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What is Skin Flooding?

When it comes to skincare, there are three golden rules. One: Remove your makeup before bedtime. Two: Never skip sunscreen. Three: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. That’s the idea behind Skin Flooding, the latest viral TikTok skincare trend, which is all about layering multiple moisturizing products to literally ‘flood’ the skin with hydration. 

While the internet is constantly churning out skincare hacks and dewy skin tips –some more worthy of our time than others– we all know hydration is key to healthy skin, so this is one trend we think deserves a second look.

What is Skin Flooding? 

The practice of skin flooding is designed to boost moisture levels in the skin by layering different types of products in a particular order to not only hydrate, but also lock in moisture for longer. Order is key here as humectants that draw in moisture are layered under occlusives and emollients that keep that hydration locked into the skin. 

When it comes to moisturizing –and skin flooding, it is important to understand the difference between humectants, occlusives and emollients. A humectant is a product that draws water to it and holds it in place like a sponge. The most notable humectant is Hyaluronic Acid which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. Bear in mind that you must use humectants on damp skin so that they draw water into and not out of the skin. Occlusives, like Niacinamide, are also moisturizers but act like a top coat, locking in moisture in place, slowing the loss of moisture from the skin due to evaporation, while also supporting a healthy skin barrier. Finally, emollients like Squalane are moisturizing ingredients that soften the skin, keep it supple and help rebuild skin barrier function.

While there are multiple dewy skin tips and versions of skin flooding doing the rounds on social media, this routine is simple to follow and can be broken down into five steps that should be performed as part of your morning routine, beginning with cleansing and ending with your SPF, as always. 

What are the benefits of Skin Flooding?

While there are many skincare routines that are designed for particular skin types to tackle particular concerns such as acne, uneven skin tone, dullness or crepiness, the main benefit of skin flooding is that it’s one-size-fits-all as dehydrated skin can lead to a multitude of skin concerns (see above).

For those with sensitive skin, the good news is that skin flooding doesn’t involve any potentially irritating actives like Retinol or AHAs, keeping the focus on hydration and skin health. But that’s not to say that skin flooding cannot address all of the aforementioned concerns because properly hydrated skin has a knock on effect improving skin barrier repair and maintaining the skin's integrity. 

The two key hero ingredients in this routine are Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide. Hyaluronic Acid is like a tall drink of water for your skin, pulling in moisture and aiding in the reduction of fine lines caused by dehydration and keeping the skin looking refreshed and plump. Niacinamide is the cherry on top of all skincare products acting as a protective layer, building keratin in the skin and keeping it firm while offering defense against external damage by supporting the skin barrier. The final step in skin flooding is a bonus layer of moisture with a product containing a hero hydrator like Ectoine or Squalane.

By properly layering your hydrators and moisturizers in the correct order, skin flooding delivers deeper, longer-lasting hydration, improved skin tone and texture and seriously dewy skin.


How To Skin Flood

If you are struggling with dry skin, skin flooding really is the ultimate hydration hack to ensure all day moisturization. Here, an easy, five step skin flooding routine using some of our favorite, clean picks. 

Step 1 Cleanser 

Cleanse the skin with a gentle cleanser. Rinse and pat dry gently, leaving the skin slightly damp. 

OSEA Ocean Cleanser

Moon Juice Milk Cleanse Gentle Wash

Step 2 Face Mist

Spritz the skin with a layer of hydrating face mist to add an extra layer of hydration before applying your hyaluronic acid.


Calming Rose Face Mist

VENN Skincare

Synbiotic Defense Mist

Step 3 Hyaluronic Acid

Apply a Hyaluronic Acid serum to attract and bind water molecules to the skin and boost water content. Allow to set.

Dr Barbara Sturm 

DBS Hyaluronic Serum


Hyaluronic Sea Serum

Step 4 Niacinamide 

Apply a Niacinamide serum to boost the production of ceramides and lipids in the skin and reduce moisture loss. Allow to set.

VENN Skincare 

Vitamin B Activated All-In-One Concentrate

Marie Veronique

Soothing B3 Serum

Step 5 Moisturizer

The last step in your skin-flooding routine–apply a lightweight moisturizer containing Ectoine and or Squalane to seal in all that hydration. 

Stripes The Power Move

Biossance  Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream

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