It seems like every day there’s a new TikTok beauty hack to try, some of which have been more than questionable. From tattooing freckles to using lube as a primer, we’ve been reminded time and time again that not everything about the app is a good idea, although TikTok is home to many of our favorite helpful tutorials. This month’s hot new topic in skincare is using facial tape to reduce wrinkles. In a video posted last week, an influencer showed off her experience of tapping her forehead at night for a week. “Didn’t think this would work 🤯 try the face taping trend!” she captioned the now-viral video.
The video, and others like it, show that duct tape is a method of preventing wrinkles from forming, preventing you from moving your facial muscles like botox would. However, dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Joshua Zeichner MD, says the results are not long-lasting. “The idea behind face registration is that you physically prevent yourself from raising your eyebrows and folding your skin,” he says. “While theoretically it would make sense, practically it’s not effective.”
Zeichner says you’d have to wear tape “all day” for this beauty trick to work. “We do most of our facial expressions while we’re awake, so wearing it at night probably has little impact,” he says. “To use a tape that really blocks the movement of your eyebrows, it would probably be so strong that it would damage the skin itself.” Zeichner also cautions those tempted by the trend that adhesives can cause irritation, disrupt the skin barrier, and lead to red, inflamed skin. Not exactly what you would expect from a quick skincare hack. It’s especially important to remember that most of the trending TikTok videos don’t specify what type of tape they’re using, and you don’t see what happens after the video ends.
Duct tape has become a surprising new addition to many makeup bags lately. In her April cover interview with Vogue, Bella Hadid cited face tape as her secret to a ripped face, prompting facelift tapes to grow on TikTok, with the hashtag #FaceTape having over 17 million views and cash. There are also existing beauty brands that have been making anti-wrinkle patches for years, like Frownies, but Dr. Zeichner still believes investing in your skincare routine is a more effective way to prevent wrinkles.
“The best way to deal with wrinkles is to keep the skin barrier strong,” says Zeichner. He suggests using a vitamin C serum and sunscreen in the morning and retinol at night. he says. “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radical damage and protects the skin against UV damage and retinol is the best-studied ingredient we have for boosting collagen and thickening foundation. ” After all, the stronger and healthier your skin, the more resistant it is to premature wrinkles.
If topicals aren’t providing the kind of results you’re looking for and deeper wrinkles bother you, Zeichner advises skipping the facial tape and talking to a dermatologist about your concerns. “Maybe it’s time to talk about injectables like Botox or Dysport that work by temporarily relaxing the muscles so they don’t fold the overlying skin to begin with,” he says. Sounds a bit more scientific than gluing your face in place, don’t you think?