TikTok's sunscreen contour hack is ridiculous and concerning

There has to be a safer way to be “naturally snatched all summer”

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / December 07 2021

In what can only be described as a truly WTF moment, TikTokers have been encouraging viewers on the platform to contour their face using sunscreen.

And look, while we were on the fence about the TikTok frozen beauty blender hack and left a little unimpressed by the TikTok banana peel facial, we’re completely perturbed by the sunscreen contour hack by comparison.

What is this ‘unique’ contouring technique?

The sunscreen contour hack is all about using a low SPF sunscreen as a base on the whole face and then haphazardly slapping a high SPF sunscreen on the typical highlight points of the face (cheekbones, nose, all the places the sun naturally hits essentially). 

The (not so clever) idea is for the different levels of sun exposure to create different levels of skin tone and therefore shadows on the face.

The method was developed by TikToker Eli Withrow, who has since admitted in a follow up video titled ‘Pseudo sunscreen contour results’ that her “results aren’t exactly a scientific method”.

Why is sunscreen contouring ineffective?

Besides the fact that you’re going to look like a bit of a silly goose laying out at the beach with streaks of white sunscreen all over your face – sunscreen contouring is just plain bad for your skin. It risks sun exposure and subsequently damage to certain areas of the face, and let’s not forget about the wrinkles. 

It’s a point a number of skin experts on the app (who have stitched Eli’s original video) have made, while others have also reiterated that layering anything above SPF 30 on top of SPF 30 is basically redundant:

Meanwhile other TikTokers have hilariously called out the hack for just being outright ridiculous:

And then there are some creators on the app who’re trying to use the technique to Macgyver their way to a more defined six-pack (um, okay):

It’s at this point that we think we should all collectively agree to close the app and take a water break...

When you log back in though, why not check out the completely safe (not to mention cute) fairy hair trend?

Main image credit: @stopiteli

Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.