends that will leave everyone with flawless foundation, clear skin, shiny hair, and snatched jawlines. But are all of the hacks out there actually worth trying?
Dermaplaning involves scraping your face with a safety scalpel to remove the epidermis (your top layer of skin) and small hairs. This process can be done at a dermatologist’s office where they’ll use a medical-grade scalpel, but most drug stores carry cheap dermaplaning razors for at-home use.
Beauty influencers everywhere swear that dermaplaning makes their skin feel softer, encourages new cell growth, and allows the foundation to look flawless without any baby hairs or dead skin cells getting in the way. If you’re looking for an effective exfoliation treatment that doesn’t involve harsh chemicals like classic peels, dermaplaning is a great alternative that will make your face feel baby soft.
But the jury is still out on whether or not dermaplaning actually helps with collagen stimulation and cell growth—so if you want a more permanent hair removal option or a longer-lasting exfoliation, dermatologist treatments like laser hair removal and chemical peels will give you better and more effective skin treatment than at-home dermaplaning.
Oil pulling has been practiced for centuries across India and Southern Asia that is said to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body—but does it actually help you get a brighter smile? The oil pulling process involves swishing about a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil) around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any evidence that oil pulling actually whitens your teeth. However, it is an effective addition to your oral health routine since it washes away harmful bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque buildup, gum inflammation, gingivitis, and cavities.
Rice water is the starchy water that remains after rice is left to soak, and has been used as a common hair treatment in Asian countries. People who use rice water say it makes their hair smoother, shinier, stronger, and grow longer. Since rice water is thought to contain a lot of the vitamins and minerals that are in the rice grains themselves (amino acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, and B vitamins), switching out conditioners for the starchy water may provide your hair with those important nutrients.
But other than anecdotal studies, there isn’t much evidence that using rice water provides those benefits to hair. Still, take a look at the hair of anyone who swears by rice water and you can see that they’re doing something right when it comes to taking care of their hair. There’s no harm in trying this trend for yourself—all you risk is getting soft, luxurious hair.
Another popular beauty trend is reusing your coffee grounds from your morning cup of java and making a DIY facial and body scrub. In addition to getting baby-soft skin, using coffee grounds instead of other common scrubs like sugar is believed to help with acne, oily skin, and even slow down aging skin.
In addition to their caffeine content, coffee grounds are high in antioxidants that have a similar effect as hyaluronic acid, a common anti-aging skincare ingredient. Several studies have also shown that extracts made from coffee grounds can protect skin against UV-B rays and sun damage. And since the grounds contain caffeine which constricts skin, it can make your skin look temporarily firmer and make wrinkles less noticeable.
Whether it’s from a bad night’s sleep or from drinking too much the night before, everyone gets puffy skin once in a while. Gua sha is an ancient Chinese massaging technique that involves scraping your skin with a handheld tool to improve circulation. Like acupuncture, this natural healing remedy is thought to help your body’s energy (or chi) flow better and become more balanced.
Facial gua sha also claims to give you clear skin, smooth wrinkles, and provide a sculpted face structure since the tool increases facial circulation and lymphatic flow. Aesthetic doctors agree that this practice can improve skin health since it stimulates blood circulation, but it’s debatable whether the process can help fix wrinkles since it doesn’t get under the epidermis and affect the skin’s elastin production. But there are still a surprising amount of benefits to gua sha, and the little face tool should be a staple in everyone’s skincare routine.