Is food colouring as lip stain a good idea? An expert weighs in on the TikTok trend

·4-min read
Is using food colouring as lip stain safe? Diving into the latest TikTok trend
Is using food colouring as lip stain safe? Diving into the latest TikTok trend (Getty Images)

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TikTok is a go-to platform for learning about hot beauty trends.

The most recent one? Beauty TikTokers have been using food colouring as lip stain.

TikToker @sarah_wolak is seemingly one of the top creators to go viral for trying the food colouring as lip stain trend after a viewer commented the suggestion on one of her previous videos.

After a few attempts at learning how best to apply the product to her lips, Wolak has created a method where she takes a few drops of the food colouring of her choice onto a plastic dish, mixes it together, and then uses a Q-Tip to soak up the product and apply it. The beauty guru since has racked up millions of views for testing and trying out different food colouring shades as possible lip stains.

What people are saying

In the video testing out the red food colouring, most of Wolak's followers were loving the trend, with one person commenting how "this is 100 per cent going to be my go-to Christmas look from now on because I hate red lipstick."

Another user also chimed in with how to take the trend to the next level by "mixing food colouring with vaseline" so it turns into more of a lip gloss texture.

Others left recommendations on which food colouring shades to try next, however, a few people raised genuine concerns over the safety of using food colouring as a lip product.

We decided to ask a dermatologist if this is a good idea or not, and are breaking down the popularity surrounding the use of food colouring as lip stain trend.

A dermatologist weighs in on the trend

This beauty trend may seem like it works to deliver the results you would hope for, but is it actually safe to use food colouring as lip stain?

We asked Dr. Geeta Yadav, Board-Certified Dermatologist of FACET Dermatology, to weigh in with her professional opinion. She had this to say about the trend:

"There's nothing inherently wrong with using food colouring as a lip stain. It's safe and non-toxic for use in food, so applying it to the lip area wouldn't be an issue," says Yadav.

However, if you've used food colouring before, you know that it can be incredibly stubborn and challenging to remove.

"If you're OK with the colour lingering up to 36 hours, then go ahead and try it out," she added.

For a softer take on this lip stain trend, Yadav recommends mixing a few drops food colouring in a small jar with a tablespoon of petroleum jelly. This will allow you to customize your colour and give you more control over the final outcome while adding a stable and nourishing base. You can then apply it with a brush or small spatula so as not to stain your fingers.

Final verdict

As demonstrated by Wolak's videos, this trend definitely works, and as mentioned by Dr. Yadav, it's also safe to try.

However, as cautioned, food colouring can be difficult to work with. As a result, it's recommended to take the necessary steps to ensure a mess-free application process. Wolak's method of incorporating the product into a dish and applying it via a Q-Tip would definitely work if you're interested in giving the trend a go.

Although I would prefer to stick to a typical lip stain to achieve the same look, if you're in a pinch and looking to add a hint of subtle colour to the lips, food colouring may be the trend for you. However, I would definitely recommend testing the colour (or colours) of your choice out a few days before, to ensure you don't leave the house in a colour you regret or that might linger for a couple of days.

According to TikTok, it looks like food colouring is making its way out of the kitchen and into our makeup bags so one last question remains — would you try this trend?

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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