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Suncream contouring on TikTok
Via TikTok (@musnitskaya.a, @waterlily.s, and @stopiteli)

TikTok’s latest beauty hack? Suncream contouring

Users are applying a higher SPF on their face where they’d normally use highlighter, in the hopes of being ‘naturally snatched all summer’

According to a new beauty trend on TikTok, if you apply suncream to your face in the places you’d usually use highlighter, your tan lines will contour you so you’ll be “naturally snatched all summer”.

User Eli Withrow shared a video of herself tanning by a lake – in the clip, she appears to have a thick layer of suncream above her brows, down her nose and at its tip, across her cheekbones, and on her chin. Speaking to camera, Withrow reveals that she’s put SPF 30 all over her face, and has then applied a further layer of SPF 90 to the highlighter zones. She claims that the move will result in the sun contouring your face by enabling you to develop a better tan on your cheekbones.

Some experts on the app have praised the move – notably the part where Withrow says she’s used SPF 30 all over her face. The contouring part they’re not so convinced by. “Anything about SPF 30 has a very minimal difference,” said plastic surgeon Dr Monica Kieu in a duet with Withrow. 

Plastic surgeon Anthony Youn expanded on this, pointing out that “SPF 30 blocks 97 per cent of the sun’s rays”, while “SPF 90 blocks 99 per cent”. “It’s a good idea,” he continued, “but will a two per cent difference of the sun’s rays really make a difference?”

However, experts have warned against attempting to contour your face by only using suncream in certain areas. “There are fantastic fake tans on the market alongside wonderful cosmetic products that can be used to contour,” consultant dermatologist Dr Emma Craythorne told Glamour. “I would never recommend risking your skin health to follow a social media trend.”

In what is presumably a joke, a number of TikTok users have started attempting to use suncream to contour their stomachs and give them the appearance of abs. Don’t do this.

Earlier this year, Goop founder (and, you know, famous actor) Gwyneth Paltrow faced criticism after her cavalier attitude to sunscreen emerged during a tutorial video with Vogue. “I’m not a head-to-toe slatherer of sunscreen, but I like to put some on my nose and the area where the sun really hits,” she said. Experts described this routine as “completely ineffective”, “useless”, “horrifying”, and “concerning”.

Instead of being lax with your sunscreen, be like this guy, who wore so much it turned him fluorescent in the club. You can find Dazed Beauty’s list of the best SPF 50 suncreams to protect your face here.