We’ll admit: the Allure staff has learned a fair share of beauty track from TikTok. Thanks to some smart creators, we’re changing up the way we use concealer, shop at the drugstore, and apply our highlighter. But sometimes, we see a video go viral and instantly start asking medical professionals for answers because the hack’s results seems far too good to be true. The latest example flooding social media? Face taping to smooth fine lines.
The logic behind these face-taping videos, which a handful of TikTok-savvy dermatologists have stitched in response, is that a few days of wearing tape on your face overnight can keep your wrinkles from deepening and forming. Some of these videos’ “results” do look convincing — a few of the wrinkles in question do look less prominent — but the internet is obviously skeptical.
Many users are calling creators out for potentially editing the videos, or recording them a week before their Botox (which is actually proven to reduce the appearance and formation of fine lines) kicks in. To settle the efficiency of this viral trend once and for all, we checked in with plastic surgeons to investigate whether or not face taping actually works.
Meet the experts:
What is face taping?
The method is pretty straightforward: users are applying tape to areas of the face where they wish to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or fine lines (mostly on their foreheads) and wear the tape overnight to prevent movement. When they wake up, users remove the tape and repeat the process for a week or more, recording the progress. The idea, according to Michael Horn, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Chicago, Illinois, is that the tape will keep the muscles in place throughout the night, limiting their motion, and, therefore, minimizing wrinkles.
“During our sleep, it’s possible we can still make facial expressions and move around as we adjust, so [the ideas is that] using tape is supposed to ‘keep it in place,’ preventing wrinkle formation,” explains Dr. Horn. So can a week of face taping actually make as big of a difference as your favorite firming serum or injectable?
Is it safe to tape your face?
While a bit of Scotch tape probably won’t leave permanent scars, face taping can end up doing more harm than good. “Using a piece of tape, especially one that is ‘supposed’ to hold your skin down for a whole night, can damage the skin barrier when you take it off,” explains Dr. Horn. He notes that this tape isn’t made to be safe on the skin and can cause redness, irritation, and acne breakouts. Additionally, he says, the adhesive must be incredibly tight and, therefore, uncomfortable to use for an extended time to “hold” the muscles still.