When it comes to sex, lube is no stranger. In fact, about 49.36 million Americans used some form of personal lubricants in 2020 — whether that be oil-based, water-based, silicone-based, or a hybrid of the three. But when it comes to using lube on your face? Well, that's a different story.
Recently, the #LubePrimer trend has started blowing up on TikTok, with teens and makeup gurus using different brands of lubricant as a precursor to their beauty routines. The trend's hashtag has accumulated 9.9 million views, and popular videos — like this one from artist Sean Anthony — have reached 1.9 million people.
"Is that even allowed?... I'm scared," Anthony exclaimed in his viral TikTok video after watching another makeup artist try the product. As the clip continues, Anthony begins spreading the lube across his face while admiring its texture and glow. "Tell me why this is performing way better than my regular primer? My makeup looks so good," he said.
Many in Anthony's comment section marveled at the results, expressing both a need to try the trick for themselves and concern that the hashtag's millions of viewers may buy up every store's supply.
But a select few were cautious. Wondering, as I was, whether or not a product designed for sex was also safe for our ever-sensitive faces. So, I reached out to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joyce Park, who was honestly shocked when I sent her news of TikTok's latest trend.
"For the love of God, why?" She joked after watching the videos. "Why do people keep putting non-skincare products on the skin on TikTok? Oh wait, to go viral!"
After recovering from the initial shock, Dr. Park explained: "Lube contains all sorts of ingredients that can potentially irritate the skin, such as fragrance or propylene glycol, causing redness, itching, and even allergies for people with sensitive skin or eczema."
"Another big concern with this trend is the texture of the lube," she continued. "Many lubricants contain castor oil, which, due to its occlusive nature, can clog your pores, act as a magnet for dirt and microbes in the environment, and worsen acne breakouts."
"Instead of lubricant as primer, I recommend using actual makeup primers or a gel-based facial serum that will give you that hydrated, glow-y look prior to applying makeup," Dr. Park concluded.
BuzzFeed also reached out to Anthony, whose #LubePrimer video had one of the furthest reaches. "This trend is not for everyone," he said. "If you don’t want to try it because you’re scared of clogging your pores, then please don’t. ...At the end of the day, it’s just makeup, it comes off. So make sure you get a good-ass cleanser."
If you'd like to keep up with Dr. Park, you can follow her on Instagram or check out her blog, Tea with MD.