Skin flooding: The trending technique to revitalise dry winter skin

From central heating to biting cold winds, winter can take its toll on our skin.

Dehydrated skin (or xerosis, if we’re being fancy) is exacerbated by changing temperatures and humidity levels, while festive boozing and overindulgence can compound issues further.

Research shows that chilly weather causes ‘lower lipid production and reduced barrier function’ in skin – the upshot of which includes flaking, redness, itching, stinging, and rough patches.

To combat these symptoms, we need to replenish the moisture lost. We also need to be careful not to go too far, as clogged pores can send skin the opposite way and cause breakouts.

So if you’re struggling to strike a balance between nourished and overloaded, TikTok’s latest trend, skin flooding, might be just what you need.

Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘hack’, including how to incorporate it into your routine.

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What is skin flooding?

Skin flooding isn’t new, but has recently become popular thanks to the beauty and skincare gurus of social media.

It refers to a technique whereby lightweight moisturising products are applied to damp skin, one by one. The idea is that these incremental layers provide more effective absorption than slapping on a thick cream in a single dose.

Although routines differ, they tend to feature hyaluronic acid and niacinamide serums, a facial spritz between layers, and an occlusive moisturiser to lock it all in.

Alice Henshaw, Skincare Expert and Founder of Skincycles says: ‘Skin flooding can be very beneficial if you suffer from dry skin as it helps product absorption, which in turn can help to keep your skin hydrated for longer.

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Benefits of skin flooding

Although skin flooding may seem like extra effort, these additional steps can be the difference between tight, uncomfortable skin and a plumped, glowing complexion.

‘Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it acts like a sponge, pulling moisture from the atmosphere into your skin,’ explains Alice. ‘If your skin is damp, this helps it to draw in the moisture from the surface of the skin to penetrate the deeper layers.’

She adds: ‘Locking in serums with a cream or gel-based moisturiser is also an important step to retaining that moisture.’

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How to get started with skin flooding

It’s easy to give the hack a go.

Alice says: ‘After cleansing, you’ll want to start with a damp face before applying your first serum, usually a formula with hyaluronic acid.’

Next, she recommends a moisturising facial toner mist or toning pad, before a niacinamide serum.

Once this has dried in, spritz your face again and apply a moisturiser of choice. Look for formulas with occlusive or emollient properties to avoid moisture loss and boost skin’s defences.

Make sure to use sunscreen every morning, and reapply healing ointment or balm to soothe dry patches as needed.

Once you’ve got skin flooding down, you’ll be fresh-faced in plenty of time for spring.

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