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Doctors Advise Not to Follow Calamine Trend

By: Tianhao Chen

If you’ve been on TikTok recently, you may have seen a new trend going around, where people are putting calamine lotion on their faces as a primer.

Primers are recommended to be used before applying makeup to smoothen out the skin and allow makeup to stay on the face for longer. Although calamine lotion is typically used to treat rashes, itches and pimples, people who try the trend found the lotion to help with oily skin and acne scars. In addition, they praise it for being a great primer as it keeps makeup on their face during a long day or in the hot summer.

Although this trend has become viral, culminating in over 3 millions views under #calamineprimer on TikTok, dermatologists and makeup experts advise not to incorporate the lotion in their makeup routine.

Azadeh Shirazi, a dermatologist in San Diego, tried out the trend on her TikTok “skinbydrazi” after many comments asked for her to examine this trend. In her video, she advises people to not use the lotion because its ingredients could damage your skin.

“Calamine lotion is made up of zinc oxide, ferric oxide and phenol…Ferric oxide

helps with itching and the phenol is also a powerful exfoliant. 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,” says Shirazi as she disapproves of this trend. The American Academy of Dermatology added that frequent use of the lotion will result in these skin irritations.

Kourtney Hammet, a makeup artist, also urges people to not incorporate the lotion to their makeup routine, as she believes that it can dry up your skin and leave wrinkles and lines.

When this trend became viral, the supply for calamine lotion decreased as parents in the UK reported that they cannot find and purchase any for treating chickenpox. People in the U.S have also noticed a supply issue and have expressed their concerns on social media.

However, due to calamine lotion having a much lower cost than typical primers, people continue to use it. One TikToker posted that, out of her primers and calamine lotion, the lotion was the best primer, even though it only cost $4.50 compared to the $20-$64 for each primer.

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