Apr 26, 2024 | Blog


Dr Naomi McCullum

Cosmetic Doctor, Student Cosmetic Chemist. Founder, Dr Naomi Skin and The Manse Clinics.


What are your thoughts on the ‘skin flooding trend’ that involves layering (“flooding”) the skin with lots of hydrating products?

I’ve noticed that these Tik-Tok trends get created by giving a new name to a process that already exists.  “Skin flooding” is really just someone following a standard skincare process for a certain skin type without waiting a few minutes between the steps. In reality, this is what most of us do when following our routines. Flooding is focused on hydrating by applying from thinnest to thickest products quickly. The process is cleansing, then adding a toner/essence then a hydrating serum (eg a hyaluronic acid) and then a moisturiser to lock it all in. This is a typical skincare routine.

The potential “cons” of skin flooding may be pore clogging and increasing breakouts, however, if you build the flooding routine correctly for the individual’s skin type, you could turn this into a “pro” and prevent or help those breakout issues while also “flooding” the skin.

I’ll give an example of how to prevent breakouts while flooding: In the toner or essence step of flooding, you could use a combo pore minimising and hydrating essence like our Dr Naomi Skin Pore Relation essence product, which is ideal for exfoliating and hydrating. In the serum step, you can choose a serum that combines niacinamide with hyaluronic acid (eg Let it B) , so that you get the “flooding”, but you also get the anti-inflammatory and barrier improvement and oil regulation effects of the vitamin B. Lastly, make sure you choose the ideal moisturiser, ie one that hydrates but will also not trigger breakouts.


What is your opinion on the ‘skin cycling’ trend that involves using different ingredients on different days?

“Skin cycling” is a process we have always used with active skincare, where over a few days we can choose to go harder with active products and then use different ingredients in the recovery phase. Thankyou, tik-tokers, I do love the name you gave it:) The process stems from in-clinic treatments, where we use a powerful active peel and then use more gentle and repairing ingredients while the skin recovers. When I was formulating for my range, Dr Naomi Skin, I created One Night Stand, the most powerful overnight “facial” that can be used at home. For our “skin cycling” routine we recommend using this product a maximum of twice weekly, as the skin needs time to recover after it. This type of power exfoliating product has such impressive results after one application. However, it is not suitable for every skin type  and those with sensitive skin should not use it. Skin cycling may be too aggressive for them. There are increased risks with skin cycling, and those with sensitive skin need a very slow and gentle approach with actives.

How about ‘sunscreen contouring’ where people try to control how much sun each part of the face receives to ‘naturally’ contour it? (Sounds ridiculous and downright dangerous to me but apparently people are doing this!)


Susncreen contouring is a stupid and dangerous trend and anyone promoting it should not be trusted. I’m a cosmetic doctor from Australia, the skin cancer capital of the world, and I’ve had a melanoma and multiple skin cancers myself, so I feel so strongly about this topic. Ethical skin influencers should be relentlessly promoting sun protection, and not encouraging getting “snatched” by using less sunscreen on certain skin areas to tan them. If people want that contoured look, they should keep safe by using makeup instead.


And finally, your thoughts on ‘slugging’?


Interestingly for the last 20 years cosmetic doctors use what Tik-Tokers have called “slugging” after ablative laser procedures. So when we use a laser to vaporise the outer layers of skin off in a resurfacing procedure, we use occlusive products like vaseline or paw paw ointment as the standard aftercare, where it works to soothe, create a barrier and also help with wound repair.

For at home use, slugging is used for a similar purpose and can be helpful for dry or sensitive skin. It reduces transepidermal water loss by creating a seal over the skin and helps repair your natural lipid barrier. Hydrating the skin is the job of moisturisers – our range includes Plump Fiction anti ageing moisturiser and Over Achiever Cream-to-water mattifying moisturiser. Occlusives don’t hydrate the skin, but do lock in the hydration. So slugging can be used to enhance the benefits of moisturiser.

Obviously slugging is not suitable for some skin types.

The most important thing to note is to please don’t follow random Tik-tok trends. Only consider them if they are safe and suitable for your skin type.



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