Erection cream for plumper lips and potatoes to remove pimples: Dangerous TikTok hacks you should not try at home

PHOTO: TikTok/acerendulicc, TikTok/stopiteli

Apart from interesting recipes and heartwarming videos, other things we've chanced upon on TikTok include beauty hacks. 

Now, we do love ourselves a good life hack to help solve pesky problems like bulbous pimples and bad hair days, but we have to admit  — some of these do seem a little questionable. 

From using nail files to even out your teeth to applying erection cream as a lip plumper, here are some potentially dangerous beauty hacks you shouldn't attempt no matter how desperate you are. 

1. Shaving your teeth with nail files 

This beauty hack already sounds like a horrible idea without us having to try it. 

@antoinepierre_

Got carried away... ?? #Teethfile #teethwhitening #willsmith #fyp

♬ гуччи флип - быдло жидовское ?

A number of people have hopped onto this teeth filing trend and have taken videos of themselves sawing away at their pearly whites with a nail file in an attempt to straighten them. 

@thebentist

@cheneltiara why you do dis to me! ?? PSA: I don’t recommend doing this ✌? have your dentist check to make sure it’s safe first! #teeth #braces

♬ original sound - The Bentist

We don't need an expert to tell us that this is a terrible hack but orthodontist Benjamin White felt the need to make his own TikTok (@thebentist) to confirm this. 

"Hopefully you didn't go far enough to make some blood [squirt] out of there," he says passionately in the video. 



Dentist Kami Hoss shared the same sentiments in an interview with US news programme Inside Edition

"We get one set of teeth and once you file it down, it's never going to grow back," he warns.

2. Sunscreen contour 

Contouring is a lifesaver for people who want to give their faces a little more definition but it can be pretty time-consuming. 

@stopiteli

I am convinced this works! ##tutorial ##contour ##summer ##lifehack ##hack ##beautyhack ##snatched ##tiktokwellness ##hiddentalent

♬ original sound - Eli Withrow

Wanting to take one step out of her make-up routine, model Eli Withrow shared how she uses sunscreen to contour her face. 

She does this by putting a base of SPF 30 sunscreen before layering it with SPF 90 sunscreen on all the areas where you'd usually highlight your face. 

While the results do look convincing, dermatologist Joshua Zeichner has stepped forward to say that the hack is dangerous and he doesn't advise anyone to try it. 

“We know that direct UV light exposure is the single greatest risk factor for the development of both premature ageing as well as skin cancers," he tells media and entertainment site Refinery29

3. Gorilla Glue hair 

It goes without saying that glue and hair are not a good combination, but Tessica Brown discovered this the hard way. 

@im_d_ollady

Stiff where????? Ma hair ??

♬ original sound - Tessica Brown

In a now-viral video, she tells her followers that she attempted to keep her hair in place with Gorilla Glue after she had run out of her usual hairspray. The result? Hair that completely doesn't budge — and not in a good way. 

"I washed my hair 15 times and it don't move," she lamented. 

@im_d_ollady

Update ##gorillaglue ##viral ##update

♬ original sound - 60 second sounds

In the end, she had to seek professional medical attention to save her scalp. 

After the incident went viral, Gorilla Glue themselves released a statement to emphasise that their products are only meant for crafts, home or office projects. 

"This is a unique situation because this product is not indicated for use in or on hair as it is considered permanent. Our spray adhesive states in the warning label 'do not swallow. Do not get in eyes, on skin or on clothing,'" they shared. 

4. Erection cream lip plumper 

In hopes of getting thicker and juicier lips, TikTok user Jerry Mal attempted to use erection cream as a lip plumper after seeing a girl in a movie try it. 

@jerrybmaldonado

If you know what movie I’m talking about please tell me because I want to watch it again ##beauty ##lips

♬ original sound - Jerry Mal

While the cream did leave him with super luscious-looking lips, the procedure did sound rather painful. 

"It's burning really bad," he said after a while before wiping the substance off his swollen lips. 

Ross Perry, Medical Director of Cosmedics UK called the hack "utterly ridiculous" and "dangerous". 

"Individuals trying this could suffer an allergic reaction such as stinging, soreness, blisters and uncomfortable swelling. Other side effects from the absorption of the cream as it goes into the body can create headaches, blood pressure problems and even possible heart problems," he warns. 

5. DIY lash lifts

Some of us aren't blessed with naturally long and curled eyelashes so we resort to eyelash extensions and eyelash perms to achieve the look. 

@alexmorris.5

WORKS SO GOOD #fyp #lashlift #ThousandDollarCrocs #worthit

♬ Horses - PnB Rock & Kodak Black & A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

While there are DIY lash lift sets in the market that individuals can try out, experts say that these can be dangerous.

"There is a high probability you will harm your eye or the structures around it with toxic ingredients that include ammonia, formaldehyde and lead," Optometrist Dhruvin Patel shares with Refinery29

"Blindness is highly possible if chemicals seep into eyes," she adds. 

6. Potatoes to remove pimples 

Apparently, potatoes aren't just versatile in the kitchen — some people have been using the root vegetable as a remedy for their angry pimples. 

@sierrastyless

Reposting my first viral video bc we’re all breaking out under our masks #fyp #Fashion101 #skincare #skincareroutine #naturalremedy #beautytips

♬ original sound - sierrastyless

We have to admit, we too were pretty convinced after seeing the video but dermatologist and TikTok user Dr Muneeb Shah thinks otherwise. 

While he does admit to British style magazine Dazed that "potatoes have a high salicylic acid content in them" and these are "beneficial in treating acne", he does not recommend it. 

“Why would you even resort to this when we have perfectly good, safe, relatively inexpensive salicylic acid products that you can buy at any drug store?" he says.

We have to admit, he has a point. 

7. Henna freckles

Some people view freckles as a curse while others wish they had some. If you're part of the latter, you may have been tempted to try the viral henna freckle trend to achieve the look. 

@cocoverdeflor

freckles are everywhere but personally I like to do them around my nose and cheeks as it takes too long to do everywhere!#hennafreckles #fyp

♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) - 山口夕依

However, it is crucial that you are careful and get the right kind of henna. 

Natural henna, which is an orange colour, is generally safe to use. However, there is a type of henna called black henna that often contains a dangerous ingredient called paraphenylenediamine. 

While not everyone will get an allergic reaction to black henna, it can be painful if it happens. 

"The signs range from discomfort, such as burning or tingling, to painful stinging, swelling, redness and blistering of the skin," shares Chris Flower, a Director General of the UK's Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association. 

melissateo@asiaone.com