Viral TikTok 'hair identifier' spray slammed by dermatologist as 'waste of money' and 'terrible for your skin'

Split-screen of hair-identifier spray in action from Dr Adel's video
The spray has been touted and tested by a number of beauty influencers on TikTok - but a UK dermatologist has now weighed in with her thoughts. Photo credit: @aamnaadel / TikTok

If you're a frequenter of #BeautyTok, you will have likely come across the viral "hair-identifier" spray that's been making the rounds among influencers, and maybe even been tempted to try it for yourself - but listen to this dermatologist's warning first.

The viral product claims to "identify" any peach fuzz on your face prior to shaving or at-home dermaplaning; an exfoliating technique that involves using a blade or razor to remove hairs and dead skin from the face to improve the appearance of the skin and makeup. The spray works by leaving behind a dry, powdery white cast which clings to facial hairs, thus indicating where you should be shaving. 

The spray has been touted and tested by a number of beauty influencers on TikTok - but a UK dermatologist has now weighed in with her thoughts. 

Dr Aamna Adel, a London-based dermatologist and popular content creator with over 1.5 million followers, branded the product a "complete waste of money", "pretty terrible for your skin" and a "gimmick" in a now viral video, which has since amassed over 240,000 views at the time of writing.   

"My first big issue with this is that it's dry shaving," Dr Adel said. "There is a reason why we say, 'Do not dry shave'. It can give you ingrown hairs, razor bumps - don't do it. Use a shaving foam, use a cleanser, moisturiser, anything you want to use - but do not dry shave."  

Dr Adel then noted that the product contains a significant amount of alcohol, an ingredient that while very common in skincare, can be incredibly aggravating as a primary component.   

"It's going to dry the hell out of your skin," she warned.  

"If you just use a regular shaving foam and you scrape all of that away, you probably will have got most of your hairs. Missing one or two hairs is not the end of the world - compared to dry shaving and irritating the living hell out of your skin.  

"This is a complete gimmick - you do not need to go out and buy this."  

Her take on the product has been applauded by hundreds of viewers, with one commenting: "If you need a spray to tell you where the hair is, then you can't see or feel the hair, so why do you need to shave it?"  

"I didn't realise people were buying a specific product for these TikToks, I thought there were just using dry shampoo lmao - that's crazy," said a second, while a third added: "FINALLY! I keep commenting that it's dry shaving and everyone attacks me for it."  

Dr Adel is a consultant dermatologist for England's National Health Service (NHS), specialising in skin, hair and nails. She is also a member of the British Cosmetic Dermatology Group and has a large presence on social media, where she shares her tips, tricks and advice on how to take care of your skin.  

If you do choose to dermaplane at home, the aftercare is just as important as the shaving itself. Speaking to Glamour in 2021, dermatologist Dr Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., stressed the importance of moisturising post-shave and using a barrier repair cream to help restore the now-compromised skin barrier.   

It's also advised to avoid using harsher ingredients such as retinols and AHAs to reduce the risk of irritation on freshly dermaplaned skin.