When it comes to TikTok beauty tips, things can get dicey pretty quickly, with ordinary people making sweeping proclamations with little or no evidence to back them up... think vitamin C viral tests. That's not to say that all beauty hacks born of TikTok are bad; quite the contrary. After all, who could forget Mario Dedivanovic's viral lip liner technique or the endless blush placement tutorials? But on the whole, TikTok's trends and beauty tips should be taken with a grain of salt - we need to examine WHO shares this advice, why they share it, and what proof that they must safeguard it.
The latest trend to hit FYP? Face tape. Yes, like putting tape on your face overnight or for a limited time under makeup to reduce wrinkles.
It's actually nothing new. Frownies, the most famous brand of facial stripes, came on the market in 1889 and has long been one of Hollywood's oldest secrets - actress, singer, model and international sex symbol Raquel Welch even admitted apply them every evening in his autobiography. Meanwhile, many leading ladies have talked about wearing tape to events or during filming to give the skin a smoother, smoother look. It's also a technique frequented by the drag community.
So what's the big deal? Is facial taping the key to staying young, or just another misguided social media trend? We asked the pros - board-certified dermatologists Anthony Rossi, MD, and Ranella Hirsch, MD, and board-certified plastic surgeon Raja Mohan, MD - to weigh in. Keep reading for their thoughts on facial registration.
Meet the expert
- Antoine RossiMD, is a board-certified dermatologist recognized internationally as a leading expert on sensitive skin.
- Raja MohanMD, is a Dallas-based plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries of the face, breasts and body.
- Ranella HirschMD, is a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Atolla.
What is facial registration?
Unromantically speaking, facial taping is exactly what it sounds like. Simply put, it's a technique that claims to combat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles by using tape strategically placed over areas of the face. When worn overnight, the tape should ideally contract muscles and limit their movement, preventing you from frowning or making other wrinkle-inducing expressions while you sleep. It is also said to reduce and prevent wrinkles caused by sleeping on your side and stomach. Face tape can also be used for an immediate lifting and smoothing effect, like Spanx for your face, says Hirsch.
"Facial taping may not be common, but it's not new," says Rossi. "From drag performers to movie stars, facial taping has been used to help instantly lift skin and hide wrinkles in strategic places. By gluing the face up in certain vectors, you can give an instant lifting effect.
You may have seen the aforementioned Frownies in your grandmother's medicine cabinet growing up; these are flesh-colored face stickers that come in different shapes and sizes depending on their intended uses (a rounded triangle shape for the forehead and between the eyes, butterfly-shaped for the corners of the eyes and mouth, etc.) . Today, dozens of options are available from brands such as Furlesse, SiO Beauty and others.
Advantages of facial recording
Here's the thing: all doctors agree that wrinkles and fine lines certainly look better with the strip in place. So using it overnight seems like a moot point - the strip won't reduce your wrinkles. When used for an event, however, it can mask the signs of aging and give the face an immediate boost.
But, as Mohan says, using facial tape is similar to using make-up to cover imperfections - it's an instant material effect, not a long-term solution or fix. If you're looking to actually treat wrinkles, he suggests looking into laser therapy, chemical peels and other in-office procedures.
Potential side effects of Face Taping
Even as a short-term, momentary solution, duct tape can be quite cumbersome. According to Rossi, it's difficult to camouflage, even with heavy make-up or a wig. Beyond that, all the doctors mentioned the potential for irritation due to the glue on the tape. And while Hirsch points out that certain materials are often used for tape to reduce this risk, irritation is always a possibility.
And, says Rossi, repeated use can and will be irritating for most people, regardless of the strip's material. He also points out that if the strip is left on too long, its occlusive nature could lead to clogged pores and acne due to sweat and sebum build-up.
The last takeaway
Clearly, night-time face recording is pretty useless - it doesn't provide any kind of permanent benefits and can really only cause irritation. The same applies to everyday use. Tape is difficult to camouflage, and repeated use increases the risk of irritation.
If someone can recognize it for what it is - which, as Hirsch brilliantly puts it, is a "facial Spanx" designed to temporarily enhance the look of a big night out or a shoot - that may be okay from time to time. Remember, this is by no means a way to treat or prevent wrinkles.
And so, the final verdict is a big fat one... it's complicated? as with most viral hacks we see online. Good scrolling.