Skin hack for reducing pimple redness without makeup goes viral – but is it safe?

Leave it to TikTok to send any innovative beauty hacks into the viral sphere. The video sharing app has catapulted all sorts of weird and wonderful tricks into our lives, from using fake tan as lip liner to blister plasters as a spot treatment.

But the latest trick to go viral – after one user reveals she uses eye drops to take down redness in angry blemishes – might not be such a great idea for your skin after all.

In said clip, which at the time of writing has been watched more than 800,000 times on the app, creator @beautifoles says the “easiest way to get rid of blemishes without makeup” is by pressing a small amount of an eye drop solution for redness into the skin, demonstrating the way that it takes down redness in a few red spots in just a matter of minutes.

And while dozens of viewers were wowed by the seemingly genius hack, taking to the comments section of the video to say so, we asked a doctor if it’s actually safe for your skin to apply eye drop solution in this way. And the short answer is: no, do not try this one at home.

“Brimonidine, the active drug in these drops, is used to treat an eye disorder called glaucoma,” explains consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk. “It is also prescribed by dermatologists to temporarily reduce skin redness in some patients who have the skin condition rosacea. The way it works is by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the surface of the skin.”

“Although the eye drops shown in this TikTok video are available over the counter, when applied to the skin, brimonidine is a prescription drug, with potential side effects such as rebound redness, i.e. even worse redness at the end of the day when the blood supply is re-established,” she continues.

“This needs to be discussed with a doctor who knows your medical history and has examined your skin, and I would discourage its casual use for treating spots, which is an unlicensed use. Concealer does the same job and is less risky.”

Best to step away from the eye drops and stick to makeup for covering any blemishes, then.

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