Winter can be a harsh and unforgiving season, not just for our bodies, but for our skin too. The cold, dry air can leave our skin feeling dry, itchy and irritated. 

For those of us with sensitive skin, it can be a never-ending battle to keep our skin hydrated and healthy. 

We try everything – thick creams, lotions, and oils, but often they end up clogging our pores and leaving our skin feeling greasy and weighed down. 

It can feel like there’s no hope, like we’re constantly fighting a losing battle against the harsh winter elements. 

But what if I told you that there’s a solution? To combat dry, sensitive skin in the winter, TikTok users are turning to “skin flooding” as a solution.

What is skin flooding?

According to Toral Vaidya, M.D., MPH, dermatology resident physician in New York City, it’s a long-standing concept in the dermatology community that involves “flooding” the skin with moisture by first using a humectant to deliver hydration and then layering an emollient to lock in moisture and prevent water loss.

What skin types can try skin flooding?

However, board-certified dermatologist Jennifer Linder, M.D. states that skin flooding is suitable for all skin types. 

Individuals with skin prone to acne should be cautious and use minimal products to prevent blocking of pores.

How do you skin flood?

The skin flooding technique involves four steps: Cleansing, misting, layering serums, and finishing with a moisturizer. 

Hyaluronic acid is a key player in this skincare regimen, because of its ability to draw in and retain water molecules. 

By following this order of application, the skin can better absorb and retain hydration, resulting in a plump and refreshed appearance.

1. Cleansing 

To perform skin flooding, first ensure a fresh canvas by cleansing with a mild cleanser. 

2. Hydrating 

After cleansing, leave your skin moist and commence layering hydration-boosting products such as humectants, thermal water mist, toner, or essence.

Begin with hydrating water-based serums like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and glycerin, and avoid any products with alcohol.

3. Layering 

To maximize the effectiveness of your skincare products, it is essential to layer them correctly by starting with lighter, water-based products and gradually moving to heavier, oil-based products. This order allows for the ingredients to better penetrate the skin.

4. Sealing 

To lock in the hydration, finish with a nourishing moisturizer that includes ingredients like ceramides, tocopherol, and shea butter.

This routine is not only applicable for your face rather for your entire body. As Vaidya advises, “apply lotion or cream to your body immediately after showering, while the skin is still damp”.

By following these steps and looking closely at product labels to avoid any irritants, you can achieve healthy, moisturized skin all season long.

Breaking Down The Risks Of Skin Flooding 

According to Melissa Wilson, director of education at Woodhouse Spas, skin flooding  routine does not include any harsh or active ingredients, making it generally safe for most skin types. 

However, it is important to note that the technique increases the penetration of skincare products, so individuals with sensitive skin should be cautious when trying this routine. 

Skin flooding may not be suitable for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin as layering  multiple products can cause breakouts. 

Dr. Kareem Halim advises that those with sensitive skin who are drawn to the idea of skin flooding should personalize their routine to their unique skin needs and choose products with a mild, fragrance-free formula. 

It is recommended to consult a board-certified dermatologist if you have any skin conditions to see if this technique is appropriate for you.

Benefits Of Skin Flooding 

Skin flooding allows for maximum product absorption and effectiveness by keeping the skin damp, allowing hydrating serums like hyaluronic acid to penetrate deeper into the skin. 

This technique is particularly beneficial for dry and sensitive skin during winter.

Moisturizes skin

By flooding the skin with water-based serums, you’re able to lock in hydration to prevent dry and scaly skin

Improves the skin barrier 

When the skin is well moisturized, it improves the barrier function of the skin, which helps to keep out irritants and lock in moisture.

Suitable for all skin types

Skin flooding is a great option for all skin types, including sensitive skin. However, oily or acne-prone skin reconsider this regimen. 


As compared to buying expensive creams, skin flooding just needs a hydrating product and a spray bottle.

Write A Comment