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Calamine lotion isn’t what is seems to be on TikTok

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

By: Bryan Li

Recently, TikTokers have been trying a miracle product, and it just seems too good to be true. Many users on the app have stated that calamine lotion can clear acne, make your skin drier, and hold makeup in place for hours.

“I cannot see my pores anywhere,” says a girl. Others have claimed that this magical lotion helps keep their makeup on the whole day, including during work and in the sun. Obsessed with this new find, many people don’t understand how this lotion can actually damage their skin.

However, doctors and dermatologists see this lotion differently; its original use was to help treat chickenpox, bug bites, and rashes.

One dermatologist, Azadeh Shirazi, who goes by “skinbydrazi” on TikTok, has been tagged multiple times on those videos. Shirazi says that “it just doesn’t make sense to use calamine lotion and risk drying out the skin and damaging the skin barrier.” She adds that it may cause “severe irritation and worsening of scars.”

The lotion is made up of ferric oxide, zinc oxide, and phenol. When the phenol is mixed with an astringent, a type of cosmetic made to dry oily skin, the skin becomes dry and irritating.

Another problem with this trend is that people who need the lotion for medical reasons are now struggling to find the product. For example, many parents cannot find calamine lotion for their children who are suffering from chickenpox. They can’t find any on the shelves at the store, leaving their children in discomfort.

In the United States, other people are saying they can’t any of this lotion for treatment. “I have to use this when my lupus flares up, now it’s sold out in Walmart,” typed a user on TikTok.

However, many TikTokers are not listening to the professionals. They claim it’s still a cheaper alternative for primer, a product that’s used to hold makeup on your face. With a bottle of calamine from Walgreens in her hand, a makeup artist said, “I was so surprised at how good my makeup looked.”

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