Does TikTok’s Face Taping Trend Really Compare To Botox?

The answer might surprise you.

A model shows off her face tape

TikTok has been a gamechanger in so many ways. Where else would you come to know that Lizzo loves aloe vera or that under eye blush can help camouflage dark circles? But just because the app has led you to discover some of the more useful beauty tips, it doesn't automatically mean that you should take everything at face value. For some of the more obscure trends, make sure to do your research and, of course, consult the experts. As of late, viewers have been borderline obsessed with the online phenomenon known as face taping. The viral method uses plastic adhesive (a.k.a. face lifting patches) to hold skin into place and claims to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles when worn overnight.

The hashtag #facetape has amassed an astonishing 195.4 million views so far. It’s picked up so much steam, that many users are concluding that it’s better than Botox. In a video that’s been viewed more than five million times, a TikToker by the name of @naturalfacebible walks her audience through her nighttime taping routine. The video is captioned with “34 vs 46,’ which refers to her age. The 12 second clip wastes no time flashing from a throwback photo of the creator with the text reading “me at 34 visible forehead wrinkles” and then jumps to her applying tape to the text “At 46 Botox free with less wrinkles.” There’s no denying she looks great, but you have to wonder how much of that is due solely to taping.

“Face taping is not a new practice, this has actually been around for years,” double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and facelift expert Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich tells TZR. He says it’s long been prevalent in the film and entertainment industries. “The idea behind this is that the tape will be able to constrict the muscles in your face, similarly to how botox works,” he says. It’s essentially meant to be a shortcut to medical anti-aging techniques. But the question is: does it actually work?

The short answer is no. “Results of facetaping will likely be very temporary, face taping can not provide long term results,” confirms the pro. And against the advice of TikTok, you should especially avoid leaving it on overnight. In fact, the doctor says that it’s “the worst” thing you can do. In the morning this could potentially produce tearing, bleeding, bruising, scarring, and this creates vulnerable skin that’s susceptible to bacteria infections,” warns Dr. Vasyukevich. If you must do it (for a quick fix) it should be minimal and for a short period of time. “The best tip I can offer is to get a safe, hypoallergenic tape,” he adds.

“Face Taping was never meant to be a long term practice for the general public, it was designed as an illusion of instant results, solely for the entertainment industry,” concludes the expert. So there you have it. This may be one TikTok trend you’ll want to pass on.