Sunscreen Contouring Warning in The Sun

Sun damage expert and health media spokesperson Dr Ross Perry warned readers of The Sun about the dangerous TikTok beauty trend for sunscreen contouring. 

The idea behind sunscreen contouring is to use SPF strategically in order to allow  particular areas of the face to bronze more than others, creating a similar effect to that of contouring without the use of makeup.

A TikTok advocate of the theory said:

“Haters will say it doesn’t work but I’m convinced if you put SPF 30 on [some parts] and then SPF 90 on all the spots where you would put highlighter on the sun will contour your face.”

However, others have been quick to criticise the idea. One person summed it up:

“Lol when you contour with wrinkles and age spots. Sun damage is not pretty.”

Resident beauty expert at JustMyLook beauty website, Hayley Walker, was horrified by the trends. She said:

“While the desire to achieve that contoured-look naturally is tempting, this TikTok beauty trend comes with safety concerns for your skin and health.”

Instead, Hayley advocates that

“applying SPF to your face is essential and should be a conscious part of your skincare routine.

“More importantly, it needs to be applied correctly in order for your skin to receive its full benefits. Applying only to certain parts of your face purely for aesthetic is dangerous and can lead to injuries including sunburn, which can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.”

The Sun’s article sought expert advice from Dr Ross Perry, who said that the trend is

“beyond dangerous and should not be encouraged.”

He explained:

“No tan is a safe tan. Unfortunately the facts are that everyone is at risk of skin cancer and this risk increases with age.

“A tan is a response to DNA damage, whether you get it on the beach, on a sunbed, or through incidental exposure. Tans are caused by harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, and if you have one, you’ve sustained skin cell damage. Such damage is instrumental in the development of skin cancer.”

The importance of sun protection

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. It is an aggressive form of skin cancer accounting for over 16,000 cases a year and approximately 2,300 deaths according to official statistics.

Anyone can get skin cancer, but melanoma is associated with sun exposure, so the more you are exposed to the sun, the higher the risks.

Sunscreen has been shown to reduce the risk of developing melanoma by more than 50%. It is important that it is applied properly and reapplied frequently in order to get the best protection and it is still advisable to avoid sun exposure during the peak hours.

A spokesperson from Cancer Research UK said:

“Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. This may be long term exposure, or short periods of intense sun exposure and burning. The ultraviolet light in sunlight damages the DNA in the skin cells. This damage can happen years before a cancer develops.”

Beauty expert Hayley added that there is plenty of choice in makeup to safely contour the face without the need to risk the health of the skin. t’s not even expensive. Hayley recommends Make-up Revolution Fast Base Contour Stick, which combines a bronzer with highlighter and costs just £5.95.

To read more and get health tips from more doctors, please visit

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