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Debunking TikTok Trends: SPF Contour

As a skincare company that appreciates a good glow, we understand the allure of a summer tan. If you're a person who loves to chase after the sun (safely!), you're not alone. Many skincare lovers have turned to TikTok for quick tips and tricks, especially if they will increase the longevity of their tan. Unfortunately, some unhealthy skin practices have picked up traction and we're so not about that life. That's why we're here today to debunk yet another viral TikTok trend: SPF contour.

While the platform can be a great place to share knowledge, entertain the masses and be creative, it can also spread false and potentially harmful information. We know there are thousands of people at the ready to give a skincare hack a try - Just take a look at one of our first blog posts debunking a TikTok trend claiming to "cure" your acne with sea salt. And while some trends may be safe and possibly even "dermatologist-approved," using sunscreen to contour your skin is certainly not one of them.

Last summer, TikTok user @stopiteli, shared with her 54k followers her "go-to" sunscreen regime for a natural contour. Eli Withrow suggests applying a base of SPF 30 all over the face then applying SPF 90 on the high points of the face. Think of the areas where you'd apply your bronzer. What exactly does this do? You guessed it... This hack allegedly tans the cheekbones and jawline area, which in turn gives the face a more *natural* facial contour. Despite this TikTok trend going viral last summer, we're seeing a surge of users still trying this trend to this day. In fact, this particular video accumulated more than 13 million views on TikTok! 

Eli stated, "The sun will contour your face where you put bronzer, and you'll be naturally snatched all summer." Shortly after Eli's video went viral, many users dueted the video to share their results and approval of the method. Shortly after the video went viral, Eli followed up with another video to showcase her results. She suggested that her nose and cheekbones are significantly more tan than the rest of her face. Eli continued, "I reapplied SPF 90 after two hours only to the spots I have said (the high points of the face) and I am tanner." Eli is sharing her results with her followers after a day in the sun using her sunscreen contouring method. She went on to say, "these results aren't exactly a scientific method." Safe to say, we couldn't agree more with that statement. Let's do a deep dive.

Now that we've covered the basics, here's why you should avoid this trend. Honest hour, we have all strived for a summer tan at some point in our lives. But is there a way you can tan safely? The short answer is no. There are no safe UV rays. Any form of unprotected sun exposure can damage the skin cells and speed up the process of ageing. In fact, 90% of premature ageing is said to come from sun exposure alone. Our skin is constantly working overtime to protect us which is why it's important to effectively apply your sunscreen everywhere, multiple times a day. Yes, the viral video did mention the use of SPF30 everywhere else on the face, but we know that not everyone is following this step. Heck, even Gweneth Paltrow admitted she only puts sunscreen where the sun "mostly" hits her face. 

While we love a good glow, this trend is definitely no Bueno, sorry Eli and Gwen. So, in the morning, after you cleanse and before moisturizing, apply a generous amount of Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 all over your face, neck and ears. We like to use two to three-finger lengths of product as a guide. If you're soaking up the rays, make sure to reapply every 2-3 hours but remember, avoiding direct sun exposure and opting for shade is another form of sun protection!

So, what's a tan-lover to do? The safest way to get that bronzed look is with a Health Canada and/or FDA-approved self-tanner. Self-tanners work by temporarily darkening the outer layer of your skin to mimic a suntan. Don't worry, it sits on the top layer of the skin and simply does not penetrate deep enough to cause any damage to our cells. Not your vibe? We love reaching for our bronzer and blush as a part of our daily makeup routine to try and continue some of that summer glow, even during colder months. 

Do you want to learn more about fake tanners? Let us know in the comments below!

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