At this time of year, our dry winter skin requires an extra dose of hydration. You probably reach for hydrating, plumping serums and rich, thick creams out of instinct. The good news is that you may be in possession of the right products, but you should ask yourself if you are using them properly. Thankfully, a skincare routine trending on TikTok that rehydrates dehydrated skin answers this question. Enter: skin flooding.
What Is Skin Flooding?
The name may sound trendy, but the concept is straightforward. Flooding the skin involves layering moisturizers in a specific sequence to provide deeper, longer-lasting hydration. It consists of four simple steps: gently cleansing the skin, applying a mist, applying one or two serums, and moisturizing the skin.
This routine’s star ingredient is hyaluronic acid because it attracts and retains water molecules. Niacinamide serum may be added to skin flooding regimens for additional soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits. By carefully layering products, beginning with thinner, water-based products and proceeding to thicker, oilier products, you will enable your products to effectively deliver hydration.
TikTok trends may come and go, but the concept of skin flooding has its origins in fundamental skincare principles.
How Do I Skin Flood?
While skin flooding has recently gained popularity on social media, the concept is not new in the world of skincare. Using multiple serums and creams to “flood” the skin with hydration, increase the efficacy and absorption of products, and protect the skin barrier is a common technique.
To effectively skin flood, you must first cleanse your face with a mild cleanser that does not strip the skin of its natural oils. This way, you begin the rest of your skincare routine with soft, balanced skin.
Instead of completely drying your face, keep it slightly damp. Moisturizers absorb water more efficiently when they have a water source, so moist skin is more effective for this step. For a calming effect, you can also mist your skin with thermal water spray.
Next, a few drops of hyaluronic acid serum should be applied to damp skin. Three to four drops of serum are sufficient to cover the face and neck. Apply the product to the skin of your face and neck using the tips of your fingers. I like to use any leftover product on the back of my hands.
While hyaluronic acid alone is sufficient to hydrate the skin in this routine, adding a serum containing niacinamide provides additional calming and anti-inflammatory benefits. Similarly, you can apply up to four drops of this serum to your entire face and neck and use any leftover product on your hands. The final step of your skin-flooding routine is to seal your products with a barrier-protecting facial lotion or cream. Remember to apply sunscreen to your drenched skin in the morning.
Since skin flooding does not involve active ingredients, it is not inherently irritating and is safe for the majority of skin types. However, skin flooding increases the absorption of skincare products, so if you have sensitive skin, use caution. Additionally, those with oily or acne-prone skin may not benefit from this routine, as layering multiple products can lead to breakouts. Consult a board-certified dermatologist if you have any medical skin conditions to determine if adopting a skin-flooding routine is right for you.
Initially, hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide, a long chain of sugars, which occurs naturally in our skin. It is a versatile ingredient that can hold up to one thousand times its weight in water, making it an effective ingredient for maintaining skin elasticity and hydration. By beginning with slightly damp skin before applying hyaluronic acid, you allow it to attract and retain moisture within the skin, as opposed to drawing water out of the skin.
Incorporating a thermal spring water mist and niacinamide serum into your routine can also help to soothe your sensitive winter skin. The final moisturizing step adds an additional layer of hydration, repairs the skin barrier, and prevents water loss. Since the order in which products are applied makes all the difference for product efficacy, skin flooding maximizes the benefits of a skincare regimen.