In theory, it sounds like a good idea: yank back your most wrinkly skin, tape it in place to prevent it it from moving, and wake up looking years younger. Do it nightly and, supposedly, you can see results in as soon as a week.
“Face taping” has been trending on social media as a gravity-fighting at-home skincare hack. (Missed those posts? Check out the trendsetters here, here, or here.)
But what’s behind this trend, and will it really work? We talked to experts to find out.
“Face taping may be a viral trend right now, but it’s certainly not a new practice, since people have been doing this for ages,” said Dr. Rebecca Marcus, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of skincare company Maei MD.
“It involves applying tape to the skin to pull wrinkles taut for an immediate lifting effect, or wearing tape overnight to prevent movement of muscles and decrease the likelihood of wrinkles forming and becoming deeply etched into the skin,” she explained.
‘A Quick But Temporary Fix’
Proponents claim a whole host of benefits, from the long-term reduction of wrinkles to lymphatic drainage. But what do our experts think?
The most positive response was from dermatologist Dr. Roberta Del Campo, and even she had reservations: “I’m on the fence about it, but I have many patients who swear by it,” she said. “I did try it myself at night and I saw a smoothing effect in the morning.”
But Del Campo cautioned that there might be long-term repercussions. “Theoretically speaking, long-term use may actually cause the muscles to overcompensate, leading to stronger muscles trying to work through the tape,” she said. “When muscles become thicker from working harder, this ultimately can lead to deeper lines.”
Her suggestion? “I recommend avoiding nightly taping, but rather trying it [at] night only in the several days leading up to an important event,” Del Campo said. “This will give you a softened look for that time, but you won’t have the potential risk of muscle hypertrophy, which is that increase and growth of muscle cells, that could happen with long-term regular use.”
Is it harmless or is there a dangerous downside?
Face Taping: What are the dangers of this viral anti-aging trend?