Time to Try TikTok's Moisture Sandwich Trend
The latest skincare TikTok trend we’ve been hearing all about: ‘the moisture sandwich.’ It’s basically the act of layering your skincare products to achieve deep hydration and prevent transepidermal water loss.
Now that the colder weather has arrived, the moisture sandwich trend couldn’t be more relevant. With skin needing as much hydration as it can get, moisture sandwiching your skin might be just what your complexion needs to stay smooth, soft, and dewy this fall — and throughout winter.
Ahead, all the deets on TikTok’s moisture sandwich beauty trend.
What is a Moisture Sandwich?
Moisture sandwiching refers to strategically ordered layers of moisture and hydrating skincare products with the purpose of alleviating dry skin.
"I typically refer to sandwiching in regards to trapping water in the skin and reducing transepidermal water loss," explains Dieux Skin co-founder and CEO Charlotte Palermino. "By putting lighter, more watery products on damp skin and then layering something thicker, that water gets trapped for longer, allowing for more hydrated and happy skin."
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to start with your lightest products (i.e. a hydrating face mist), followed by heavier products like a serum and cream.
The Benefits of Sandwiching Your Skin
If hydration is your goal, then TikTok’s moisture sandwiching technique is worth a try. Using products with smaller molecules first promotes deeper absorption and applying a thicker product on top helps to seal everything in.
The method works particularly well when using a hyaluronic acid serum. Since hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it holds on to water, it keeps skin hydrated for hours. However, for it to really work its best, there needs to be moisture for it to hold on to. That’s why it’s best to apply a hyaluronic acid serum to damp skin in order to reap the most benefits from this active ingredient.
Aside from moisturizing your skin, moisture sandwiching gives skin a healthy glow. You can even use it to prep skin for makeup application to enhance your glow even further.
Another benefit of the trend is that it strengthens the skin barrier, preventing redness, dryness, and irritation for fresh, vibrant skin.
What Dermatologists Say
When it comes to many TikTok skincare trends, derms are typically weary. Some of those beauty hacks and trends popping up on social media can often be downright damaging to your skin, which is why it’s always important to do your research before trying it yourself.
As far as the moisture sandwich trend goes, the dermatologists approve! In fact, Candace Marino, aka The LA Facialist, says it’s a method facialists have been using for years.
“We’ve long been layering hydrating products from watery, lightweight formulas to thicker and more lipid-heavy ones to deeply hydrate the skin, trap moisture, and prevent transepidermal water loss,” says Marino.
There is, however, one disclaimer regarding moisture sandwiching.
"Don’t do it with retinol, exfoliating acids, or anything that can be irritating just to be safe," warns Palermino. She also advises against using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) if you have oily skin or acne-prone skin, as this product can clog pores and trigger breakouts.
How to Create a Moisture Sandwich
Here’s a step by step routine for creating a moisture sandwich.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, then pat dry — but only enough to leave skin a little damp.
Follow up with a hydrating toner or mist. By applying these onto damp skin, they’ll be able to penetrate deeper, maximizing their effects.
Once they’ve sunk in, apply a lighter serum (containing hyaluronic acid, ceramides or another hydrating active).
Mist again, and moisturize with a face cream or lotion.
Optional (though not recommended for oily or acne-prone skin types): seal everything in with an occlusive barrier.
Where Can You Moisture Sandwich?
Moisture sandwiching isn’t only reserved for the face. You can also moisture sandwich your lips, hair, and the rest of your body. Wherever you’re in need of extra hydration is where you should be applying this method. Whether you’ve got oily, mature, or sensitive skin, moisture sandwiching can benefit all skin types.
Best Skincare Products for Moisture Sandwiching
Here are some of our fave hydrating products to include in your skincare routine.
A skin quenching facial serum of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. This power couple helps to seal in long-lasting hydration while plumping out fine lines and protecting skin against UV damage. It can also be used on the body for all over dewy hydration. Plus, it makes the perfect primer for makeup!
Smooth Body Serum
An intensely rejuvenating body serum powered by antioxidant-rich strawberry and ultra-nourishing niacinamide. Smooth Body Serum helps to hydrate, fight UV damage, and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while firming up sagging skin. It also smells delicious — like freshly picked strawberries!
Hydrate Body Moisturizer
A restorative body butter that blends the hydrating properties of shea, coconut, and cocoa butter for all over silkiness. This buttery swirl of goodness alleviates dryness and irritation while soothing inflamed skin. It can be used all over the body — a little goes a long way! Did we mention it also smells like cotton candy? Yum!
Anti-Cellulite Body Butter
Another deeply hydrating formula to treat your skin to. Anti-Cellulite Body Butter is enriched with a nourishing blend of plumping watermelon and elasticity-restoring vegan collagen to give skin back its spring. It also significantly minimizes the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks while deeply moisturizing the skin.
With fall’s cold, dry air sucking the moisture out of our skin, moisture sandwiching is the perfect remedy for replenishing lost moisture. This skincare trend isn’t just TikTok approved. It’s also derm-approved! In other words, it’s well worth a try if you’re seeking softer, dewier skin this season.