(Beauty Breakdown)

Does TikTok’s “Morning Shed” Trend Routine Really Work?

Your night routine might not need so many steps.

Patricia San Pedro wearing mouth tape

Everybody has a nightly beauty routine. You might use a red light therapy face mask or use a satin pillow case, or maybe you “slug” to soothe dry skin. The bottom line is that you have certain steps integrated into your regimen so you wake up feeling like your best self. However, a recent TikTok trend is proving that some take it a little bit further than others. In a movement, described as the “morning shed” or “the uglier you go to bed, the prettier you wake up,” women are taking to the app to detail the mountain of products and gadgets they apply to their faces before they go to sleep. This is done by filming themselves removing their garb in the morning and revealing the final look. They’ve basically turned demonstrating their night routine into an Olympic sport.

These videos always begin in the morning with the TikToker stepping into the frame after waking-up. They start off by taking off silk eye masks and hair garments like overnight curlers or satin bonnets, but it gets interesting once they begin to remove the of several skin care elements that were applied the night before. These can include: sheet masks, chin straps, undereye patches, lip-stains for a rosy tint, face tape, and most notably mouth tape.

While some of these elements are very normalized for a restful sleep and easy morning, like the eye masks and heatless curlers, before now it was mostly unheard of to sleep in any type of skincare mask, wear a chin strap, or have tape on your face. So, the biggest question: Is this all worth it? Dr. Melissa Doft, M.D., a New York City-based plastic surgeon and founder of Doft Plastic Surgery, and Dr. Corey L Hartman, M.D., a Birmingham, Ala.-based board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology are here to set the record straight.

Keep reading reading to figure out if taping or overnight masks are something you might want to consider adding to your night routine.

Mouth Taping

The most popular yet controversial part of this routine is the act of mouth taping. Women are taping their mouths shut, using specific mouth tape, medical gauze, or even office tape, to stop from mouth-breathing while sleeping. There are claims this promotes a stronger jawline line, yet according to Doth this is a myth.

“As far as increasing your jawline, I can't see how that's actually affected by wearing tape,” says Doft. “If you're opening up your mouth or not opening up your mouth, that's not going to affect your jawline by lifting up your digastric muscles or your platysma muscles. I can't understand how that would be happening. I don't believe that it's having a real benefit.”

While there aren’t any advantages to tape, there are definitely ways this trend could be harmful. “We have internal controls or internal reflexes that stimulate while we're asleep, so there are reasons that we cough [or yawn],” says Doft. “There are reasons that we open up our mouths. You wouldn't want to prevent a sleeping person from being able to do that.”

She also says that mouth breathing is often caused by underlying issues that shouldn’t be ignored, like sleep apnea or an obstruction in the nose. If you are preventing yourself from opening your mouth, you might not be getting enough oxygen which can disrupt your sleep.

The Chin Strap

Doth also debunks the widely worn chin strap, a band that scoops under the chin and lifts the face by securing at the top of the head. She says that this only yields significant results if it is worn after a chin liposuction or neck lift.

If someone is looking for a tighter jawline, Doft says there are a lot of plastic surgery alternatives that are actually effective. These treatments include fillers, adding silicone implants, liposuction, and even Botox in the neck muscles.

Face Taping

Women have also been taping down their smile lines and their foreheads to prevent wrinkles and encourage smooth, crinkle-free skin. Doft says that doing this offers very little benefit with no permanence, affirming that Botox would be the most effective solution. Taping the skin can also cause irritation to your skin’s barrier and clog pores which could result in acne.

Sheet Masks

Speaking of acne, to produce glowy and clear skin, many have been sleeping in sheet masks and under-eye patches, that are usually meant to stay on for around 15 to 20 minutes. In a similar vein to Doft, Hartman is disproving that these methods pose any real advantages.

“[There’s] not one bit of benefit,” says Hartman of wearing these masks overnight. “If it makes people feel better, it's not going to hurt anything. I would assume those masks aren't adherent and so the ability for the mask to stay in place, as you move around at night, is always kind of questionable, which just sort of points to how much of a benefit you would get if there was a benefit to keeping it on longer.”

Those who sleep in these masks, are often wearing biocellulose masks, sheet masks made of a gel-type material that harden as it stays on your face, which Hartman says poses a bigger risk. As these masks dry onto your face they will become increasingly difficult to remove and can possibly cause skin irritation from pulling and stretching.

Undereye Patches

When it comes to under-eye patches, “Can we just get into the fact that there are people who will pose that there's no benefit to eye masks at all?,” says Hartman. He also points out that these patches lose hydration overtime, and soon after application, will have difficulty delivering the moisture to your skin. However, because most of them are made out of hydrating material and don’t contain active ingredients that could cause harm, using them doesn’t pose much of a risk. But, if you’re looking for a product to work well overnight, he says a retinol is the way to go since it has true scientific support of skin renewal during sleep.

In Conclusion

In general, Hartman says that his biggest concern with this TikTok trend overall, inc would be quality of sleep and how all of these extra steps effect that. “Sleep is important. [Keeping up with your] beauty is [also] important, but sleep is too.”