Why, hello there! My name is Shelby. I'm a twentysomething who loves TikTok and ~LoOoves~ skincare!
After being introduced to the wide, wide world of Skincare TikTok™, I felt like there were certain products that I just couldn't escape, no matter how many hours I spent scrolling. So, naturally, I got a little curious.
Also, since entering quarantine, my skin has been in a bit of a crisis. I've gone through phases of oiliness, dry patches, whiteheads, irritation, and cystic acne. Sometimes, all at once!!! SO FUN!!!
So, I decided to try out some of the most viral skincare products on TikTok and see if they actually lived up to the hype. And maybe, just maybe, one or all of them would help rescue my skin.
Here's the regimen I decided to follow for 30 days:
And now, without further ado, here were my experiences with all of the products!
This was the #1 product that I literally saw EVERYWHERE on the app. Seriously, it seemed like everyone — from certified dermatologists to skincare enthusiasts — was singing its praises, so I had to try it out for myself. According to The Ordinary's website, it "offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance." AKA, right up my alley.
Believe me when I say that I was STOKED to try this peel. It looked really cool in the bottle, smelled nice, and I had a ton of fun applying it and pretending I was a mad scientist/vampire. But, much to my dismay, it BURNED on the first try and did not feel good on my sensitive skin. I'm usually pretty resilient when it comes to stronger products, but I had to fight to keep this peel on for more than three minutes.
My skin was sensitive after using the peel, which was to be expected, and I was loving seeing some of the acne marks on my face fade away. But by the end of my first week, disaster struck. I began to notice that the irritation from the peel wasn't going away, and some of the red patches on my face started to resemble burn marks. I was worried that I'd left the peel on too long and damaged my skin, so I switched to a thicker moisturizer and skipped using it the following week in an attempt to heal. I also noticed some whiteheads and cystic pimples on my chin, which I hoped were due to my skin "purging."
After allowing my skin a full two weeks to heal, I decided to give it one more try. But this time, instead using a lot of product on my whole face, I cut back and only put it on my nose and forehead since I didn't experience any irritation in those areas on the first try. And as you can see, when I say "cut back," I mean I used wayyyyy less product. It was virtually impossible to tell it was even on my face.
I kept it on for two minutes and (much to my relief) didn't experience any burning! Unfortunately, I don't think I used enough of the peel to actually yield any results the second time. And because it took so long for my skin to heal the first time, I wasn't interested in trying to find the sweet spot. Although this peel has done amazing things for countless people on TikTok, I concluded that it was just too powerful for my sensitive skin.
I'd heard a lot about Foreo and their products by the time I started seeing them on TikTok, so I was intrigued but also a little skeptical. Their products tend to have a higher price point, so I had a hard time believing that they would live up to the hype and perform well enough to justify how much they cost.
When I first opened the Luna Mini, it took me a little while to figure out how to get it to work. Thanks to my coworker Farrah, I knew you had to download an app, but had I not known that, I would've been completely in the dark. All it came with in terms of instructions was a small pamphlet with microscopic text.
Once I got everything up and running, the T-pulsations were a little strange to get used to, but overall felt nice! I could tell the silicone was good quality, and the bristles were soft and gentle. Using the app felt extra as hell, but my skin did feel much cleaner and smoother as opposed to me cleansing my face with my hands. Even my nose, an area I struggle with, felt smooth and exfoliated.
The more I used the Luna Mini, the more I began to see improvement in the texture of my skin. I was still breaking out here and there, but my skin felt smoother than it had in my ENTIRE LIFE. Seriously, I didn't think my skin could even get this soft. By the end of the month, I was hooked.
I'm going to be honest here: I had no idea what this product was actually supposed to do. According to Foreo's website, the UFO is supposed to give you a "painless, UV-free phototherapy treatment as red, green, and blue LED light wavelengths effortlessly rejuvenate your skin." It sounded futuristic and (TBH) pretty far-fetched, but I was willing to give it a try.
Like the Luna Mini, there wasn't a ton of info about how to get the UFO up and running. I also didn't anticipate it needing extra supplies, but apparently every time you use the UFO, you need to apply one of Foreo's special sheet masks. This struck me as a little wasteful and pretty costly, considering that you literally need to keep buying the masks in order to consistently use the UFO. But I'll admit, it was fun experimenting with the different types of masks!
I thought using the Foreo app with the Luna Mini was extra, but the UFO was on a whole other level. As I moved it around my face, the app used voice commands to give me instructions and played slow, calming music throughout the treatment. At first I thought it was a little much, but I started to like the guidance after a while. The UFO warmed as I worked the mask essence into my skin and did T-pulsations just like the Luna Mini. I'm not gonna lie, I LOVED it.
Although I wasn't exactly sure if the UFO actually did anything for my skin, it genuinely felt like a spa treatment and I felt super calm and refreshed after. From then on, I looked forward to using it every week as a way to unwind and give myself some quality self-care.
