We all know that the Internet can be both a blessing and a curse.
You’re inundated with information, and sometimes it’s hard to know which advice to trust.
This can apply to any puzzle you have, but today we are talking about skin care.
If you’re a beauty junkie, you’ve probably heard of flooding, bumping, skinimalism, the skin cycle, and the moisture sandwich, probably thanks to TikTok.
But if you haven’t, you’re in luck because FEMAIL has spoken to a team of experts to break them down for you and which ones are truly beneficial for your skin.
Floods, bumps, sandwiches: Which skincare technique is really good for you?
Although the concept has been around for a while, the New York dermatologist popularized the term ‘skin cycle’ on TikTok. Dr Whitney Bowe.
famous facialist Juana Vargas he told DailyMail.com that dermatologists and estheticians had been recommending the practice for more than a decade.
“It’s the concept of changing your skin care products around in a cycle, or schedule, to give your skin time to repair, hydrate, and treat certain concerns,” she said.
For example, it could involve using an acid exfoliant on the first night, a retinol on the second, and three and four can be devoted to moisturizing to “help skin recover,” celebrity esthetician. Renee Rouleau explained.
And our experts have given the skin cycle their stamp of approval.
“I’m a fan of this trend because it gives people a good blueprint for how to create a good skincare routine,” Rouleau told DailyMail.com.
“As you get used to this basic routine, you can begin to adjust it based on your own needs and tolerance (for example, take two nights of retinol or just take one recovery day). I think the skin cycle is really beneficial for people’s skin and can be applied in the long term.”
The beautician compared skin care with active ingredients to exercising.
Although the concept has been around for a while, the term ‘skin cycle’ has been popularized on TikTok by New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe (pictured)
‘You don’t want to do the same exercises every day; instead, you want to do a variety of different exercises for the best overall result. The same goes for your skin,’ she expanded.
‘It requires a variety of ingredients to look and feel your best. Just like you wouldn’t do all of your exercises on the same day, you shouldn’t be piling on multiple active ingredients at the same time. Your skin can only absorb a limited amount, plus this could cause irritation. For these reasons, I have always been a fan of rotating serums.’
Meanwhile, Vargas said she “most commonly” saw skin cycle used when it came to retinol.
He advised people to incorporate a retinol two to three times a week into their routine depending on their skin type.
Vargas also said it was “important” to follow those days with a repairing moisturizer or serum “especially at night,” like her brand’s Twilight Night Serum.
They are mixed reviews on this trend from our experts.
Slugging involves using a petroleum jelly-based product, such as Vaseline, and covering your face with a thin layer before bed, board-certified dermatologist Dr Diane Davis Explain.
“It’s supposed to help prevent transepidermal water loss and keep moisture in the skin,” he told DailyMail.com.
But Davis cautioned people against rubbing a Vaseline-based product on their faces, adding that she would recommend gentler alternatives like Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Gel Cream.
Rouleau, meanwhile, labeled it a “band-aid” solution for a damaged skin barrier.
Slugging involves using a petroleum jelly-based product and covering your face with a thin layer before bed, as TikTok creator Abbey Yung demonstrates above.
‘A damaged barrier is often the culprit for the issues that hits are intended to help with. When your barrier is healthy, it locks in hydration while keeping irritants out. It is made up of lipids that bind skin cells together; think of it as your skin’s personal bodyguard,” she said.
“Because Vaseline and other Vaseline products are lipid-free, I don’t consider them a long-term solution to a damaged barrier. Think of it more like a Band-Aid to help you overcome the symptoms of a damaged barrier while you work to fix the underlying issue. That being said, bumps are a surefire way to temporarily keep damaged skin protected from water loss and irritation.
Meanwhile, Vargas is a big fan of the practice, saying, “I love it.”
“While some people may be afraid of getting breakouts, the truth is that if your skin is too dry, the breakouts are because the skin is highly sensitized. Applying an occlusive can help lock in moisture and soothe skin while we sleep,” she added.
