It seems 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, time and time again we’ve been reminded not everything on the app is a good idea, despite TikTok being home to many of our favorite helpful tutorials. This month, the new trending skincare topic is using facial tape to reduce wrinkles. In a video posted last week, one influencer showed her experience taping her forehead at night for one week. “I didn’t think it would work 🤯 trying the face taping trend!” she captioned the now viral video.
The video, and others like it, shows tape as a method to prevent wrinkles from forming, stopping you from being able to move your facial muscles in the way that botox would. However, dermatologist and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital Joshua Zeichner M.D. says the results are not long-lasting. “The idea behind face taping is that you are physically preventing yourself from raising your eyebrows and folding the skin,” he says “While, theoretically, this would make sense, practically, it is not effective.”
Zeichner says that you’d have to wear tape “all day long” for this beauty hack to work. “We make most of our facial expressions while we are awake, so wearing it at night likely has little impact,” he says. “In order to use a tape that truly blocks the movement of your eyebrows, it would likely be so strong that it would be damaging to the skin itself.” Zeichner also cautions those tempted by the trend that adhesives can lead to irritation, cause disruption of the skin barrier, and result in inflamed, red skin. Not exactly what you want from a quick skin care hack. This is particularly important to remember considering most TikTok videos of the trend aren’t specifying what type of tape they’re using and you don’t get to see what happens after the video ends.
Tape has become a surprising new addition to many makeup bags as of recent. In her April cover interview with Vogue, Bella Hadid cited facial tape as her secret to a snatched face, inciting facelifting tapes to trend across TikTok, with the hashtag #FaceTape having over 17 million views and counting. There are also existing beauty brands that have made wrinkle patches for years, like Frownies, but Dr. Zeichner still thinks investing in your skin care routine is a more effective way to prevent wrinkles.
“The best way to treat wrinkles is to keep the skin barrier strong,” says Zeichner. He suggests using a vitamin C serum and sunscreen in the morning and retinol in the evening. he says. “Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radical damage and protects the skin against UV damage and retinol is the best-studied ingredient we have to stimulate collagen and thicken the skin foundation.” After all, the stronger and healthier your skin is, the more resistant it is to premature wrinkling.
If topicals aren’t delivering the kind of results you’re looking for and deeper lines are bothering you, Zeichner says to skip the face tape and talk to a dermatologist about your concerns. “It might be time to talk about injectables like Botox or Dysport which work by temporarily relaxing muscles so they don't fold the overlying skin to begin with,” he says. Sounds a bit more scientific than taping your face in place, don’t you think?