When I looked up lip masks on TikTok, the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask was the one everybody touted as the best of the best. My lips are what I like to call perma-chapped (aka dry, flaky, and irritated no matter what I try), so in order to give this lip mask a fair shake, I decided to forgo all my other lip care products and just use the mask to hydrate my lips. Here's what my lips looked like on day one before applying the mask. As you can see, very parched:
First things first, the fact that the mask came with a gold application spoon had me feeling super ~bougie~. I tried to re-create the TikTok with my first scoop, and NGL, it was pretty satisfying.
The mask itself had a thick consistency and a nice fruity aroma. I liked the way it felt on my lips and appreciated the fact that you could leave it on until it absorbed instead of washing it off. After the first use, my lips felt much smoother and less irritated!
I kept on trying to use the mask every time my lips got dry and flaky, but by day five I broke down and had to use my trusty Aquaphor. I quickly realized that this mask wouldn't work for me as a complete replacement for my usual lip care, but I continued to use it before bed when I thought my lips needed a little TLC.
Here's what my lips looked like before and after using the Kissu Lip Mask for a month. Still a little bit dry, but a VAST improvement. Keep in mind I was still using my regular lip balm after the first week, but the mask definitely gave my lips a much-needed boost.
I'm already a total F.A.B. stan, so I was super excited to try this scrub! I have acne and bumps on my chest and back from regularly working out, and nothing's ever been able to fully clear them up (aside from quitting exercise altogether). I was curious to see if this would actually do the trick, and had faith in its 10% AHA formula.
The scrub itself was very thick and had kind of a sulfur-y smell. I quickly realized that a little went a long way. Every time I used it in the shower, I felt like I was giving my body a good scrub! It really seemed like it was doing its job in terms of sloughing away dead skin and exfoliating.
Although the skin on my back and chest started to feel much smoother over time, I was still seeing acne and bumps. Plus, on my third week I conveniently forgot that chemical exfoliants like AHA can make you sensitive to the sun, and immediately went outside for a few hours after using it in the shower. This was a ROOKIE MISTAKE and I'm still peeling from it, so please, don't be like me! Wear sunscreen always, but especially when you're using AHA products!
Here's what my chest and back looked like before and after using the F.A.B. body scrub for a month. I was still breaking out, but the acne seemed to clear up quicker than usual and my skin felt smoother and looked more even. Also, peep the sick tan line on my back from my AHA sunburn!
Although it didn't clear up my chest and back completely, I still plan to continue using the scrub in the future! It made my skin feel smoother and much more even than before.
I ended up getting this product late in the game because it was literally sold out EVERYWHERE, so I wasn't able to use it for a full month. But I still wanted to try it out because plenty of people were talking about it on TikTok, and there seemed to be a lot of different opinions. Also, no product has ever been able to clear the stubborn blackheads on my nose, so I wanted to see if this could be the thing that finally did the trick.
For reference, here's my nose before trying out the mousse. Clearly, lots of blackhead action:
I had never tried a "skin mousse" before, so this was completely new territory for me. I thought it was interesting that you apply the mousse directly onto dry skin, and it had a pretty chemical-y smell. As I worked it into my face, it immediately started to feel like it was exfoliating my skin and getting rid of dirt and debris. I saw a lot of the little dark marks from the TikTok that are supposed to be excess oil, dirt, and blackheads. My skin also felt BABY soft after.
I was pretty excited to see all the dark gunk on my face, but I was a little skeptical that the mousse was actually sucking it out of my pores like a vacuum. So, I decided to try it out on the top of my hand and see what happened.
As I semi-suspected, rubbing the mousse on my hand produced the same dark flecks. I concluded that they were probably more so because of the charcoal in the mousse and less so because of dirt/oil/blackheads.
Here's what my nose looked like after using the mousse three times in one week. Although I could see a tiny bit of improvement, I didn't think there was a HUGE difference. This pore mousse might not be the holy grail if you're hoping to clear up your blackheads, but I think it could be a good option to use before your cleanser on days where you wanna give your skin an extra clean.
And finally, here's what my skin looked like after a full month of my TikTok skincare routine! I conveniently decided to pop a whitehead that appeared on my nose on the final day (seriously, don't be like me), so I was obviously still breaking out at the end of the month.
On the plus side, I do think there was improvement in the texture and evenness of my skin. A little bit of my hyperpigmentation faded, my skin felt less oily, and the dry patches pretty much disappeared. Also please don't mind me covering my popped pimple in the second picture. I was #ashamed.
After letting TikTok determine my skincare routine for a month, I'd say my favorite products were the Luna Mini 3, UFO, and Kissu Lip Mask. But, with that being said, I had so much fun trying out all of the products and deciding how I felt in comparison to the attention they were getting on the app. I learned that what's working for everyone else might not work for you, and some products can come out of the woodwork and surprise you. In the end, you just gotta do what's best you and for your skin!
Note: Products were provided to BuzzFeed free of charge, but I was under no obligation to positively review them. All opinions are my own.