Having sunscreen in your skincare routine is a must if you don’t want to risk getting sun damage or even worse, skin cancer.

Sunscreen is also beneficial in preventing premature skin ageing so there is no reason why anyone should not be using it.

The question is, how much sunscreen should one be using? Especially on the face? According to reports, when it comes to sunscreen you should be liberal. Skin focussed doctor Kemi Fabusiwa (aka Dr. Fab) once took to Instagram to explain the amount of skincare people should be using.

Photo by Dimitris Chapsoulas on Unsplash

“UV penetrates through clouds and windows and is still important throughout the day time during winter. Reapply every two hours. Especially if you suffer with hyperpigmentation,” she wrote.

Skincare influencer Hyram Yarbro from the YouTube channel Skincare by Hyram suggested that people apply sunscreen in two steps.

He said to apply a teaspoon worth onto your hands and massage that onto your face, neck and ears and then repeat that step again once the first layer has absorbed into the skin.

As important as sunscreen is, some people are not applying it correctly. In a viral trend that has taken over TikTok, users are relying on the sun to contour their skin. Contouring is a makeup technique that uses different shades of foundation, concealer or powder, to shape, define and enhance the facial structure or other body parts.

Photo by Maciej Serafinowicz on Unsplash

TikTok users have come up with a different way to contour by applying sunscreen the same way they would apply their contour when wearing makeup. This means the sunscreen is only applied on parts of the face like under the jawline, temples and cheekbones, neglecting the rest of the face. They then sit in the sun hoping it will tan the exposed areas and achieve a natural contoured look.

In a video with over a million views, Eli Withrow claims that if you put a base of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 on your face and then apply a higher SPF on areas that you would put highlighter on, the sun will ’naturally’ contour your skin, leaving you ’snatched’ all summer.

@stopiteliI am convinced this works! ##tutorial ##contour ##summer ##lifehack ##hack ##beautyhack ##snatched ##tiktokwellness ##hiddentalent♬ original sound – Eli Withrow

Users in her comments were excited to try this hack with one writing, “You are on to something,” and another commenting, “I want to be naturally snatched!”

However, experts have labelled the trend dangerous and warn that it could lead to irreversible damage.

According to dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, this kind of contouring is not only ill-advised but is very dangerous.

“This is absolutely not a safe treatment,” Dr Zeichner told Refinery29.


View this post on Instagram


Instagram Post Caption

A post shared by Link to Instagram PostTime

Dr Simran Deo an online doctor at Zava, told the Daily Mail that UV rays from the sun can cause significant damage to the skin.

“Sunburn and tanning is an indication there is some degree of cell damage that has occurred.

Although using SPF to contour may lead to temporary tan lines in areas where you would usually use make-up to create the same effect, once those tan lines fade you can be left with more permanent skin damage, which presents at a later age and is not so easy to reverse,“ she said.

Deo stressed that sunscreen should be worn every day and applied all over the face.

Photo by BATCH by Wisconsin Hemp Scientific on Unsplash

‘At least an SPF 30 should be applied daily, even on winter days, and this should be increased to SPF 50 in the summer, or in fairer skin types.’ she told the Daily Mail.

As fun as it might be to take part in TikTok trends, it might be better if people gave this one a pass as the risks of skin damage are not worth having a ’snatched’ look.

Email me your thoughts at nosipho.nyide@inl.co.za.