10 Genius TikTok Hacks That *Actually* Worked To Improve Our Hair, Skin, and Nails This Year

Photo: Well+Good Creative
TikTok is full of...questionable beauty advice. And while it can be hard to separate what's legit from what's a waste within the wild world of TikTok beauty hacks, the app is also full of some truly legitimate gems that have actually made our hair, nails, and skin better this year. We rubbed frozen ale vera on our faces, slugged our nails, and so much more—and loved the results.

These hacks are DIY ways to switch up your routine and many of them won't cost you a thing. To learn about our favorite TikTok beauty hacks of 2022, keep on scrolling.

10 2022 TikTok beauty hacks that actually worked

1. DIY frozen aloe vera facials

@jacattack I literally wake up every morning shocked by how good my skin looks! #fyp #aloevera #beauty #skincare #ReadyForHell #MINDORDERING ♬ original sound - Jaclynhill

Experts In This Article
  • Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Whitney Bowe, MD, board-certified dermatologist based in New York

I spent a week rubbing frozen aloe vera on my face every morning and loved the results. I followed a tutorial by beauty influencer Jaclyn Hill to make aloe ice cubes using a fresh aloe leaf, water, a blender, and ice molds. Although making frozen aloe vera and rubbing it on my face felt extremely extra, I came to love it. It helped to perk me up and made my skin look dewy and radiant.

2. The Bowl Method for bouncy curls

@curlyzia.xo Still get messages daily of people saying how much this helped. Makes me smile so much ??? #ziasbowlmethod #bowlmethod #curlclumps ♬ Home - Edith Whiskers

Our former editorial intern Jihan Basyah tested out the bowl method, which involves slathering your hair with a leave-in conditioner or curl cream and dipping it section by section into a bowl of water. As you dip, you’re meant to scrunch each individual section and let the water run back into the bowl. While Basyah found the process to be too involved for her day-to-day, she said the results were amazing. "In the end, my curls looked bouncy and defined, so much so that I felt like my hair had just come out of the salon," she writes. "It was perfectly frizz-less, with S-shaped ringlets, and once it was dry it felt super lightweight. More importantly, my hair wasn't as crunchy as it normally is when I scrunch it with product sans bowl."

3. Nail slugging to strengthen nails

@drcharlesmd1 ♬ Envolver - Anitta

Another former W+G intern, Kiara Thomas, tried nail slugging to revive her brittle nails earlier this year, and said the results were awesome. The process involves massaging your nails and cuticles with a petroleum jelly product (like Vaseline or Aquaphor), and works to strengthen the nails while also protecting them from water damage.  Thomas applied Vaseline to her nails and cuticles before bed and "when I woke up in the morning, my nails and cuticles were not only moisturized, but they also had a natural shine and enhanced color that made them look far healthier than they did the night before," she writes. "They were also strong (I hadn't seen them this fortified since the last time I applied nail hardener!) and felt exceptionally smooth. I have a few cracks on my nails, but post-slugging they were barely noticeable and blended in with the rest of my nail."

4. Split hair washing for cleaner strands

@sl.lacy #healthyhair #healthyhairtips #nontoxichaircare #sensitivescalp #lowporosityhair #lowporosity #waistlengthhair #longhairgoals #4chair #naturalhaircommunity #washdaybelike #retainmoisture #moistureretention #shampoobar #hairgrowthshampoo #naturaltok #dryscalpremedy #type4haircare #shampootips #natura ♬ original sound - &lt3

To help manage her perpetually oily scalp, contributor Melanie Rud tried split hair washing, aka washing your hair in sections instead of all in one go. "Post-shower, my hair was definitely much easier to comb through than it normally would be, no detangling spray necessary," writes Rud. "And while the process didn't help me extend my washes any longer than usual (by the next day, my scalp was back to its normal level of oily), it did initially leave my hair feeling extra clean. Because it takes slightly longer than a standard hair wash, I'm not sure it's something I'd do every day. But the next time I feel like my scalp has a lot of build-up or I'm taking a "full-on" shower—you know, the kind where you exfoliate, shave, do a mask—split hair washing will for sure be on the docket."

5. Tin foil to smooth static-y hair

@laurentpreble Reply to @beachgirl364 ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH ?? #tinfoil #statichair #HairHack #holycrap ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show

When your hair is full of static, you can rub tin foil on it to get rid of static electricity in your strands. Once that electric energy is removed, your strands look smoother strands, fly-aways are at bay, and shine is restored. "It's shockingly satisfying how quickly the tin foil smooths out your strands," writes contributor Jessica Estrada.

