It’s that time of year when our dull winter skin requires an extra boost of hydration. Instinctively, you probably reach for plumping, hydrating serums and thick, rich creams. The good news is: you can get your hands on the right products, but stop and ask yourself if you are using them the right way. right way. Luckily, a trendy skincare routine that soothes dehydrated skin is popping up on TikTok and answers that question. Enter: skin flood.
What is skin flooding?
The name may sound like a fad, but the concept is simple. Skin flooding involves layering moisturizing products in a particular order to provide deeper, longer-lasting hydration. It involves four simple steps: gently cleanse your skin, spray a mist, apply a serum or two, and lastly, hydrate your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is the star ingredient in this routine because it attracts and retains water molecules. Skin flood routines can also include niacinamide serum for additional calming and anti-inflammatory benefits. By carefully layering products, starting with thinner water-based products first, followed by thicker products with higher oil content, you will allow your products to effectively deliver hydration.
TikTok trends may come and go, but ditch the flashy name and the skin flood concept is based on basic skincare principles.
How do I flood the skin?
While the trend has recently gained traction on social media, the concept of skin flooding is a familiar one in the skincare world. It’s a common technique that involves layering serums and creams to “flood” the skin with hydration, increasing product efficacy and absorption, and protecting the skin’s barrier.
To effectively flood your skin, you’ll want to start with a gentle face wash that cleanses your skin but doesn’t strip it of its natural oils. This way, you start with smooth, balanced skin for the rest of your skincare routine.
Instead of drying your face completely, keep it slightly damp. Moisturizers absorb water more effectively with a water source to draw from, so moist skin is more effective at this step. You can also mist your skin with a thermal water spray for a calming effect.
Next, you’ll want to apply a few drops of hyaluronic acid serum to damp skin. Three to four drops of serum are enough to cover the entire face and neck. Use your fingertips to gently massage the product into the skin of your face and neck. I like to use any leftover product on the back of my hands.
While using hyaluronic acid alone in this routine is enough to hydrate skin, adding a niacinamide serum has additional soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Similarly, you can apply up to four drops of this serum all over your face and neck and use the leftover product on your hands. The last step in your skin flooding routine is to apply a protective barrier face lotion or cream to seal in your products. Remember to layer sunscreen on top if your skin gets flooded in the morning.
Since skin flood does not involve active ingredients, it is not an inherently irritating skincare routine and is safe for most skin types. That being said, flooding the skin increases the penetration of skin care products, so be careful if you have sensitive skin. This routine may also not be suitable for those with oily skin or acne-prone skin, as applying multiple products can lead to breakouts. If you suffer from any medical skin conditions, consult a board-certified dermatologist to see if adopting a skin flood routine is right for you.
For starters, hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide, a long chain of sugars, found naturally in our skin. It is a versatile ingredient that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it an effective ingredient for maintaining skin hydration and elasticity. By starting with slightly damp skin before applying the hyaluronic acid, you are allowing it to attract and retain moisture. within your skin instead of drawing water outside of your skin
Incorporating a thermal water mist and niacinamide serum into your routine can also help soothe skin sensitivities during the winter. The last moisturizing step of the routine adds an extra layer of hydration, healing the skin barrier and preventing water loss. Since layering products in the correct order makes all the difference in product effectiveness, skin flooding allows you to get the most benefit from your skincare routine.