Is skin flooding the moisturising routine you need?

Much more than just a TikTok-fuelled skincare craze, discover how skin flooding actually has merit in relieving dry, dehydrated skin.

The cooler months can be unrelenting on our skin, especially for those prone to dryness.

The problem is many aren’t adequately moisturising, contributing to dehydration that can lead to skin flare-ups, damaged skin barriers, eczema and other problems.

Skin flooding has emerged as a dry skin antidote, and better yet, no fancy treatments or expensive skin tools are required.

What is skin flooding?

Skin flooding is the practice of layering multiple hydrating skincare products, all of which are applied on to damp skin in order to effectively lock in moisture.

“Skin flooding is a layering technique designed to optimise skin hydration,” dermatology resident physician, Toral Vaidya, explains.

Skin flooding techniques will vary, but Toral recommends using a hydrating, gentle cleanser (such as CeraVe Cream to Foam Cleanser of Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser), followed by a thermal mist (Toral recommends La-Roche Posay Thermal Mist or Avene Thermal Water Mist).

While the skin is damp from the mist, she recommends a hydrating serum (La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 is a popular choice), followed by the final step in the skin flooding process, a good old-fashioned hydrating moisturiser (Toral likes CeraVe Moisturising Cream).

Is skin flooding suitable for all skin types?

According to Toral, skin flooding is suitable for most skin types, but especially for those with dull and dehydrated skin.

“If you suffer from any medical skin conditions, I would first recommend speaking to a dermatologist to see if this routine is right for your skin,” she says.


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Is skin flooding a new concept?

“Even though skin flooding is trending now on social media, it’s a long-standing concept in the dermatology community,” Toral says.

“The foundation of skin flooding is using a humectant to deliver hydration, and an emollient to lock in moisture and prevent water loss.”

Can you skin flood all year long?

“Skin flooding is suitable for all skin types as moisturising ingredients tend to focus on barrier repair and protection, which can benefit even the most sensitive skin types,” Ashley Aesthetics clinical director, Dr Emmaline Ashley, says.

“Those in drier climates who struggle with skin dehydration may find it particularly beneficial.”

Are there any additional benefits to skin flooding?

Dr Ashley says this depends on the ingredients in your moisturising layers.

“For example, if you are using niacinamide as part of your flooding routine you will get additional benefits as it helps improve the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation,” she says.

“But this will be very dependent on exactly what you are using for your flooding layers.”

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Written by Charlotte Brundrett.