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What docs think about the face-taping TikTok trend to stop wrinkles

TikTok’s latest anti-aging hack sees users TAPE their faces to prevent wrinkles — but does it actually work? Doctors weigh in

  • Dr Jennifer Ashton, a medic in New York City, said the method didn’t work
  • She said that any stretching it caused would disappear in minutes to hours
  • READ MORE: Scientists top tips to staying youthful and looking after complexion

Dr Jennifer Ashton, an obstetrician and gynecologist in New York City, said that taping up your face at night will not help wrinkles to disappear

The latest TikTok beauty hack to go viral involves taping your face to iron out wrinkles.

Watched millions of times on the platform, it involves taping over wrinkles to straighten them and hold muscles in place. The tape is left on for hours, typically while someone is asleep.

Advocates say it has smoothed their wrinkles and made their skin look younger.

But doctors warn that while it may give immediate results, the wrinkles will return in a few minutes — or at best a few hours.

Dr Jennifer Ashton, a medic in New Jersey and ABC News chief medical correspondent, said the method has a ‘very superficial, very temporary’ effect.

She said nightly taping was ‘very unlikely to do anything significant’ to deeper wrinkles.

The hack has re-emerged on TikTok this year, with users posting images of themselves putting tape on their cheeks, foreheads (left) and even around their mouth (right) to help avoid wrinkles. Dr Ashton said this likely has a ‘superficial’ effect on wrinkles

The medic, who works as an obstetrician and gynecologist at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, also warned over side effects.

She said people can suffer allergic reactions to the tape, which could leave their face swollen and red, while peeling it off can remove the top layer of skin, opening up cells beneath to damage and infection.

Scroll TikTok for a few minutes and you’ll probably be hit by a video of someone — normally a woman — taping up their face before bed.

Users are shown deploying scotch tape, plasters and specialist medical bands to stretch skin around their forehead, cheeks and mouth.

The hack has made a recent comeback on TikTok, after first popping up on the social media site last year. 

But the method is actually nothing new and dates back to 1889 when a famous brand of face tape called Frownies first hit the market.

It was invented by Margaret Krosesen from Dayton, Ohio, for her daughter Alice, a concert pianist, who had developed unsightly wrinkles and frown lines.

Use sunscreen in the rain and take photos of your skin! Top tips for youthful skin 

‘Using SPF protection all year round is the most effective anti-aging technique there is,’ says Dr Zena Willsmore, a dermatology specialist registrar at King’s College London.

It is one of Hollywood’s oldest ‘secrets’ claiming to de-age skin. 

Celebrities including actress and supermodel Raquel Welch and Kardashian’s mother Kris Jenner admit to applying the tape nightly to keep younger-looking skin.

But doctors say that despite the endorsement of the ShowBiz World, there is little evidence that the hack actually works.

Dr Ashton, who works as a gynecologist and obstetrician, told Good Morning America: ‘Very superficially and very temporarily, it can smooth out those superficial wrinkles.

‘It depends on the age of the person, how much skin damage there is, how much elasticity or collagen there is in their skin, how much volume they’ve lost with age.

‘All of those things can contribute to the appearance of wrinkles.

‘[But] it’s possible that when you remove the tape, those wrinkles can re-form in minutes to hours. So, it’s going to be a very transient effect.’

Asked about deeper wrinkles, she said: ‘You have to ask yourself whether you’re dealing with fine wrinkles and lines or deep wrinkles.

‘Taping your face at night for several hours is very unlikely to do anything significant for deeper wrinkles.’

Dr Roberta del Campo, a dermatologist in Florida, has previously warned that the method could even give someone deeper lines.

She told HuffPost that if someone tried the hack long-term face muscles may actually overcompensate by strengthening themselves. This could ultimately lead to deeper lines down the line, she said, because of more forceful contractions.

She has also tried the hack herself, and said that it did lead to a ‘smoothing effect’ on her forehead in the morning. 

Wrinkles tend to form in areas where there is constant repetitive movement, such as around the eyes or mouth.

They begin as fine lines that look like small creases on the skin.

But over time can transition into deep crevices and furrows over the skin’s surface.

As a result, face taping is just one of many hacks for combatting wrinkles on your face. Others include micro-needling, getting fillers and even taking certain drugs.

Pictured above is a woman taping up her face to help avoid wrinkles. Dr Ashton also warned of the side effects including a possible allergic reaction or removing the top layer of the skin. There is no evidence that either of these happened to the woman pictured above

Dr Ashton warned that while the tape method does not work, if someone is doing it regularly they put themselves at risk of side effects.

Some users face allergic reactions to their tape, she said, which can leave their face puffy, swollen and red in color.

There is also a risk that the tape can remove the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, opening someone up to infection and damage to the skin layers below.

She said: ‘We see all the time allergic reactions to tape on the skin in surgery.

‘I would suggest if you’re going to try this, try it on a part of your body that the whole world doesn’t see in case you have an allergic reaction.

‘In some cases, there can be tape burns. You can actually remove the superficial level of the epidermis, and obviously, that would be a big problem.

She said instead of tape women could use botox, which she described as the ‘gold standard’ for preventing wrinkles. 

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