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Crazy for Calamine Lotion

By: Jin Huang

Calamine lotion, a “beauty hack” that’s gone viral on TikTok for its tendency to dry out oily

skin, repair acne scars, and keep makeup in place for longer, has encouraged women around the world to smear calamine lotion on their faces. Some are using sponges or makeup brushes, while others directly pour the pink lotion onto their face and rub with their bare hands.

TikTokers are “obsessed” with the discovery of calamine lotion as the hashtag #calamineprimer has about 3.5 million views. However, dermatologists and makeup experts are warning those who jump on the trend that calamine lotion could be harmful in the long-term.

Recently, people tagged Shirazi, who goes by the username “skinbydrazi” on TikTok, in

comments about videos of calamine lotions. According to The Washington Post, “Shirazi has

used the platform to urge people to consider the ingredients before turning to calamine lotion as a primer, as overuse may lead to ‘severe irritation and worsening of scars.’”

While experts confirmed that the lotion can be used to shrink acne lesions and remove the marks left on skin, the American Academy of Dermatology warns that calamine can worsen skin irritations if used too frequently.

“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,” Shirazi said. The product causes the skin surface to dry up and harden which protects it while it repairs.

However, “[if] combining phenol with an astringent as in calamine lotion can be very drying and irritating, leading to a damaged skin barrier. It can worsen skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and dermatitis.” So, Shirazi told her 1.8 million followers simply: “It’s a no from me.”

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