The allure of achieving Botox-like results from the comfort of your home has led to a surge in DIY hacks flooding TikTok.

From rubbing banana peels on your face to concocting flaxseed face masks, these trending techniques claim to rival professional treatments. But do they hold up under expert scrutiny?

We’ve consulted with three doctors in dermatology and aesthetic medicine to give you the lowdown on whether this TikTok DIY trend is worth trying or it is just another internet myth.

Here’s everything you need to know, straight from the pros.

Meet our Experts

  • Dr Ch’ng Chin Chwen, Consultant Dermatologist from Subang Jaya Medical Centre, Malaysia.
  • Dr Yanni Xu, Medical Director of The Urban Clinic, Singapore.
  • Dr Ivan Puah, an MOH-Accredited Liposuction Doctor and Medical Director at Amaris B. Clinic, Singapore.

Before we delve into the topic, let’s find out what these trends are all about.

TikTok DIY Trends Claim To Work Similar To Botox. Is It Possible?

@newbeautymagazine

Another day, another TikTok beauty hack to test. This time, it’s supposedly do-it-yourself #Botox you can make with flaxseed, a pot of boiling water and a cheese-cloth strainer.⁠ But is this #homemadeBotox actually capable of tightening your skin and eliminating #wrinkles? Head to the link in bio, where we ask the experts. ⁠ ⁠ Written by: @brittbfallon⁠ ⁠Video credit: @Sylvia ⁠ ⁠ #injectables #dermalfillers #dysport #fillers #juvederm #antiaging #flaxseedbotox #botox #botoxnatural

♬ original sound – NewBeauty Magazine

The rise of DIY skincare hacks on social media platforms like TikTok has led to numerous trends claiming to replicate the effects of professional treatments, such as Botox injections.

The growing trend of DIY hacks promising botox-like results has sparked debate among experts. Dr. Ch’ng, Consultant Dermatologist from Subang Jaya Medical Centre, Malaysia highlights the ineffectiveness of such methods, stating, “Even if there’s some exfoliation or nutrients, it can’t reduce muscle movement and wrinkles like botox.”

Source: Depositphotos

On the other hand, Dr. Yanni, Medical Director of The Urban Clinic, Singapore said “while some natural remedies can have benefits, it’s essential to approach such trends with caution as they are most likely not going to yield any result and may even cause skin irritation.”

Source: Depositphotos

Dr Ivan Puah, Medical Director at Amaris B. Clinic, Singapore takes a firmer stance, calling DIY methods “impossible” for replicating botox’s effects.

He explains the science behind botox injections and warns against relying on fads, stating, “there’s no evidence to suggest DIY masks can achieve the specific action of botulinum toxins. Consulting a licensed professional is always best for safe and effective treatments.”

So, What Is Botox?

Source: Depositphotos

Botox, scientifically known as Botulinum Toxin, works by blocking nerve signals to muscles, reducing their ability to contract. Dr. Yanni explains, “This leads to a temporary reduction in wrinkles and fine lines, particularly in areas like the forehead and around the eyes.”

Does Rubbing Banana Peel on Your Skin Work Like Botox?

When it comes to replicating the wrinkle-reducing effects of botox with viral DIY trends like the banana facial, all three experts deliver a resounding no.

“The trends can NEVER produce similar results,” Dr Ivan Puah put a foot down with his statement, saying that these TikTok trends can never be similar to what you’d expect to achieve from a botox treatment.

@sheenaanayaaa

This actually made my face feel wo much tighter 😍 #bananapeel #bananafacial #skincareroutine #skincaretips

♬ original sound – Kardashian clips 🎬

Dr. Ch’ng highlights the fundamental difference in how these methods work. “Topical treatments like banana peel facials can only affect the surface layers of the skin, not the muscles themselves. Botox, in contrast, targets specific muscles to achieve defined results, like softening frown lines or lifting the corners of the mouth.”

@kainatvibes

Is Banana Peel a good botox for Skin??? 🍌 ✨ “Rubbing a banana peel on your skin can offer gentle exfoliation, and we know gentle exfoliation can be beneficial for the skin,” King says. Exfoliation helps with things like uneven skin texture, reducing breakouts, and sloughing off excess dead skin, which can reveal a brighter complexion. #beauty #skincare #koreanskincare #glassskin #exfoliate #skinproducts #remedies #beautyhacks #glowingface #riceflour #ricemask #banana

♬ original sound – KainatVibes🤠

Dr. Yanni sheds light on the science behind botox’s effectiveness. “Botox works by blocking nerve signals to muscles, demonstrably reducing wrinkles and fine lines. This approach has been validated by thousands of clinical studies that support its safety and effectiveness.

These studies undergo rigorous evaluation by health authorities like the FDA and HSA before approval for use. Additionally, there’s a standardised dose and training required for safe and effective botox injections.”

Source: Depositphotos

Dr. Yanni emphasises the potential for irritation from such treatments and the complete absence of evidence for lasting results.

Can Flaxseed DIY Face Masks Provide Botox-Like Benefits?

Similar to the banana peel DIY hack, another viral trend claims to replicate the effects of Botox: the flaxseed DIY face mask. This involves using ground flaxseeds mixed with water or other ingredients to create a facial mask, believed to improve skin texture and reduce fine lines, although scientific evidence for its effectiveness is limited.

