A new skincare trend that’s gaining traction on TikTok could have serious consequences. Some app users have shared clips of themselves injecting hyaluronic acid into their faces for alleged skincare benefits, but experts warn this isn’t something you should do if you’re not a licensed professional.
In a February 18 press release, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association issued a warning about this practice. “The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) wants to alert the public about children buying and using ‘hyaluron pens’ to inject hyaluronic acid filler into the epidermal and upper dermal layers of the skin,” the statement reads. “ASDSA members, who are all board certified dermatologists, have found questionable social media videos in which children use these pens to self-inject and promote their use to peers.”
The pens, which can be bought online for anywhere from $60 to $300, make it sound like DIY lip and wrinkle solutions can come in a painless, easy-to-administer way. That’s not the case, though.
“The illicit use of injector pens to inject non-sterile hyaluronic acid by teens has the potential to produce serious reactions including infection and tissue necrosis,” plastic surgeon Mark Jewell, MD told New Beauty recently.
While the use of an at-home needle is certainly a step beyond other TikTok skincare routines, the video app has perfected the art of sharing beauty tips to vast audiences. Some skincare gurus, like Hyram Yarbro, have gained global recognition for sharing their secrets to perfect skin. Yarbro often publicizes the use of CeraVe creams for facial care and preaches against the use of fragrance in products. CeraVe even temporarily sold out after Yarbro’s endorsement.
As for the hyaluron pens, one doctor has gone on record saying that the pens available online might not even actually contain hyaluronic acid. “I’ve seen, you know, things sold online that said that they’re hyaluronic acid and they end up being silicone or cement, or, you know, contaminated with bacteria and all sorts of things and some of those things are fixable and sometimes they’re not,” Kristen Whitney, a dermatologist, told CBS Pittsburgh.
Dr. Whitney also told CBS that hyaluronic injections are typically the purview of trained professionals, so talk with a medical professional before you purchase a hyaluronic pen. Your local dermatologist might also have much safer options that they’re willing to give you. Whatever you do, just remember not to try everything that you see on TikTok.