TikTok can get a bad rap for contributing to the mindless scrolling that’s become a mainstay in our everyday routines. But, despite the seconds-long content that may be viewed as lacking substance (but still makes us laugh!) there’s a corner of TikTok that’s dedicated to churning out helpful skin care information, such as myth-debunking and step-by-step tutorials, to help us raise our beauty IQs.
These dermatologists—or derm-fluencers—pride themselves in understanding the unique skin care needs of women of color; All while providing solutions that weren’t always as easily attainable as a simple tap and scroll. Ready to get glowing? Here’s who to follow on TikTok, and their nuggets of beauty wisdom.
Dr. Laura Scott, @laurascottandco
The tip: “When it comes to hirsutism, which is an overgrowth of hair in unexpected areas for women, it’s important to get down to the root cause” says Dr. Laura Scott in response to a viewer’s question about the condition. Once PCOS is ruled out, the dermatologist says laser hair removal is “a great option,” adding that the procedure is safe for women of color — you just need to make sure the technician has the proper training and is experienced in working with melanated skin. “Nd:YAG is my laser of preference,” she adds.
Dr Aamna Adel, @dermatology.doctor
The tip: Finding the perfect sunscreen when you’re a woman of color can be a lot more complex than you think — but getting it right is vital. Darker skin “is more prone to pigmentation, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” says Dr. Adel, while sharing her sunscreen pick for skin of color. She recommends looking for a sunscreen that’s tinted, provides protection from UVA and UVB, and screens out visible light, “which plays an important role in the development of pigmentation.”
Dr. Janelle Vega, @drjanellevega
The tip: Cleaning out your beauty cabinet is always a good idea — and Dr. Vega explains how. In this video, the skin care expert conveniently shows the surprisingly harmful products you should throw out. The culprits include St. Ives Apricot Scrub because “walnut shards can create micro-tears in the skin,” and homemade remedies like coconut oil which “clogs pores and worsens acne.” Instead, she shares a solution: “Stick to medical-grade skincare and advice from your dermatologist.”
Dr. Suchismita (Tia) Paul, @drpaulderm
The tip: Ditch the DIY skincare, says Dr. Paul, who shares that using toothpaste on a pesky pimple or using lemon juice as a toner “can cause serious skin irritation and worsening of hyperpigmentation.” The latter is extra concerning for women of color as opting for these home remedies can lead to uneven skin tone and heightened sensitivity in some skin types.
Dr. Zion Ko Lamm, @dr.zionko
The tip: Mom always knows best, especially when it comes to beauty. Dr. Zion Ko Lamm agrees and has featured her Korean mother on her social media to reveal her own personal skincare secrets. One of our favorites? Her mom waits at least 10 minutes after cleansing her face to apply retinol. “Damp skin increases absorption, which can increase irritation.”