@drteowanlin #question from @Dr. Teo Wan Lin blind pimples? #acnetreatment #learningisfun #medicaltiktok #docsoftiktok #dermatologist #pimplepop ♬ Countless – Official Sound Studio
#Beautytok For Good: A Singapore Dermatologist on Tik Tok & Instagram Sharing Skincare Tips
Do you follow Singapore dermatologist @drteowanlin on TikTok & Instagram? Here we share an interview with our founder Dr. Teo Wan Lin on her thoughts on using social media for good, via the power of public education.
Bite-sized, readily accessible content is a huge plus when creating content for the TikTok audience. How do you make sure that you stay relevant to the audience?
I like to maintain authenticity. As a creator, I am firstly a dermatologist, so I try to present my content within this context. For example, I do share personal snippets of what I like to cook and eat as well and point my audience to say, the benefits of a plant-based diet for healthy skin!
Why the Dermatologist Decided to Create Adult Coloring Books for Mental Wellness
I am also very passionate about the brain-skin connection. This has led to the creation of my new series of digital artwork under a new arm of the podcast, PHYGIART. I have been sharing snippets of the digital artwork and relating it to #MentalHealthAwareness, as part of the TikTok for Good community initiative. We do think that this is a good way to draw the focus away from the harmful effects social media has on our mental health, by actively focusing on mental wellness.
You are very passionate about mental health. Share with us more.
A lot of people are not aware that dermatology closely ties in with psychiatry. Stress for example directly causes flare-ups of acne, eczema and rosacea. This is why TikTok creating the #MentalHealthAwareness initiative really appealed to me. I find that my audience will identify with the mental stress and anxiety linked to skin conditions. The truth is that post-pandemic, a lot of people are also emotionally more fragile, hence mental health awareness takes precedence. Especially since we do know that studies show people who spend more time on social media have an increased risk of mental health issues. I think TikTok and Instagram are really the best platforms to reach out to at-risk groups.
What is the new adult coloring book series about?
@drteowanlin An adult coloring book that improves Neuroplasticity & Creativity #MentalWellness #bookstok #booktok #booktoker #surreal #imaginationlibrary #mentalhealthawareness #learningisfun ♬ оригинальный звук – rinaskrgn
I have been sharing videos on my TikTok account showing how I doodle freely on my iPad on a metaverse mannequin, as a way to relax and also improve neuroplasticity. This is essentially the key way to harness brain resilience. Neuroplasticity is essentially the concept that brain neurons (nerve cells) have the potential to make new connections in an adult’s lifetime. This is despite the fact that personalities are established by adulthood – training the brain is as important as physical training.
You’ve been posting about the coloring experience on Tik Tok. Why an adult coloring book for the brain?
These are not really traditional coloring books. It’s a digital file that also is printable. It is available on paperback via Amazon KDP or as a printable via our shop on Etsy PHYGIART. Think of it as brain gym of sorts. My personal interests are art. I found it an incredibly tangible way to relieve stress, without guidance or need for a therapist. Granted, not everyone has artistic talent or may even like art. But we are talking about art as therapy here not really as a hobby. Like how some people don’t like exercise but still do it because it’s healthy for their bodies. This is a form of naive art, featuring reverse coloring, doodling as opposed to coloring within the lines.
Beauty and the Brain is an enigmatic title of the series! Tell us about the science of neuroaesthetics that explains what a beautiful mind means.
There is a field we know as neuroaesthetics which is the study of how the brain perceives beauty. Most relevant to this is the study of how art affects the brain. Perception of beauty closely ties to psychological wellness. Those who are suffering from depression do see the world around them differently from those who are not. Key to this is our imagination.
There is a rather fascinating condition known as Aphantasia. This is the inability to imagine or visualise anything in the mind’s eye. I am no expert on this. However, I do think that we need to give more credit to the study of how imagination therapy affects our psychological wellbeing. I consider art to be a form of catharsis – on an emotional, mental level that connects with our reality. Interestingly it is also a form of escapism – I think I do that very intuitively to cope with stress.
As a child I was an avid reader of fiction, something I still enjoy today as an adult. Many professionals grow too “serious” for what they consider time-wasting activities – like what practical benefit does reading a story book have? Many adults end up in the self-help section. But this is not true – our minds are made to dream, to imagine. For example, science has proven that one of the reasons we dream at night when we sleep is also to consolidate memories, and maybe even explore creative solutions to our real world problems!
What can we expect to see about the new coloring book series showcased in your TIk Tok account?
