Are There Downsides To Trying The TikTok Skin Flooding Technique?

Taking care of your skin is hard. One month you're struggling with breakouts, and the next, you're feeling like you've turned into a lizard person from how flaky your skin is. We get it, trust us. And we also get that visits to the dermatologist every other month are out of the question. That's why skincare is so popular on social media these days and why trends cycle so rapidly among skin enthusiasts. We're all just trying to look out for each other and help everyone arrive at their best skin at any given moment.

The latest attempt at this? Skin flooding. Yes, flooding. It is exactly what it sounds like — you moisturize and moisturize until your skin looks flooded with hydration. To some of us, that sounds enticing — many are tired of attempting to dry out our acne and opting out of moisturizing. But what is skin flooding all about?

What is skin flooding?

This newest trend is aptly named, as it requires flooding or saturating your skin with moisture, usually during your nighttime skincare routine. This way, the hydrating ingredients in your skincare products have a chance to seep into your skin so you can wake up with a plump, rested complexion and only worry about sunscreen.

Skin flooding consists of layering several hydrating products, one on top of the other, with the goal of returning moisture to parched skin. Many follow a four-step routine: beginning with a gentle cleanser, spraying on some facial mist, applying their favorite serums, and locking it all in with a good moisturizer. Simple and effective. And the best thing is that it works!

Dermatologists agree that the secret to helping your skin absorb moisture is to trap layers of hydration under other layers which lock in this hydration. Dr. Andrea Suarez (Dr. Dray on Youtube) explains that the concept of skin flooding is to keep true to your basic skincare routine but to amp up the hydrating elements to ensure a healthy epidermis.

How to properly skin flood

If you want to partake in this skincare trend, here are some tips to help you achieve the best results.

First, you're going to pick a gentle but effective cleanser. The wrong cleanser can strip the skin of moisture, so if you suffer from overly dry skin, it is always best to go for a gentle cream or oil-based cleanser that will not exacerbate the issue. After cleansing, gently pat dry but allow for the skin to remain a little damp — the more water and moisture layered under your skincare products, the better. Spritz some facial mist on, and then follow up with your favorite serums. The key to effective skin flooding is a hyaluronic acid serum because this ingredient will be the catalyst for your skin to absorb all the moisture. This serum can be used on its own or with others. Lastly, the moisturizer. Pick your favorite moisturizer, and this will serve as the last layer to be absorbed by the skin overnight.

Risks vs. benefits

But why should you pick up skin flooding? What are the benefits? And are there any risks? Here is all we know about the effects of this handy hydrating trend.

All skin types can benefit from this trend. While yes, skin flooding is mostly popular among people with dry or dehydrated skin, it may also help those with combination skin or a compromised skin barrier (which presents itself as irritation, bumpy skin, and even acne). You might think too much moisturizing is counteractive to getting rid of acne, but some types of acne are caused by a damaged epidermis. If the top layer of your skin isn't at its healthiest, it will exacerbate all other skin concerns (via Healthline).

Dr. Dray explains that if the skin barrier is broken, it begins to lose water, which causes all the unwanted symptoms above. To fix this, focusing on products with hydrating ingredients and a good moisturizer is the way to go. She also makes sure to warn against overly indulging in this practice, saying, "You certainly can have too much of a good thing." It appears that skin flooding is a good technique to revive and repair the skin barrier, but once this is done, the over-saturation of the skin can be just as damaging to the epidermis. All things in moderation!