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skin flooding method

Tiktok Trend or Truth: Is Skin Flooding The Hydration Boost Your Skin Needs?

This article is a part of our “Tiktok Trend or Truth” series where we consult with the experts to unpack viral beauty trends. 

If you suffer from dry skin, you may benefit from the latest trend taking TikTok by storm: skin flooding. This method involves layering hydrating skincare products to boost moisture and leave your skin feeling quenched and refreshed. But what exactly is skin flooding, and how can you incorporate it into your daily routine? We consulted the experts to find out if skin flooding is effective, how to properly implement this technique, and who can benefit the most. Read on to find out more.

What is skin flooding? 

Skin flooding is a skincare trend that involves layering multiple hydrating products onto damp skin to boost hydration levels. The process of skin flooding typically starts with a humectant, which helps to deliver moisture to the skin, followed by the application of serums, mists, and other moisturizing products. The goal is to flood the skin with moisture and provide deeper, longer-lasting hydration. This trend has gained popularity on TikTok but has been a popular method to relieve dry skin for decades. 

Dermatologists Weigh In: The Skin Flooding Technique for a Hydration Boost 

“The truth is skin flooding is just a fancy way of saying that you’re applying a hyaluronic acid serum to the skin followed by a moisturizer and this is something dermatologists have actually been telling our patients for years,” says Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. 

When beginning your skin-flooding facial routine, it’s important to start with a gentle cleanser and then layer your moisturizing products from thin to thickest consistency starting with a humectant.  Dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick explains “Start with a cleanser, leaving your skin a little bit damp. Then, apply a hydrating product whether it’s a hydrating serum or essence toner, you want it to be something that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin which are humectants that draw moisture in. Finally,  layer on a thicker moisturizing cream to help seal in the moisture.” 

 Dr. Zeichner agrees stating, “Hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge pulling hydration into the outer skin layer but it’s not good at keeping it locked in. That’s why you need to apply a moisturizer on top of it that has emollient or occlusive ingredients to help keep it in place.” 

For best results, it’s important to start with damp skin or spray your skin with a light mist to help the hyaluronic acid or essence toner lock in moisture. You also want to make sure you allow each layer to absorb into the skin before adding another layer of moisturizer to avoid skin pilling. According to experts, pilling happens when you are rubbing a skincare product on the skin and it never quite soaks in. As you rub it in, the product is pilling or balling up instead of being absorbed by your skin. This could be due to various reasons such as applying too much product, applying products in the wrong order, or using incompatible products together.

To prevent skin pilling, it’s important to apply products in the correct order and use compatible products together. For instance, water-based products should be applied before oil-based ones. You should also avoid over-applying skincare products and allow them time to absorb into your skin before applying other products.

Who is skin flooding right for? 

Skin flooding is a great technique for people who suffer from dry skin. However, if you have oily or combination skin, it’s important to make sure that your skin flooding routine doesn’t cause clogged pores and breakouts. While it’s safe for people with dry skin to incorporate skin flooding into their daily routine, anyone with oily or combination skin should limit the skin flooding method to 1-2 times a week to avoid breakouts. 

What are the pros and cons of the skin flooding method? 


Locks in moisture

Helps relieve dry, flaky skin

Promotes a glowing complexion


Can cause clogged pores for oily skin types

Limit to 1-2 days a week for oily skin

Can irritate sensitive skin types

The Verdict on The Skin Flooding Method

Skin flooding is a great technique for anyone with dry skin. Be sure to start with damp skin and then apply a serum with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture. Next, you can begin layering your moisturizing skincare starting with your thinnest products to penetrate the skin and then finish off your routine with a moisturizer with emollient or occlusive ingredients to lock in moisture for an all-day glow. 

Bottom Line: 

Dermatologists agree that skin flooding is a highly effective moisturizing technique that’s best for dry skin types. 

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