The Benefits of Flooded Skin and How to Do It

Firming texture, radiant complexion, reduced breakouts...the benefits of a hydrating skincare routine are so enticing that even those with oily and combination skin can't resist embracing it.

Maybe that's one reason why "skin flooding" — the latest TikTok beauty trend to sweep our five-year plan — has gotten so much attention lately.

What exactly is skin flooding? Here's everything you need to know about the viral hack and whether it's worth incorporating into your skincare routine.

What is skin flooding? While the term "flooded skin" may sound foreign to some, these basics have been recommended for years—especially for those with dehydrated skin. Similar to skin moisturizers that require petroleum jelly to

lock in much-needed moisture, skin moisturizers use specific ingredients to attract moisture and restore elasticity.

"Skin hydration is exactly what it sounds like: You flood your skin with ingredients that maximize hydration and balance dryness," says Dr. Rosemi Barrios, M.D. This practice is often done as part of your bedtime skincare

routine (when moisture loss is particularly severe).

However, if you are very dry, you can also "flood" your skin in your morning routine. Benefits of Skin Soaking. As we mentioned above, the benefits of skin hydration are almost endless. You may need to start skin flooding if

any of the following are on your skin goals list:

How to Start a Skin Flood. While dry and aging skin will benefit the most from a skin wash, it's a trend everyone can partake in—even oily and blemish-prone skin. "For those with dry and/or sensitive skin, nighttime skin care

is recommended," says esthetician Mallory Knight.

Oily or normal skin should only be "flooded" once a week, she adds. "People with acne-prone skin need to be more careful, as using multiple products can lead to breakouts," warns Dr. Barrios, especially when those formulas

contain pore-clogging ingredients.

Choose a non-comedogenic formula, and talk to your dermatologist or esthetician if you're not sure if a skin wash is right for you.

Step 1: Cleaner: Always start your skincare routine from scratch. Any pH-balanced cleanser will do, but we recommend the Gentle Cycle Milky Cleanser for dry skin.

If your skin is overwhelmed by your morning routine, you can skip cleansing entirely and opt for a spray instead.

Step 2: Toner or Facial Mist: Wait - don't get the towel yet. Instead of patting your skin dry after cleansing, consider keeping your complexion slightly moisturized.

(See Step 3 for more information.) If the skin on your arms has become dry or runny, spritz a face mist or sweep our Baby Cheek Hydrating Toner onto the skin to restore moisture.

Step 3: Moisturizing Essence: If the skin is almost dry, apply two to three drops of a water-based serum.

"Serums should contain humectants that draw moisture to the skin's surface. Any moisturizer (like hyaluronic acid or propylene glycol) will do," says dermatologist Dr. Shailene Laughlin. Our Moisture Maker Hyaluronic Acid

Hydrating Serum uses Hyaluronic Acid, moisturizing Polyglutamic Acid (which is 4 times more moisturizing than Hyaluronic Acid), and Snow Mushroom Extract to infuse skin with soothing, plumping moisture. "Then add a serum

containing niacinamide, which is soothing and anti-inflammatory to the skin," advises Dr. Barrios For a niacinamide-centric serum, consider Stroke of Brilliance.

Not only does it brighten dull skin and fight dark spots, but it also contains glycerin, a natural moisturizer.

NOTE: When moisturizing your skin, it is best to avoid AHAs, BHAs, and harsh alcohols. Why almost dry? Humectants—like those listed above—absorb moisture from the atmosphere and onto the skin's surface. However, a moisturizer

cannot be effective without water to extract it from. Whether your skin is waterlogged or not, we always recommend leaving your skin slightly damp before applying any serum or treatment. (See our serum guide for more tips.)

Step 4: Moisturizer Finally, lock in all the moisture with a moisturizer. Knight recommends a product with ingredients like ceramides, lipids, shea butter, vitamin E, or squalane. The last two are found in Skin Soak, a daily

moisturizer specially formulated to relieve dryness. If you prefer something lighter during the day, choose our Dew Point Hydrating Gel-Cream. It also contains squalane and sodium hyaluronate to leave skin bouncy and supple

without the weight of heavy creams. Plus, as a non-comedogenic formula, it's also a great choice for oily and acne-prone skin types.

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