Tape works to fix a lot of things, no doubt, but can it really work to fix your face? Some people think so, and they’re sharing this ‘wisdom’ all over TikTok, among other places. It’s called face taping or skin taping, and it means exactly what it says. You tape your skin back, making it seem taut and tight again, eliminating wrinkles. The hope is that face taping will train the muscles under the skin to stay that way, leaving you looking younger and wrinkle-free.
The idea of face taping is not new. It’s been around for quite a while. What is new is the role that social media is playing in spreading its popularity. There’s a hashtag for #facetaping that’s producing plenty of results, with over 500 million views on Instagram alone. Celebrity Bella Hadid insists this is the method she used to make her chiseled cheeks, saying the tape is the truth behind her sculpting secrets. The denials of plastic surgery for such a simple face-taping technique were enough to convince the masses to also try it. Now, it’s easy to find tons of tutorials and a plethora of product creations (and countless reviews).
The idea is simple: Strategically place tape on your face in a way that pulls the skin back, making you look more youthful. It really can be as simple as grabbing a roll of your household tape, otherwise used for gift wrapping or salvaging ripped-apart papers. Pull your skin back in the preferred position, apply the tape, and leave it on overnight. You remove the tape each morning.
If you perform face taping nightly, you’re supposed to see fewer wrinkles and fine lines within a few weeks. It essentially has a lifting effect, preventing muscles from moving and decreasing the likelihood of wrinkles forming. Of course, now you can buy specialized tape marketed for just this purpose.
Another method of face taping is intended for short-term and more immediate results. In this case, invisible tape is placed on the side of the face and covered with hair. This is a trick many celebrities have used when they know there’s a photo opportunity ahead.
We all love the idea of waking up looking younger without investing a lot of money or sizable pain post-surgery. In theory, the notion of keeping facial muscles in place, so they don’t collapse and lead to wrinkles COULD work, but it could also do some damage.
As you likely know from using tape on paper products, sometimes the paper is ripped off, along with the tape, and the same could happen with your first layer of skin when you remove the tape you use overnight. Ouch! If you have sensitive skin, all the more reason to avoid it. It’s especially risky for people with conditions including eczema or rosacea, who could face other skin issues triggered by face taping. The adhesive can be irritating or even cause an allergic reaction. As face taping has become more popular, there are a variety of different brands of tapes and stickers which may have different strengths and types of adhesives.
Another issue could be the long-term effects face taping could lead to. It’s possible it could cause muscles to overcompensate, causing muscle hypertrophy. That’s the increase and growth of muscle cells and could happen with long-term regular use. It would create stronger muscles, which ultimately end up thicker and can cause deeper lines in the skin than seen just with wrinkles.
Some dermatologists suggest that if you try face taping, only do it for an important event where you’d like to appear more youthful. Only do the taping in the few days leading up to the event. This way, you’re not risking long-term consequences but could still see potential short-term benefits.
Others say don’t even try it for that. They say if you’re going to try it, do it with supervision, not on your own. Otherwise, there’s the potential for more problems than just wrinkles. They say skin lesions are possible, among other things. It may seem harmless, but if you end up with more issues than you started with, it’s not worth the risk. The skin on your face is delicate, and the glue on the tape with some of the products could be problematic.
They all point out this will not make a long-term difference. They say once the tape is off for a bit, the skin will eventually return to its resting state. Of course, while the tape is on, and if well-hidden, it could be the magic trick you’d like.
As much as face taping may be trending, the gravity-fighting hack may not be full-proof. The bottom line is there are no studies, research, or science behind it. Short-term benefits may be seen but are not long-lasting. Most dermatologists believe there are many other ways to accomplish your goals with greater results. They point to in-office procedures to stimulate collagen as a better source of skin rejuvenation. Additionally, they suggest a skincare routine, minus the tape, that will prevent wrinkles for as long as possible.
Of course, tape is great for a number of other things. It’s just not a skin solution, at least in the long term.