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Everything You Need to Know About Skin Flooding, TikTok’s Latest Trend

Spoiler alert: It’s here to help save dry, thirsty skin.

A Collage of Products for Skin Flooding

If you spend enough time on #beautytok, you're bound to stumble upon a ton of skincare techniques and routines you may have never heard of before—skin cycling, slugging, dolphin skin, and most recently, skin flooding. While these terms may sound intimidating, many of them are just repackaged versions of what we've already been doing.

Skin flooding, in particular, is simply the act of flooding your skin with hydration. But before you start packing on the moisturizer, it’s important to get the facts straight. Below, we explain everything you need to know about skin flooding.

What is Skin Flooding?

According to California-based dermatologist Dr. Divya Shokeen, skin flooding involves applying a large amount of skincare products or a higher concentration of hydrating serums onto the skin and layering on moisturizer to deliver as much of the products possible for quicker or more potent results. This method can be especially advantageous for individuals with dry or irritated skin from retinoids and actives like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), as it effectively "floods" the skin with hydration.

How do I Skin Flood?

To practice skin flooding, Dr. Shokeen suggests drenching your skin in hyaluronic acid or glycerin-based humectants immediately after cleansing to ensure the skin is still damp before sealing with moisturizer. This allows the humectant to hold onto the moisture and seal it off from the environment. Another approach is to use a hydrating toner or mist, followed by a humectant serum and moisturizer. “This technique is particularly beneficial in dry, hot summers, leaving your skin feeling supple and moisturized,” says Shokeen.

What are the Benefits of Skin Flooding?

The main benefit of skin flooding is hydration, hydration, and more hydration! “Layering multiple hydrating products on damp skin aids in achieving deeper and more effective hydration,” explains New York-based dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. Plus, the moisturizer layer helps seal in all that hydration, preventing it from evaporating and keeping your skin plump for a longer period of time. Skin flooding can be particularly helpful when your skin is feeling dry or has been over-exfoliated, especially in dry environments.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Skin Flooding?

Dr. Shokeen warns not to go overboard with occlusive agents or heavier products such as oils, as this could lead to breakouts and milia. “It's crucial to avoid flooding with actives like retinoids, AHAs, and BHAs, as this can result in over-irritated and inflamed skin, with lasting dry patches.”

It's also important to note that while skin flooding can be incredibly beneficial for hydrating and nourishing the skin, it may not be suitable for those with oily or acne-prone skin. As Dr. Engelman explains, excessive hydration may trigger excess oil production and breakouts in some individuals. To avoid clogging pores or overstimulating sebum production, she recommends using a non-occlusive emollient moisturizer.

6 Products to Include in Your Skin Flooding Routine

Creamy Jelly Cleanser

Byome Creamy Jelly Cleanser

First things first, you’re going to need a gentle cleanser. We love this affordable creamy-jelly hybrid from Byoma because it effectively cleanses the skin without compromising the skin barrier.


SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

Tower28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

There’s no such thing as too much moisture with this trend, so for those who really want to lean in, might we suggest this facial spray from Tower 28? It’s packed with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to reduce redness and soothe any irritation.


DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum

Dr. Dennis Gross DermInfusions Fill + Repair Serum

One of Dr. Engelman's recommended products is this serum from Dr. Dennis Gross that penetrates deeply into the skin to provide hydration and plumpness, utilizing four weights of hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamide. She says, “This product not only restores the skin's moisture barrier but also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and redness.”

Dr. Dennis Gross
Yon-Ka Hydra No1 Serum

This lightweight, hydrating gel serum is ideal for skin flooding as it quickly absorbs into the skin. You can kiss dehydration goodbye, thanks to a blend of hyaluronic acid, imperata cylindrica grass, and aloe vera.


Bio-Renew EGF Cream

Glo Skin Beauty Beauty Bio-Renew EGF Cream

Dr. Engelman recommends this non-occlusive cream as the final step in your skin flooding routine. Infused with reparative vegan epidermal growth factor, phyto-retinols, and bio-recovery peptides, this moisturizer is designed to deeply hydrate and combat signs of aging without causing clogged pores or breakouts.

Glo Skin Beauty

Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

This Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream is a more affordable option that still delivers excellent results. Infused with active lipids, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter, it locks in moisture and visibly plumps, brightens, and hydrates the skin.

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