Tape has a lot of great uses. It’s awesome for crafts, effective for repairs, and super handy around the holidays and other celebrations. I would go as far as to argue that it’s one of mankind’s best inventions. But did you know some folks also use it on their face?
Face taping has recently re-emerged on everyone’s favourite social media platform, TikTok, and it’s taking the world by storm.
A quick FYI for the folks reading from home: face taping is just as it sounds. It involves strategically placing strips of tape across your face to imitate effects that are otherwise observed following injections and facelifts. You can actually purchase face tape designed specifically for the purpose of smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, as well as lifting the face for a more snatched look.
Face taping as seen on TikTok
The material itself will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some people opt for whatever tape they can get their hands on at home. Some examples I’ve seen used on social media include plastic surgical tape and the Kinesio Tape employed by athletes for injuries.
So does this mean that you can ditch the Botox or cancel your upcoming plastic surgery consultation in favour of getting a little crafty? Let’s get into it.
Face Taping Comes in Different Forms
There are different approaches one can take when it comes to face taping, in addition to those mentioned above.
On the one hand, some folks will use special contraptions to lift sagging skin and reduce the appearance of frown lines, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines in the same way that a facelift would. The devices include a sticky end that is attached on the face near the hairline, and an elastic that connects at the back of the head and is concealed by the hair. Users will appear to have smoother, more lifted faces and it only takes a few seconds to achieve results.
The issue with these 5-second facelifts is that they don’t hold up (pun intended) for very long. The tape slowly loses its cohesiveness and the elastics need to be adjusted throughout the day, which will break the illusion of an effortlessly snatched face.
They are helpful for make-up artists during sessions, which was their initial intended purpose. By lifting the face, MUAs can get sharper lines and smoother finishes. But of course, this is only for a couple hours at most, so the facelift face tapes are a no go.
On the other hand, there are face tapes that are used specifically for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These tapes are often applied overnight once all skincare products have been deployed. Wrinkle strips–as they’re often called–work by physically smoothing out areas where lines are wont to appear, as well as restricting your muscles from movement during sleep.
Wrinkle strip manufacturers claim that with repeated use, their products train your face to remain still even outside the hours of active face taping.
Does face taping achieve what it claims to?
I’ve seen some discourse surrounding the efficacy of face taping and the vibes are inconclusive. Some professionals claim that face taping only works for a brief period after use before our faces go back to emoting and moving as the day goes by. Some professionals have signed off on certain face tapes that target lines that form specifically during sleep.
A lot of practitioners who are open to the idea of face taping suggest it be used in conjunction with actual, proven methods of reducing fine lines and wrinkles. For instance, incorporating retinols into your skincare routine, and exploring non-surgical–as well as surgical–options if you want longer-lasting, sustainable results.
Despite its resurgence on your feed, face taping has actually been around for a while. Frownies, a brand that users are currently flaunting, was created over a century ago by a mother who wanted to help her daughter minimize the appearance of frown lines–hence the name. Frownies seem to be the predecessor, but plenty of disciples have followed suit with their own innovations incorporating active ingredients into the wrinkle patches to boost effectiveness.
Of course DIYs using products found in your medicine cabinet also seem to be an option, but I would exercise caution. In most of the information provided surrounding face taping (and be advised that there isn’t much out there) dermatologists and plastic surgeons alike warn against the irritation and damage that can be caused by the adhesives.
If you think about it, applying strong tapes not meant for prolonged use on an area as sensitive as your face probably isn’t a great idea; especially if you’re doing it super frequently.
The Most Effective Wrinkle Treatment Options
As with all things in life, balance is key. So if you wanna opt for the home solutions, be sure that you’re being gentle when removing the tapes the next morning–although there’s nothing like stimulating the sensation of a facial wax to wake you right up!
You also want to limit your use of the tapes. In fact, some brands will suggest that you only use their products consistently for a few months and then scale back use to a couple times a week for maintenance. After all, you wouldn’t want to compromise your skin barrier with the repeated application and subsequent removal of face tape in an effort to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
So should you hop on the face taping bandwagon? Ultimately, it’s hard to say… because there isn’t any academic literature exploring the value of face taping.
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So whether or not it works, or whether or not the potential benefits outweigh the supposed risks is TBD from a scientific standpoint. It seems that the risks are minimal, but so are the rewards. If you want lasting results, stick to tried and true methods backed by the folks in the lab coats.
As with all things trendy, it’s always best to exercise critical thought and do your research. Or just ask us 😊