Don’t Use Calamine Lotion as a Makeup Primer, Dermatologists Warn

Calamine lotion is having a glow-up.

Yes, that humble pink lotion that was once dabbed onto your chickenpox, mosquito bites, or burned skin after too many hours in the sun — ah, fond childhood memories.

Now, it’s trending as the ultimate pre-makeup primer, acne scar treatment, and SPF product, all in one. On TikTok, fans of the hack, like @therealembree, spread a thin layer on their face (using bare hands or a brush), let it dry, then apply foundation for a matte, flawless look that lasts all day. The practice has been around for years, but makeup artist @tiasamudda is credited with taking it viral, as she regularly shows her face slathered in calamine lotion before adding makeup. “My face, my choice,” she tells viewers in one video from July 18 with more than 1.4 million views.

Others have followed suit. “10/10 would recommend,” says @brittanybowmann1, highlighting her still-fresh foundation after a full day of work. “This is gold right here,” comments @official_lady_venom, an initial skeptic. To date, the #calominelotion hashtag has been viewed more than 20 million times.