Myth Busted: Does Face Taping Work To Reduce Wrinkles?
Face taping is the new proof that social media isn’t as authentic as we may believe. It seems to be that the newest and hottest "trend" is sticking a piece of tape onto your face in order to give off that “snatched” magazine appearance and minimize fine lines. I’ve seen people of all ages on TikTok try this hack, and some even use it to reverse the look of aging. But does face taping work in the long run?
- Face tape involves taping certain areas of your face to achieve either smoother skin or to sharpen specific features.
- The practice of face taping has been alive for decades and was actually created by celebrities and plastic surgeons.
- Face taping can be fun to use at certain times, but it’s important to note that face tape should not be thought of as a permanent solution to minimizing wrinkles or changing your face structure.
The practice of face taping
The practice of face taping is exactly what it sounds like. People are showing off their #facetaping hacks for achieving younger and smoother looking skin.
1. Lift tape
Using tape to lift up the skin creates a temporary chiseled look. The tape is attached to the mid cheekbone and pulled up for a more defined cheekbone. You can also apply it to your jawline and temple areas to define those areas as well. When you’re using this to go under makeup and for a more temporary effect, it’s important to use lift tape and not just regular household tape. The lift tape will stay intact throughout the day, especially under makeup and sweat.
2. Lymphatic taping
This kind of taping focuses more on the specific features of the face. Lymphatic taping works to drain and support lymphatic flow to help reduce puffiness and increase blood circulation. Taping off small sections a few hours a day has been shown to minimize areas like a double chin and make your cheekbones more apparent.
3. Night taping
This technique applies to the people that are dead set on doing anything they can to help minimize their fine lines as much as possible – even though every line and mark is beautiful. But basically, you apply face tape onto your skin to prevent sleep lines from forming and stop muscle movement during sleep. However, the tape can’t reverse any lines that are already there, it can only make them fade for a little while and possibly help prevent new ones from forming.
What’s the obsession?
It seems as if the main goal of face taping has been to minimize the appearance of fine lines and create a more youthful look. As we age, our collagen levels begin to decrease, which leads to loser skin and more wrinkles. In this modern world, there are many ways to slow down this aging process or reverse it a little bit.
Face tape has come to be one of these innovative creations designed to "reverse" this inevitable aging process. However, there is a lot of doubt surrounding this trend. Does face taping work to reduce wrinkles, or can we see the strings attached?
Here are a few potential benefits of face tape:
- Improve blood circulation in the face
- Minimize fine lines
- Create a chiseled and more defined bone structure appearance
I was shocked to learn that people, especially celebrities, have been using this technique for forever, whether for a long-term or temporary fix. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Bella Hadid, and Naomi Campbell have sworn by this technique to get their face looking red carpet ready. Even plastic surgeons have backed this idea and compared it to a smaller version of a facelift.
According to a renowned Chicago plastic surgeon, Michael Horn, “the tapes used to give a younger look are working so well because they’re offering an instant reversal to the natural aging process or lax skin due to sun damage, weight loss or skin sagging due to excessive drinking or smoking.” Essentially, using this practice the right way and consistently can lead to potential long-term results.
More harm than good
This may sound exciting and harmless, but in some circumstances, face taping can actually cause more harm than good. Here are some potential side effects of face tape:
- Pore build-up
Think of all the oil that can build up on your face overnight. Now imagine a piece of tape trapping all that oil into your skin. Especially when left on overnight, face tape causes dirt and oil to build up under the skin, thus leading to increased breakouts and bigger pores.
- Skin irritation
Even if the tape isn’t super strong, peeling it off your skin constantly can cause major irritation and redness.
- More wrinkles or fine lines
Once again, peeling tape from your skin can cause more harm than good. Having to peel it off lifts the skin and can lead to more wrinkles or fine lines due to constant pulling.
- Body and face dysmorphia
Let’s go back to square one where this idea originated. First, we all need to learn how to embrace our beauty at every step of life. Just because you have some lines on your face doesn’t mean you’re “old,” it just means that you have lived.
Secondly, even models don’t naturally look the way that they appear on TV and in magazines. So remember that face taping was partially created to achieve that “foxy model look,” which we come to find out is all just one big advertising façade.
Which leads us to...
- Cultural fetishization
The "foxy model look" is a problematic phrase at its core. Praising the lifted eyes and cheekbones created by pulling your skin with tape creates a manufactured trend out of other people's real physical features. Not only can we embrace the natural fall of our skin with time, we should avoid creating a false aesthetic out of "lifted eyes" or "sharp cheekbones", especially by calling the results of face tape a "foxy model look."
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with playing with some tape every once in a while to play dress up or just to spark a little more confidence on a hard day… but don’t let this trend make you believe that you’re supposed to look a certain way.
So does face taping work?
It really depends on the person and the specific goal to determine whether face really taping works or not. For example, does it aid in temporarily defining certain features? Yes, it definitely lifts your skin, especially when applied under makeup. Can it also work to reduce the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a few hours? Again, yes, it probably can for a minimal amount of time. But all in all, face taping needs to be advertised as a VERY temporary solution to minimizing wrinkles and achieving that very unnatural lift look.
Written by Emma Carlson
- Photo by Packhelp on Unsplash