is ‘skin flooding’ the hydration hack your routine is missing?

In the pursuit of healthy, luminous skin, most of us are on the lookout for ways in which we can get the most out of our skincare routine – whether that be with a trending treatment, powerhouse ingredient or game changing technique. The likelihood is that your skincare shelves are already stocked with the right products for the job, but are you using them to their maximum potential? 

Enter ‘skin flooding’, the latest trend making waves on TikTok, with the #skinflooding search amounting to 2.1 billion views on the platform at the time of writing. While it’s not necessarily a new technique (although it has been popularised and given a buzzy name) it is an effective one. 

From nourishing thirsty skin to enhancing its natural radiance, skin flooding is a refreshing approach that can work wonders. Intrigued? Read on to dive into the depths of skin flooding. 

what is skin flooding?

Sometimes referred to as ‘moisture sandwiching’, skin flooding is a method that involves drenching the skin with layer upon layer of targeted, hydrating ingredients. It's like a drink for your skin, quenching its thirst and boosting its natural vitality. But how does it work? 

Picture your skin with tiny little channels beneath its surface. When your skin is damp, the humectants or ‘moisture magnets’ in your skincare (think ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and salicylic acid) will travel further down these channels, penetrating deeper into your skin’s surface – maximising the benefits of each ingredient. 

endota’s skin expert and education coordinator Kimberley Conboy explains that, when it comes to layering skincare, “The skin responds best when each product is applied separately as this gives the skin the opportunity to recognise the ingredients, allowing them to penetrate the skin. Mixing products together in quick succession, rather than layering or ‘flooding’, can confuse your skin, leaving the product sitting superficially on top and obstructing absorption.”

And while skin flooding is especially beneficial for those with dry or dehydrated complexions, boosting your skin’s hydration levels is only ever going to be a good thing – regardless of its tone, type or texture. Oily or acne-prone skin should opt for lightweight, oil-free products, whereas gentle and fragrance-free formulations would best suit sensitive skin. If you're unsure of what your skin type is, take our quiz to identify your skin’s needs.

understanding the different moisturisers involved in skin flooding

There are three classes of moisturisers, and using them in combination ensures you’re effectively hydrating and maintaining the moisture balance of your skin.  

  • Humectants, which were referred to above as ‘moisture magnets’, are ingredients that retain moisture (such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and salicylic acid)
  • Emollients are ingredients that smooth the skin’s surface and improve texture (such as vitamin E, jojoba oil and squalane)
  • Occlusives are ingredients that create a barrier on the skin’s surface, preventing water loss through evaporation (such as lanolin and shea butter) 

All three classes of moisturiser are included in products commonly used during the skin flooding process.

how to skin flood

1. start with a clean canvas

Begin by thoroughly cleansing your face to remove any impurities and makeup residue. Opt for a gentle cleanser that respects your skin's natural balance. Kim recommends the Organics™ Moisture Restore Cleansing Milk or New Age™ Sensitive Cleansing Milk depending on your skin type.

2. mist

Apply a hydrating mist to prep and dampen the skin. Look for mists or essences containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera or rosewater to boost hydration, such as the Organics™ Hydrate Me Mist.

3. layer, layer, layer

This is the heart of skin flooding. Start by applying a lightweight serum, followed by a heavier serum. Allow each layer to absorb for a few minutes, then apply your facial mist again before proceeding to the next to avoid product pilling. Kim recommends the Organics™ Radiance Boost Serum, followed by the New Age™ Peptide 8 Hyaluronic Serum. If your skin is feeling particularly dehydrated or dry, using a facial oil can also further lock in moisture. While this step isn’t necessary, using the Organics™ Vitamin Treatment Oil on top of your serums can promote further hydration 

4. seal the deal

Finish by applying a rich night cream or sleeping mask to provide a final layer of hydration and nourishment, such as the Organics™ Deep Hydration Night Cream or Intense Moisture Mask as an overnight treatment

You can also maximise the benefits of skin flooding by exfoliating once or twice a week as needed. Exfoliating removes spent skin cells from your skin’s surface, creating a clear pathway for better product absorption.  

when should you use the skin flooding technique?

Practising skin flooding at night allows the skin to fully absorb the layers of hydration undisturbed. During sleep, the body's natural restorative processes are heightened, as this is when skin cells repair and renew themselves. By flooding your skin half an hour to an hour before bed, you wake up to a refreshed and radiant complexion – with more product having been absorbed by your face than your pillow case.  

Could skin flooding could be the trick to winter-proofing your routine? We think so. To learn more about remedying winter skin, read our blog

learn more about your skin

Do you have oily, sensitive, dry, combination or normal skin?
Take our skin type quiz to discover your skin type, skincare recommendations and top tips.