TikTokers Are Taping Their Faces Overnight to Prevent Wrinkles, and Plastic Surgeons Have Thoughts

Spoiler alert: The long-term impacts outweigh the potential short-term benefits.

TikTok True or False: Face Tape
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Getting wrinkles is a normal and inevitable part of aging. Yet, there are countless tips and tricks for delaying the sight of fine lines circulating online at any given moment. One of the most recent anti-aging skin-care tricks to surface on TikTok is called face taping. If you're on the app, you might have already seen or heard of the trend, which involves strategically applying pieces of tape on your face and keeping them on overnight to prevent the formation of wrinkles. (

In one particular video with nearly a million likes, a user that goes by The Aussie Rapunzel records her journey of face taping her forehead every night for a week. She shows herself raising her eyebrows to unveil the fine lines on her forehead after each night of face taping to see if there are any changes to her face. By the last day and end of the video, there's a visible difference in the appearance of the fine lines on her forehead, and the creator shared that she event felt like it was harder to lift her brows. But is this safe and does it really work in the long run?

Face taping does work as an immediate strategy to reduce fine lines and wrinkles; however, the technique can cause irritation in the short term and even create more visible signs of aging in the long term, according to plastic surgeons. Ahead, learn more about this trend, including why you might want to stick to more traditional anti-aging methods if preventing wrinkles is one of your skin-care goals.

What is face taping for wrinkles?

This trend involves applying tape to any areas of the face where you're concerned about the formation of wrinkles, such as on the forehead and near the eyes. In most videos that have gone viral, creators gently place medical tape or kinesio tape on their face (without stretching it), then they go to sleep. "The idea is that the tape will keep the muscles in place throughout the night, limiting their motion, and therefore minimizing wrinkles," explains Michael Horn, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Illinois. "During our sleep, it's possible we can still make facial expressions and move around as we adjust, [and] using tape is supposed to 'keep it in place,' preventing wrinkle formation," he continues.

"Face taping is meant to be a shortcut to medical anti-aging techniques," adds Konstantin Vasyukevich, M.D., a board-certified facial plastic surgeon based in New York. The way the tape constricts the muscles in the face to prevent the formation of wrinkles is similar to how Botox works, he says. ICYDK, Botox is an injectable commonly used for cosmetic purposes and works by relaxing the facial muscles to promote the look of a taut, smooth, and youthful-looking complexion, as Shape previously reported.

Does face taping work to reduce the look of wrinkles?

In theory, face taping for wrinkles does work, but it's only a short-term solution, says Dr. Vasyukevich. "Face taping will give you the instant results you desire for the day, but it cannot alter the fine lines and wrinkles on a person's face the way botox can," he explains. While it might be useful for creating a "visual effect" in the entertainment industry for a film scene or photoshoot, according to Dr. Vasyukevich, he doesn't recommend face taping on a daily basis.

Additionally, face taping might create the opposite of its desired effect, says Dr. Horn. "When you tape your face to hold muscles still, you're preventing them from doing what they're supposed to, thus, adding resistance," he explains. "In doing so, you're training your facial muscles to work harder and in turn, become more powerful. Over time they can get stronger, accelerating the formation of the fine lines and wrinkles you were hoping to avoid."

Is face taping for wrinkles safe?

While Dr. Vasyukevich doesn't recommend face taping regularly, it's safe "in moderation" he says. The only thing to be weary of is wearing the tape might feel uncomfortable and the adhesive from the tape could negatively impact your skin barrier (aka the outermost layer of the skin).

"Using a piece of tape, especially one that is supposed to hold your skin down for a whole night can damage the skin barrier when you take it off," says Dr. Horn. "Tape isn't made to be safe on the skin and can cause redness, irritation, and acne breakouts," he explains. Plus, the tape itself may cause discomfort, adds Dr. Horn.

You should use face taping to reduce wrinkles: true or false?

TikTok True or False: Face Tape
Getty Images

Although face taping may offer short-term results and be safe to do every once in a while, it might make wrinkles worse in the long run and could cause immediate irritation and discomfort. Instead of sticking tape on your face at night, stick to tried-and-true techniques that help prevent the formation of wrinkles, such as wearing sunscreen daily and using a retinol skin-care product in your routine, says Dr. Horn.

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