The latest TikTok beauty hack to go viral involves smearing pickles on your face — and doctors say there might be something to it.
Videos showing users applying pickled cucumber, brine, and pickled juice to their skin have racked up tens of thousands of views.
Advocates say it can treat acne, even skin tone, act as a makeup remover, and slough off dead skin cells — though there’s little scientific evidence to support this.
But Kristin Koo, MD, a dermatologist and clinical professor at Yale University, told DailyMail.com that there is some evidence that chemicals in pickled vegetables can have an effect on skin.
A skincare influencer rubs a pickle on a woman’s face and eyes in a video that has garnered more than 20,000 likes
The bizarre videos show users sticking pickle slices to their arms to relieve the pain and itching from the large bites.
One Tik Toker A whole pickle is rubbed on a woman’s cheeks, lips, and eyes during a facial, for example.
Older post video Show the user to make a face mask out of pickle juice.
Some users have substituted makeup remover for pickles.
Both pickles and many over-the-counter products contain forms of the acid, such as lactic acid, Dr. Ko said.
This type of acid is proven to remove dead skin cells, which helps exfoliate the skin and give it a brighter complexion.
“I would use anything with an acid in it, either lactic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, or an alpha hydroxy acid,” said Dr. Ko.
“The stuff with acid helps with things like acne, so in theory, it’s probably not as crazy as it sounds,” said Dr. Ko.
However, too much acid can damage the skin by making it red, flaky, and prone to conditions like eczema. At extreme sizes, it can burn the skin.
Store-bought pickles have an acidity rating of up to 5 percent, although fermenting your own pickles may run the risk of higher acid content.
Dr. Ko says people may choose the pickle method because it’s potentially less irritating than a traditional skin care product.
Dr. Kristin Ko, a dermatologist and professor at Yale University, says that while pickle juice carries a low risk of burning or seriously damaging the skin, it’s best to stick with conventional products.
I don’t think it’s really dangerous. “It shouldn’t be risky in terms of really burning your skin,” she said.
The risks can be higher depending on a person’s sensitivity and sensitivity to pickles, although the same is also true for conventional products.
However, Koo suggests choosing the one you can find on your drugstore shelf, not the grocery store. “Personally, I wouldn’t put pickle juice on my face,” she said.
Pickles and pickle juice are not dermatologically tested, while most of the products that are made are tested. There are fragrance-free, even preservative-free products out there that are made to be as clean as possible. So I might still choose a product like this over applying pickle juice to my skin,” says Ko.
Dr. Ko recommends using a dermatologist-approved over-the-counter product instead of smearing pickle juice on your skin.
“My first choice wouldn’t be a random pickle jar,” she said.
As far as eating pickles goes, there are a host of health benefits.
In general, fermented foods like pickles have been shown to reduce inflammation.
Regularly eating yogurt, for example, can lower your risk of obesity, according to a Stady In the journal Advances in Nutrition.
Pickles also contain natural antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and reduce the chance of developing diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
In addition, they are high in Lactobacillus, a probiotic that can strengthen the skin barrier and kill harmful bacteria.
The sodium in pickle juice can also help balance electrolytes, although it may need to be taken in larger amounts to notice a difference.
a Stady In the Journal of Athletic Training, for example, it found that drinking small amounts of pickle juice does not completely replenish electrolytes and fluid loss in athletes after exercise.