Doctors have warned people not to participate in the ‘senseless practice’ of pouring hot wax all over their face before peeling it off.
The eyes, nose and mouth are completely covered in some instances, with air holes forged with cotton buds.
Advocates of the process say it is a development of a traditional beauty practice whereas critics say it poses risks of burns, suffocation and inflaming skin.
Viral videos on TikTok show a barber shop in the Netherlands covering the whole face of a client with resin, waiting for it to harden and then peeling it off. The eyes, nose and mouth are completely covered in some instances, with air holes forged with cotton buds
Viral videos on TikTok show a barber shop in the Netherlands covering the whole face of a client with resin, waiting for it to harden and then peeling it off
Kapsalon Freedom salon in Gemert, Netherlands, has amassed more than 850,000 followers and more than two million likes on their videos at the time of writing.
The first video of the controversial practice emerged in November 2020 and left the lower half of the face uncovered, allowing the person to breathe normally through their mouth.
Resin is applied to the face and into the nostrils and ears and left to solidify, much like a normal face mask, before being peeled off to clear detritus from the pores, extract blackheads and remove stray hairs.
Barber Renaz Ismael, who runs the shop and does the face waxing, says it is a common practice in his native Middle East, but he has upped the ante by covering more of the face than normal.
‘I am the first person in the world who has done whole waxing,’ he told BBC News. ‘It’s not bad for your skin.’
Dr Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and a British Skin Foundation spokesperson, told MailOnline: ‘It is clearly not a good idea to cover the whole face with wax.
‘The bottom line is that this is a senseless practice, which has more potential for harm than good and I would not advise it.’
She adds that using the technique on children, as can be seen on the @kapsalonfreedomboxmeer TikTok page, is ill-advised.
‘I would not recommend treating children or anyone with broken skin. I see little need to remove hair in under 13s and if blackheads are a problem, there are plenty of other, far better options.’
Kapsalon Freedom, salon in Gemert in the Netherlands, has amassed more than 850,000 followers and more than two million likes on their videos at the time of writing
Dr Simran Deo, at UK-based online doctor Zava UK, adds: ‘Pouring or placing any hot wax onto the surface of your skin can put you at potential risk of burns, and although wax is often used via wax strips for hair removal, the risk of burns in these cases is minimal as it is not poured directly onto the skin.
‘Burns can lead to pigmentation, blistering and permanent scarring, which can also affect self-esteem.
‘In some cases if the burn is severe it can cause a contracture or significant tightening of the skin which can be a problem if this occurs on areas such as the neck or around the nose and the mouth.
‘The TikTok videos also demonstrate the wax being poured over the whole face, covering both the air passages of the nose and the mouth.
‘If the airways are blocked, oxygen cannot enter, and if the wax is not removed fast enough there is a potential for suffocation as the wax hardens.’
MailOnline has contacted TikTok for comment.
WHAT IS TIKTOK?
TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.
TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.
It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.
TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.
Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.
It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.
The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).
In 2020 Donald Trump called for the US arm of TikTok to be sold to an American company over fears the China-owned app posed a national security risk.
Talks are underway between ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart over US operations after Trump threatened a download ban in the US.