Micellar water to soap — we test TikTok's most hyped beauty products

WHEN salons closed during the first lockdown, beauty sales soared online as products were hyped on social media.

Vogue dubbed TikTok the ‘Selfridges of the internet’ after hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt racked up more than 950million views.

Many products claimed to work miracles by curing acne, painlessly removing body hair or removing make-up for less than a tenner – and they quickly sold out.

As the second lockdown begins, it is time to get our orders in.

But are these cult buys really worth the hype?

SIOBHAN O’CONNOR looks at the statistics behind the products while Fabulous Editorial Beauty Consultant SHANNON LAWLOR gives her verdict.


LOCKDOWN saw two products by The Ordinary become extraordinary by going viral.

A hailed product for treating acne scarring, its AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution saw a 337 per cent increase in sales. It also racked up a wait list of 85,000 people when a viral TikTok video of the solution made it sell out.

Shannon says: “Affordable skincare that actually works – The Ordinary can’t be beaten.I swear by the niacinamide serum for keeping my oily skin in check.

“But if you’re a skincare novice, always do a patch test – the peeling solution (a powerful exfoliator) is strong and can cause redness and skin burns if used incorrectly.”

  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £3.85 and AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution, £4.85, both theordinary.deciem.com

Make-up removal

AFTER beauty bloggers raved about this in make-up tutorials, the hashtag #garniermicellarwater started trending on TikTok and the pink-topped clear bottle got 5.7million views.

As a result, reports claim Garnier sells one of its Micellar Cleansing Water bottles every four seconds.

It is suitable for every skin-type as it’s free from oil, fragrance and drying alcohols.

Shannon says: “I’m a huge fan. It takes off make-up with ease and is by far the best on the market, giving those triple its price a run for their money.

“But, it’s really important to use a wash-off cleanser afterwards, as although it’s free from irritating alcohols, it doesn’t actually clean the skin, it just makes make-up removal easier.”

  • Garnier Micellar Water, £5.99, Superdrug.

Treating spots

A 67 per cent increase in influencer posts on TikTok about US skincare brand CeraVe, saw sales at Superdrug rise 65 per cent week on week.

Its Renewing SA Smoothing Cleanser has been hailed as the holy grail for treating acne-prone skin. It sloughs away dead skin cells all with salicylic acid.

Shannon says: “If you suffer with inflammation, the famous CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser makes for the ultimate skin-soothing daily cleanse.

However, if breakouts are your problem, give the SA Cleanser a go.

“It’s a great exfoliator but doesn’t leave the skin feeling overly dry or tight, thanks to super-nourishing ceramides and hyaluronic acid.”

  • CeraVe SA Cleanser, £9, lookfantastic.com

Skin revival

ASOS is fast becoming a pit-stop for beauty as well as fashion.

During lockdown, the online retailer saw a 329 per cent spike in sales of masks including clay, peel-off and sheet.

It offers a variety of brands from Revolution, NIP + Fab and Garnier and, if you are planning a last-minute pamper night, you know your basket of goodies will arrive next day delivery.

Shannon says: “Sheet masks make for great selfies on Instagram and feel really soothing when on, but the truth is, they don’t do much for your skin.

They won’t do any harm, but expect any plumping and moisturising results to be very short-lived.

"A hydrating daily serum is better for your skin and the planet as ‘biodegradable’ masks can still take decades to decompose.”

  • Sheet mask, £8 for three, Revolution on asos.com

Acne cysts

CARBON Theory’s tea tree and charcoal soap was called a “miracle” for curing acne by social media users across the globe.

Australian Teagan Beckett praised the Brit-made product for completely clearing up her cystic acne, when expensive medication had not worked.

The range sold out in three weeks after it launched Down Under in May, while in the UK, Boots sold three months of stock in just three hours.

Shannon says: “Cleansing bars are great for the environment, but the formulas are notoriously harsh and stripping. This one in particular isn’t the worst offender, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.

"Charcoal and tea tree oil are great for dealing with breakouts, however, they can cause irritation with certain skin types.”

  • Carbon Theory cleansing bar, £6, beautybay.com

Shaving saviour

COUNTLESS users claimed this old-school product was great for getting you through missed wax appointments.

After going viral during the first lockdown, it sold out for months, so stock up while you can.

Simply mix with water to create a paste and apply to the area you wish to be hairless.

It is worth bearing in mind that it is a scented product so not ideal for regular use on your bikini line.

Shannon says: “Like other depilatory creams, this powder contains a bunch of chemicals to break off hairs in the follicle.

"These can be very harsh and pose big irritation issues for those with sensitive skin. They do work, but proceed with caution.”

  • Magic Shaving Powder, £4.80, Amazon

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