“I prefer to use a product that is both occlusive and moisturizing, like Cerave Healing Ointment. I practically bathe in it during the winter months.
This skin care technique can be applied in two ways, according to Davis.
The former is used to lock in moisture in the skin ‘by placing a product on damp skin’.
‘This helps lock extra moisture into the skin. This works best with Vaseline-based products or thick creams,’ the dermatologist explained.
Another application is to ‘sandwich’ an active ingredient product between two moisturizers.
This method is meant to minimize dryness and irritation, especially “if you’re having trouble with the side effects of starting retinol,” Rouleau added.
‘For example, if someone is using a product like a retinol, I would apply a moisturizer to the skin, first, followed by the application with the retinoid, followed by another layer of moisturizer; therefore sandwiching the product between two layers of a moisturizer,’ Davis told DailyMail.com.
Rouleau recommends applying a thin layer of moisturizer before your retinol and letting it sit “for a few minutes.”
She says you can then add another layer of moisturizer, “giving the skin a bit of protection.”
This could help mitigate some of the issues that arise when skin is adjusting to retinol.
“Even if you’re a veteran retinol user, you can employ this strategy at those times when your skin feels a little more sensitive than normal,” added the esthetician.
There are many ways to integrate this technique into your routine.
But it basically sees people “flooding” their skin with “layers of hydration,” according to Davis. And judging by various TikTok videos, sometimes even their faces are visibly wet.
Vargas said it was typical to start with a hyaluronic acid serum and “finish with a ceramide cream or a shea butter cream to lock in moisture.”
She said that “flooding” was a method that estheticians had been recommending to people their entire careers to keep their skin healthy.
“Rather than searching for the one holy grail product, simply layering on skincare will help skin respond better,” she told DailyMail.com.
Meanwhile, Rouleau recommends layering products from the thinnest, which are typically water-based, to the thickest, which are oil-based, adding, “You’ll get deeper hydration into your skin and you’ll be able to maintain it.” .
TikTok creator Stephanie aka @miss.hautemess demonstrates her skin flooding technique
“This can be achieved by layering a hydrating toner or serum under your moisturizer,” she added.
‘If you really want to maximize hydration, be sure to apply your first skincare product within a minute of cleansing. I call this the “golden minute rule,” because after one minute is when the skin begins to lose water through a process called transepidermal water loss. Applying your skin care promptly after cleansing rather than leaving it on bare skin will ensure hydrated and dewy skin.
Davis said that while moisturized skin is “definitely a key component of healthy skin,” she cautioned people not to overdo it.
“Applying ingredients, such as a hyaluronic acid or glycerin serum, to already moist skin can inhibit the absorption of the product or potentially further dry out the skin,” she explained.
“That’s why it’s always a good reminder to consult with your board-certified dermatologist about which products work best for your skin.”
Rouleau says this trend has been a direct response to the ‘complicated’ 10- or 12-step routines that have been popular of late.
‘As the name suggests, it’s about using fewer skincare products and mostly sticking to the basics,” the esthetician told DailyMail.com.
She said this technique would be particularly beneficial for people with more sensitive skin.
“I like trying new products as much as anyone else, but ultimately the best results come from consistently using the right products for your skin every day,” Rouleau said.
Davis said it meant paring down his regimen to the essentials “without sacrificing results.”
“Simply put, less is more,” he added.
‘As a board certified dermatologist, I love being able to educate patients and consumers that a comprehensive skin care regimen can be achieved using three to four key products. No need to have a 10-step skincare routine.
“You want your skin to look and feel healthy with the fewest products to minimize irritation overall, unwanted side effects are possible.”
The dermatologist said that a “skiminalism” regimen might include just a “cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and one additional product that can address a specific problem.”
‘That “target” product can be specifically for dark spots, like Burt’s Bee Renewal Dark Spot Corrector; it can be a targeted ingredient, like salicylic acid… or ingredients, like moisturizers, oils, and squalene that can help repair a depleted moisture barrier.’