6. Managing fungal acne with dandruff shampoo

@elysemyersyou ever look at a word so long it starts to look like a made up word? my brain started convincing me ‘zinc’ wasn’t the right spelling by the end of editing this. ?♬ original sound - Elyse Myers

If you have acne caused by a fungus (it happens when sweat and oil allow normal yeast on the skin to grow to higher than normal levels), washing your face with dandruff shampoo can help. "If you have pus pimples not responding to traditional acne treatments, it could be this condition," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Dandruff and fungal acne are both caused by the same type of yeast, Malassezia. So using dandruff shampoo on your face can help to clear up that yeast over time to clear breakouts. "There’s little downside to using Head and Shoulders shampoo as a skin wash for fungal acne," says Dr. Zeichner. "It can even be used on people with sensitive skin."

7. French girl slugging

@fridarosengrd Replying to @Hi @La Roche-Posay ♬ original sound - Frida Rosengård

A French remix on the K-beauty practice of slugging uses the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 ($15) in lieu of Vaseline. Instead of petroleum, the occlusive (meaning it locks moisture in and keeps dry air out) ingredient in Vaseline, this balm uses dimethicone, a silicone-based polymer. Plus, it's also packed with shea butter (an emollient that softens, smooths, and repairs skin), glycerin (a humectant that draws in water), and panthenol (an occlusive that seals in moisture).  "I’ve been using the balm myself for the past two and a half weeks, and my skin is in an exceptional state right now," writes contributor Dominique Michelle Astorino. "While I'm typically drier than the soil in Death Valley and deal with a lot of skin concerns during the low-humidity winter months, I've recently been in a glowy state of comfort with no flaking, peeling, or breakouts. Plus, the balm has helped to quell some of the rosacea-induced redness on my nose."

8. Skin cycling for a glowy complexion

@drwhitneybowe Skin cycling for beginners: how to get started. And how to layer with Bowe Glowe #skincycling #thatboweglow #dermatologist #skintok ♬ original sound - Dr. Whitney Bowe

Skin cycling is a four-night skin-care cycle. On night one, you exfoliate; on night two, you use a retinoid; and on nights three and four, you allow your skin to recover.  It's "a deliberate and strategic approach to skin care that involves cycling through your evening skin-care routine to drive results while minimizing irritation,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, the board-certified dermatologist who invented the skin-cycling method. When contributor Annita Katee gave it a try, she loved her results. "Over the past month, I’ve completed multiple rounds of the four-day skin cycling method, and my skin has thanked me for it," she writes. "With a brighter, more plump complexion, I’ve found myself using less foundation and letting my natural skin shine. I’ve also noticed the fine lines on my forehead have become less visible, and the mild amounts of rosacea my cheeks have decreased too."

9. Reverse hair washing to revive dull strands

@audreyvictoria_ The end result ? I’m shocked, just wait #hairtok #haircare #haircareroutine #shampoo #conditioner ♬ original sound - kekesslowedaudios❤️

Reverse hair washing involves conditioning your hair first and shampooing right after. It's particularly helpful for fine hair that feels weighed down after conditioning. “By first using conditioner and then shampoo, you’re removing a lot of the conditioner, meaning there’s not as much left to weigh your hair down,” explains Gökhan Vayni, a hair transplant specialist at Vera Clinic. When contributor Anna Myers gave it a go, she saw major benefits. "I first tried it after a holiday week spent mostly in the sun, when my hair was at its driest and dullest. After just one wash, I immediately noticed that my ends looked healthier and my hair looked fuller overall," writes Myers. "I’ve stuck with this routine for a few weeks now, and the difference in volume and softness has been incredible. I might decide to revert back to a regular wash every once in a while to give my hair a full and thorough cleanse, but other than that, consider me (and my formerly lifeless hair) a true convert."

10. Ice-water facials to de-puff

@marissalittell Gloomy day facial #skincare #skin #icefacial #summerskincare #grwm NOT an ad. :) ? @celsiusofficial ♬ These Arms of Mine (Live at the Apollo Theater, New York) - Otis Redding

This hack is simple: Dunk your face in a bowl of ice water in the morning to decrease puffiness. Contributor Anneke Knot tried it every day for a week and while it was beneficial, it was too much to incorporate into her regular routine. "Though I never looked forward to my morning dip, I did look forward to the way my skin looked afterward," Know writes "My cheeks looked noticeably less puffy, and the swelling around my eyes and chin diminished. Beyond that, my skin tone looked visibly smoother and more even—so much so that I decided to skip complexion products a few times over the course of the experiment. See ya, concealer (at least for now). Overall, I loved the way my skin looked after a week's worth of ice baths... but not enough that I plan to make it a part of my everyday routine. The process is more work than it's worth, and the rate it requires me to refill my ice trays simply isn't sustainable for my lifestyle."

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