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Calamine Lotion – The Surprising Side Effects

By: Amy Liu

Nowadays, as TikTok is becoming more and more popular, some makeup tiktokers are also

gaining popularity. Recently, they have found a “hack” to dry oily skin, repair acne marks and

keep their makeup in place for long amounts of time by using calamine lotion.

Many beauty youtubers and social media influencers have also used calamine lotion as a primer, saying that “it helps their makeup stay put in the summer sun and throughout 12-hour


However, calamine lotion isn’t all fun and games. Some dermatologists say that this could cause long-term skin damage, as well as worsen skin conditions.

Take Azadeh Shirazi, for example. Shirazi is a dermatologist, who is on TikTok, trying to

debunk beauty hacks and prove that calamine lotion could cause even more damage. She had warned tiktokers to first “consider the ingredients before turning to calamine lotion as a primer, as overuse may lead to severe irritation and worsening of scars.”

Shirazi also said that “Calamine lotion is made up of zinc oxide, ferric oxide and phenol. Zinc

oxide is an astringent that can help absorb excess oil and have a mattifying effect,”. The product causes skin to dry up and harden, potentially leading to an even more damaged skin barrier.

But despite all of these warnings, calamine lotion can hold some benefits, possibly posing as the cheaper version of primers. For example, it only costs about 2.40 dollars in the United


“I was surprised how good it looked” said one makeup influencer, pointing at a bottle of

calamine lotion.

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