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Debunking Beauty Trends: The Truth Behind Coffee Scrubs, DIY Botox, Lemon Acne Treatment, and Sunscreen Myths

By Natalie Hone, MD FAAD and Camila Antia, MD FAAD Physician/Owner  The Skin People

In the ever-evolving world of beauty and skincare, trends often emerge on social media platforms like TikTok, promising miraculous results with household items. However, it’s crucial to separate fact from fiction and understand the science behind these trends. In this blog, we’ll explore the effectiveness and potential risks of using coffee grounds as a face scrub, attempting at-home Botox treatments, using lemons to treat acne, and the controversy surrounding sunscreen usage.



Coffee Grounds as Face Scrub:

Coffee enthusiasts may be intrigued by the idea of repurposing coffee grounds for skincare. While coffee does offer benefits such as reduced inflammation and improved blood flow, caution is advised when using it as a face scrub. The granules can act as a harsh physical exfoliator, potentially causing irritation. While it may be suitable for the body, it’s not recommended for the face, especially for those with sensitive or reactive skin.

  • May improve skin appearance and circulation.
  • Reduces puffiness.
  • Provides antioxidants.
  • Can be harsh on the skin.
  • May cause irritation, especially for sensitive skin.

At-home Botox Treatments:

The recent TikTok trend endorsing homemade flaxseed gel as “homemade Botox” has stirred curiosity. While DIY masks may offer fleeting tightening effects, they pale in comparison to the nuanced outcomes achieved through professional Botox treatments. Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contraction. This inhibition of acetylcholine prevents the muscles from contracting, leading to muscle relaxation. In the context of dermatology, Botox therapy is commonly used for various purposes, including the treatment of wrinkles, excessive sweating, and muscle spasms. The effects of neuromodulators, lasting 3-4 months, extend beyond wrinkle reduction, encompassing benefits such as decreased sweat production and refined pore size.
DIY treatments may contribute to skincare routines, but they don’t replicate the targeted results of professional procedures.

Using Lemons to Treat Acne:

Lemon’s potential as an acne treatment is a popular belief, but it’s essential to consider the scientific perspective. While lemon essential oil has shown anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in studies, its direct efficacy for acne is uncertain. Lemons contain citric acid, which can lead to potential risks when applied directly to the skin, including burning, dryness, redness, and increased sensitivity to sunlight. Consulting with your dermatologist  and exploring scientifically proven acne treatments is advisable.

Sunscreen Myths on TikTok:

Contrary to claims on TikTok, sunscreen remains a crucial component of skincare. Nano-Titanium Dioxide (nano-TiO2), a common ingredient in sunscreens, is deemed safe for skin application by scientific studies. Misinformation suggesting sunscreen ages the skin is debunked by numerous medical studies emphasizing the substantial benefits of sunscreen. Regular application significantly reduces the risk of skin damage, inflammation, premature aging, and various skin cancers.


As beauty trends continue to circulate on social media platforms, it’s essential to approach them with a critical eye. Understanding the science behind skincare practices ensures informed choices for a healthy and effective beauty routine. Always consult with a dermatologists before trying new trends, and prioritize evidence-based practices for optimal results.

Medical Dermatology

  • Acne
  • Eczema 
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Hair loss 
  • Melasma
  • Melanoma 
  • Psoriasis 
  • Rashes 
  • Scars
  • Keloids
  • Rosacea 
  • Vitiligo 
  • Warts
  • Molluscum 
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Skin tag
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