@drteowanlin #duet with @MountainRugCleaning #dirty #booktok #booktoker #fypシ #bookstoread #selfimprovement #art #artok #artoftiktok #learningisfun ♬ original sound – MountainRugCleaning
I honestly do enjoy Tik Tok, maybe even more than Instagram, if I’m allowed to share. The perfect curation of feeds on Instagram doesn’t reflect reality, we know it, but neither does it over some sort of therapeutic imaginative escape that we are hoping for in the world of entertainment. Tik Tok is all about short form video content, there are no real rules, it is so diverse, and perfectly imperfect. I have started posting how I intuitively draw with my fingers on the first book in the series Butterfly Brain Games X-ray Your Brain. It’s filmed with my left hand holding the phone and my right hand drawing on the ipad. I have no worries about wobbling a bit haha because Tik Tok is not about perfect content. Imagine having to stress about a supposedly relaxing activity like art just because you are filming it!
We do see a variety of content on your Tik Tok account, from you giving short form dermatologist masterclasses to the latest on art therapy. How do you decide what content to share on TikTok?
I launched my mini skincare and haircare masterclasses on Tik tok last year. They feature snippets from my full length masterclasses. Essentially, bite sized information that’s relevant and engaging. I created a series on “the Brain and Acne” based on my latest book launch in January, the Acne care bible. I share about a condition we know as acne excoriee which is actually a psychodermatological condition in disguise by acne.
@drteowanlin Like to pick pimples? #health #healthy #learningisfun #medicaltiktok #docsoftiktok #doctorsoftiktok #acnetreatment #acneskin #acne #dermatologist ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic
Medical influencers are all the rage – starting in the USA with celebrity dermatologists jumping on the bandwagon. You also regularly collaborate with beauty brands as a dermatologist on Instagram. How do you feel about being a medical influencer on Tik Tok and Instagram?
I think the reality is that followers can discern between an authentic voice and one that isn’t. I collaborate with brands primarily via the beauty podcast Dermatologist Talks: Science of Beauty. The social media posts are meant to promote the podcast material and is strictly educational. This is what I’m comfortable with as a medical professional. I think that followers do care that doctors maintain a certain sort of separateness from commercial entities. At the same time I think that medical influencers can play a huge role in correcting beauty misinformation. Especially dermatologists as opposed to self-professed skin experts on social media.
In Singapore, in context of the medical influencer market, I think the market is not too saturated – especially on TikTok, as opposed to IG. I think most people are curious.
As a dermatologist on Tik Tok and Instagram in Singapore what do you think about TikTok trends on skincare and beauty?
It can be trendy but not always effective or even proven. I think discerning what is true or false is harder in the field of skincare and dermatology. The latest TikTok trend on skin cycling for example started by board certified NY dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe is an example of good beauty tips being doled out by experts. Many self proclaimed “skincare doctors or skin experts” are not dermatologists.
How about how dermatologists on social media can influence the practice of aesthetic medicine?
Honestly though, we must not take TikTok too seriously. What people do not realize is that the skin is considered a true organ of the body just very much like the heart and the lungs. The skin of the face is not different from that on the body when it ages. However, why are we just focussing on the face? Sadly, social media amplifies society’s ills in that sense- our obsession with beauty. That’s why I want to trial just not showing my face but using the face I create with my mind to convert the audience. I’m doing so on both Tik Tok and Instagram- we will have to see what the results are! It’s a fun experiment.
Why Choose Our Beauty Podcast For Your Social Media Branding Campaign
Dermatologist Talks: Science of Beauty is an educational beauty podcast with an international audience on Spotify, Apple Podcast and Google Podcast. Since its inception in 2019, the podcast has collaborated with beauty brands such as Dior Beauty, Laneige, Eucerin, Skinceuticals and L’Oréal, to name a few. Our audience comprises a predominantly female demographic, with listeners from the US, Europe and Southeast Asia. We share each podcast collaboration on @drteowanlin’s social media on Instagram and/or TikTok as a way to increase visibility via public skincare education.
Beauty KOL in Singapore Dermatologist on Instagram
Dr. Teo is a reliable voice in the field of skincare and beauty. As an internationally recognised researcher in the field of the microbiome and skincare, she is also the author of the Skincare Bible: Dermatologist’s Tips on Cosmeceutical Skincare published in 2019, sold on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and Apple Books.
Her Instagram content @drteowanlin is shot in a format that is both engaging and educational, a style tailored to resonate with her followers interested in beauty tips and skincare. Captions are crafted to highlight key skincare concepts helpful for the Instagram audience. We design the Instagram posts to be content-rich, featuring a dermatologist’s educational perspective in a face-to-camera style of shooting in portrait. A narrative voiceover highlights important skincare tips valuable for public skincare education.