Does Face Taping Actually Do Anything For Your Wrinkles?

Once upon a time, there lived a girl named Kim. Although Kim was once famous for being, well, just famous, she eventually became an entrepreneur. She was beloved as much as she was hated and was defended as much as she was mocked. Then, one day, Kim made a statement that, although it initially evoked a collective, "Ew ... gross, Kim," made quite a bit of sense in our youth-obsessed world:


"If you told me that I literally had to eat poop every single day and I would look younger, I might. I just might," this Kim told The New York Times when promoting her new skincare line, SKKN. And not a soul in the world doubted her. In fact, even some of her haters just might have nodded their heads and muttered, "Me, too, girl. Me, too."

Kim Kardashian isn't alone in her quest for eternal youth. Centuries before Oscar Wilde wrote "The Picture of Dorian Gray," in which the lead character, Dorian, makes a Faustian pact of sorts to be young and beautiful forever, "The Epic of Gilgamesh" had its main character on his own journey to never grow old and live for all eternity. And while stories about people trying to maintain their youth and beauty for an obscenely unfair amount of time are entertaining, they never end well. It seems, tragically, the human body was meant to grow old and, in doing so, look old in the process.


Butt these cautionary tales and simple biological facts don't stop people from trying whatever new trend is out there to look younger. This time, it's face taping, a technique that's supposed to ditch your wrinkles without breaking your wallet or having to undergo the knife (via Kinesiology Sports Tape).

What is face taping?

As its name suggests, face taping involves putting tape on your face in the hopes of preventing wrinkles and fine lines. The trend, which to no surprise went viral on TikTok, had TikTokers claiming to see a difference after just one night of taping their face (via Refinery29). The concept is that if you can't move your skin, you can't move your muscles, and if you can't move those two things, you can eliminate wrinkles. If only life were that simple.


"The idea behind face taping is that you are physically preventing yourself from raising your eyebrows and folding the skin," dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital Joshua Zeichner, M.D., tells Nylon. "While, theoretically, this would make sense, practically, it is not effective." You can wear the tape to bed and see a bit of a difference in the morning right when you wake up, but it's not going to get rid of wrinkles or fine lines in the same way Botox, lasering, or even more invasive cosmetic surgery can.

The good and bad of face taping

If you're looking for an immediate fix that lasts for the short term, like no more than an hour or two tops, then go ahead and wear the tape at night. Also, yes, if you wear the tape during the day, you'll be more cognizant if you scowl, but that's not the cure for those infamous 11 lines (via MindBodyGreen). 


While those are the two not-so-bad things about face taping, there are actually bad things — very bad things — that can come with it.  "When you tape your face to hold muscles still, you're preventing them from doing what they're supposed to, thus, adding resistance," board-certified plastic surgeon Michael Horn, M.D., tells Shape. "In doing so, you're training your facial muscles to work harder and in turn, become more powerful. Over time they can get stronger, accelerating the formation of the fine lines and wrinkles you were hoping to avoid."

That's right! Face taping can create monster-level muscles that can make wrinkles worse and even harder to control with simple procedures like Botox. That's not just defeating your intended purpose of using the tape, but contributing to the problem.


There will always be people looking for the next trend to make them look younger than they are or, in some cases 20-something forever à la Dorian Gray, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some say aging is a privilege, while others reach for a bottle of human sperm to keep the wrinkles at bay (via New York Magazine). But the point is that when it comes to staving off wrinkles, avoid anything that seems too good to be true. Why? You already know the answer: because it probably is.