@ronyayvonne

2 Ingredient At Home Botox?!?! With FLAXSEED?!?! 😳🤯 #flaxseedgel #flaxseedmask #flaxseedgelresults #skincaretiktok #naturalbotox

♬ original sound – RonyaYvonne

Dr. Ch’ng acknowledges the benefits of flaxseed for the skin, but clarifies its limitations. “While flaxseed offers antioxidants and moisture, it works on the surface layers, unlike botox which relaxes muscles for smoother wrinkles.”

Source: kainatvibes/Tiktok & Freepik

Dr. Ivan Puah delivers a more definitive stance, mirroring his comments on the banana peel trend. He reiterates the scientific gap between DIY methods and botox injections.

Source: Freepik

“There’s no scientific evidence that flaxseed masks can mimic botox’s muscle-relaxant action. Consulting a professional is always best for safe and effective wrinkle reduction.” He strongly advises against relying on such fads for skincare.

Are There Potential Risks or Side Effects with DIY Skincare Hacks?

As much as these DIY hacks may be tempting, especially when knowing you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket, they can actually have side effects.

“First the results vary with individuals. We do not know whether it really works and on who will it work. If it works, we do not know the actual “dosage”, the exact mechanism, and how long it will last.

People with sensitive skin risk contact dermatitis. When trying new products, I usually advise people to do patch tests at one corner of the skin to make sure your skin will not get irritated or allergic to the products,” Dr Ch’ng shared.

Source: Depositphotos

“These methods are not scientifically proven,” said Dr Ivan Puah, who also listed a few side effects that may come from ill-advised home remedies:

  • Skin Irritation and Allergic Reactions: Applying substances not designed for topical use, such as banana peel, can cause skin irritation, redness, itching, and allergic reactions. Your skin may react unpredictably to various components, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
  • Infections: Using unsterilised materials or improper techniques can introduce bacteria to your skin, leading to infections. This is particularly risky when applying food items or other non-sterile substances to the face.
  • Delayed Professional Treatment: Relying on ineffective DIY hacks can delay seeking professional medical advice and treatment. This delay can exacerbate skin issues or other conditions that might benefit from timely medical intervention.
  • False Sense of Security: These hacks can provide a false sense of improvement, preventing individuals from seeking scientifically validated treatments that are proven to be safe and effective.

Can These Hacks Be Considered Skincare Treatments?

When it comes to the rising popularity of DIY skincare hacks claiming to mimic professional treatments like botox injections, all three experts have something to share about.

Dr. Ch’ng takes a cautious stance, stating, “No, as their effectiveness and safety are not well established.” She underscores the importance of relying on scientifically proven methods for skincare.

Source: Depositphotos

Dr. Yanni echoes this sentiment, emphasising, “No! A skincare treatment or routine involves a series of steps and products tailored to safely care for the skin, including cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising, and sun protection.”

Source: Depositphotos

According to her, these DIY trends lack the comprehensive approach necessary for a safe and effective skincare regimen.

Elaborating on the specific case of banana facials, Dr. Yanni advises caution. “The banana facial cannot sufficiently address all aspects of skincare, such as cleansing, exfoliation, moisturising, and sun protection for all skin types,” she explains.

“It should not be considered a reliable beauty treatment. Individuals attempting it should conduct a patch test first, as even apparent tolerance may not prevent potential issues if applied incorrectly or with under ripe bananas.”

Why Are These DIY Hacks Claimed to Work Like Botox?

Dr. Ch’ng suggests that the temporary improvement seen with some DIY methods might be due to basic skincare benefits rather than any Botox-like action. “Perhaps the scrubs and moisturising effect give temporary improvement on rough skin surface,” she explains.

Source: Depositphotos

“Botulinum toxin is injected into the muscle. I highly doubt bananas will penetrate to the same depth. There is no doubt that bananas cannot be similar to botox,” says Dr. Yanni, emphasising the superficial nature of these home remedies.

She highlights the fundamental differences between Botox and DIY hacks, pointing out that the injection of botulinum toxin targets muscles directly, a level of penetration and specificity that DIY methods like banana facials cannot achieve.

Dr. Ivan Puah delves deeper into the misconceptions surrounding these claims. “The claims that DIY hacks can replicate the effects of Botulinum toxins are largely based on anecdotal evidence and misconceptions rather than scientific facts,” he asserts.

He outlines several key points to support these claims that are lacking scientific grounding:

  • Lack of Scientific Basis: Unlike botulinum toxin—a medically approved substance used to relax muscles and smooth wrinkles—DIY hacks like rubbing banana peel on the face lack scientific evidence to support their efficacy.
  • Misunderstanding of Ingredients: For example, banana peel contains antioxidants and vitamins, which are good for general skin health but do not have the muscle-relaxing properties necessary to mimic Botox’s effects.
  • No Mechanism for Muscle Relaxation: Natural ingredients simply do not interact with the skin or muscles in the same way that Botulinum toxins do.
  • False Claims and Misinformation: Many DIY hacks gain popularity through social media and anecdotal endorsements rather than through rigorous scientific testing. These claims are often misleading and can give a false sense of effectiveness.

“Medical doctors do not recommend such DIY hacks due to the lack of scientific evidence and potential risks involved. We are against using unproven methods, emphasising the importance of treatments that have been scientifically validated for safety and efficacy,” says Dr. Ivan Puah.

Note: the term “botox” is used in the article refers to the common term for the botulinum toxin treatment.

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