By Karen Espig

Ah, tape. A wondrous invention used for countless tasks, but should you put it on your face? Yes, according to this TikTok trending wrinkle hack! Let’s find out if it really works. 

Wrinkles result as skin ages and losses volume and elasticity. According to Penn Medicine, it has less to do with genetics and how you treat your skin right from the start.

What Is Face Taping?

There are two main methods; the first involves a band that runs from the taped areas around the back of the head (hidden under the hair); the second uses individual patches of tape on targeted areas without a band. 

Both methods aim to smooth out wrinkles and create a more youthful appearance. Generally, the tape patches are worn overnight to keep the muscles of the face from moving and the skin taut. 

With different kinds of tape on the market, if you are gonna try it out, I urge you to use medical-grade tape designed for use on the skin. Adhesive tapes for other purposes may use unsafe chemicals, increasing the likelihood of a reaction, such as rash or tearing. Ouch!

The History

Face taping has been around for over 100 years. How do we know this? Well, the company Frownies has been at it since 1889! And taping was a secret beauty hack among Hollywood’s silver screen icons Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Marlene Dietrich, to name a few. Nowadays, Lady Gaga is one of the celebs fuelling the trend.

Tape is also routinely used in photoshoots, although it is expertly hidden from view. Don’t be fooled by the wrinkle-free and flawless complexions in glamour magazines. Its tricks, makeup and lighting mostly!

Does It Work?

There is not a lot of official information in terms of studies on its efficacy. Still, many plastic surgeons and dermatologists seem to agree that using tape as a wrinkle-reducer is a short-term solution at best but sometimes may cause damage to the delicate skin on the face. It is possible to react to the adhesive or for skin irritations to happen when the tape is peeled off. Repeated strain on the skin as it is pulled may actually make wrinkles worse in the long run.

The fact is that this hack has been around for decades suggesting there may be some truth in the results for short-term effect. The potential long-term and permanent skin damage, however, makes it a risky option, in my opinion. 

Should You Do It?

Should you? Of course not! But since you might be tempted anyhow, I suggest following the experts’ advice and using medical grade tape for a few hours only. 

Consider it a makeup tool but not a long-term part of your daily routine.

Wrinkle-Reducing Alternatives

You will have your skin for your lifetime, and taking care of it as early as possible is worthwhile. Do not underestimate the need for quality sleep and maintaining hydration. There are also several more gentle natural remedies you can try that claim to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Dermatologists recommend using a broad-spectrum 15 SPF or higher daily on exposed skin. This helps the prevention of skin cancers and also allows your skin to repair itself. Modern formulations also protect from pollution and light damage. Protecting your skin is a big step toward keeping it healthy and slowing down the appearance of wrinkles. The old adage of prevention rather than cure rings very true when it comes to skincare.  

There are an infinite number of anti-ageing and wrinkle creams out there. You should choose products with medical-grade retinol, antioxidants, and peptides. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends sticking with a routine for at least 6 weeks to see if it works for you.

Other methods involving a trip to a skincare professional are injectable neurotoxins (such as Botox), radiofrequency therapy and laser resurfacing. They are approved by medical authorities as safe and have a track record of proven results. However, they require some post-treatment care to achieve the best results. These procedures do come with some risks of their own. Be sure to pick your provider wisely, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is your face, after all.

Facing The Facts

There is no proof that face-taping works long-term to reduce the appearance and quantity of wrinkles. Most skin experts do not support this treatment and caution against potential side effects that can damage the skin. 

It is true that watching our faces age can be difficult, but a lifetime of smiles and laughs are part of what created those unique-to-you lines. I suggest the common-sense approach of taking care of your skin from the inside out, with adequate water intake and good nutrition. Use a natural moisturiser (such as coconut oil) or a reputable anti-ageing cream and sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. 

Don’t get all your beauty advice from TikTok, and trust me on the sunscreen!