Woman Hospitalized Trying Fake Freckle Hack She Found Online

A woman has issued a warning after her attempts at an online DIY freckle tattoo technique left her temporarily without eyesight, and with $12,000 in medical bills.

Tilly Whitfeld, 21, decided to try the faux-freckles beauty procedure after seeing a video tutorial on TikTok, which taught viewers to give themselves freckles that would last six months. The trick involved using a sewing needle and ink, similar to a stick-and-poke tattoo.

However, according to her interview with The New York Times published on Tuesday, the video didn't explicitly detail exactly which ink to use. Instead, she purchased brown tattoo ink from eBay, only for it to be a counterfeit product made with lead.

"It didn't hurt at all, so I didn't think I should stop," she told The New York Times. Her face soon swelled from an infection caused by the "hack" and she even temporarily lost her sight in one eye.

TikTok is no stranger to extreme at-home beauty tricks, with creators on the platform even documenting their own attempts at Botox and acid peels, and gaining views by the millions for it.

Whitfeld gained a following after starring on the Australian version of Big Brother in 2021, and shared her warning against the DIY beauty job on Instagram in May. During her time on the show, she constantly covered the scarring in makeup or a blue clay face mask, but she finally revealed her natural skin in the post, showing the extent of the scarring left.

"For those asking why I have my blue clay face mask on continuously throughout the show this is what my face looked like a week prior to entering the house hence why I always have makeup on and my skin is always covered. This is the result of attempting to remove scarring I inflicted on myself trying to replicate an at home beauty procedure I saw on a tik tok video 2 months before Big Brother," she captioned the selfie.

According to The New York Times, Whitfeld is still searching for a remedy to the scarring, which is yet to improve. The reality star was advised not to use laser removal, as the ink used will only turn black rather than fade.

In her Instagram post, Whitfeld went on to issue a blunt warning to her followers who may be thinking of trying an at-home procedure, writing: "Please, please don't try any 'DIY' or 'at-home' beauty procedures. I ended up in hospital with temporary loss of vision in my eye due to swelling and was very sick from the infections, not to mention that my face was somewhat unrecognisable."

"Leave it to the professionals," she summarized.

Close up of woman's freckles
Close up of woman's face with freckles. A woman used an at-home faux freckles trick she found online. Her warning message against DIY beauty procedures has gone viral. Getty Images