Got Dry Skin? Try Skin Flooding

Photo: ©Sanja (Lydia) Kulusic / StocksyTikTok has nearly replaced my dermatologist with its endless skincare tips—and even better, full routines—to solve specific skin woes (remember skin cycling?). The latest couldn’t have come at a better time—the skin flooding trend just in time for a cold, dry ski trip in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.

What is skin flooding?

As the name suggests, the skincare routine is meant to “flood” dry, dehydrated skin with strategic layers of moisture. Simple-yet-effective, the intense hydration relies on specific ingredients in a strategic order, without risk of clogging pores or triggering breakouts.

Contrary to other skincare trends, the key is to layer the key ingredients while your skin is still a little damp from the prior step, allowing for maximum absorption and efficacy. It ensures your skin draws in moisture and penetrates into the deeper layers. The simple, 5-step routine goes something like this.

Step-by-step skin flooding routine


Like any effective skincare routine, starting with a clean canvas is a non-negotiable. We recommend using a gentle, hydrating cleanser for clean, refreshed skin.

Beautylish recommends:


While your skin is still slightly damp from cleansing, spritz a hydrating mist for a quick hydration boost.

Beautylish recommends:

Hyaluronic acid

While your skin is still moist from the mist, it’s time to slather on some hyaluronic acid—a natural humectant that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in moisture (!)

Beautylish recommends:


Next, add a second layer of moisture to reduce water loss and really seal the moisture in. Multi-tasking niacinamide helps improve skin tone and texture for a healthy, hydrated-looking complexion.

Beautylish recommends:


Finally, a nourishing moisturizer will really lock everything in and create a protective barrier, preventing water loss.

Beautylish recommends:

Skin flooding results

I have combination skin—dry skin with an oily T-zone—which only tends to get drier and duller in the winter. Going into a cooler, drier climate in the Colorado mountains for five days was the perfect time to put skin flooding to the test.

I’m happy to report—it works! Even in the cooler temps and higher elevation, my skin maintained a hydrated, healthy-looking complexion (without any flakiness!) and was even glowing. The best part is the routine is short, quick and easy to maintain—even when traveling.

My biggest concern going into it was skin pilling. Not only are we layering multiple products, but also applying them without allowing the previous product to fully dry—which is usually considered a no-no. Even with multiple layers of moisture, my skin didn’t pill. I can only credit this to the strategic order of starting with lighter products and moving on to the heavier ones.

The final verdict: if you have dry skin, this trend is definitely worth a try.