Does ‘Face Slapping’ Really Make Your Skin Care Absorb Better?

“Face slapping” is trending on TikTok. But does it really work?

To catch you up to speed: “Face slapping” is what TikTok users are calling the questionable practice of slapping one’s face. Why would they do such a thing? Allegedly, it improves the absorption of skin care products like serums and stimulates the natural production of collagen.

Intrigued, we asked beauty experts what they think of the controversial beauty trend.

Does face slapping really work?

In short: No, not really. “Products don’t penetrate more just because of how they are applied, but because of their ingredients which penetrate the different layers of skin,” says Sonia Ferreiro, cosmetologist and biotechnologist at Byoode. ”Slapping the skin doesn’t necessarily improve the absorption of products.”

That said, it may give us the impression that they’re absorbing better. “But what happens is that part of the product is being absorbed by the palm of your hand,” she adds.

Ana Yuste, director of training at Aromatherapy Associates, agrees. “When you slap products onto your face, you produce air, which evaporates some of the product,” she says. “As a result, the full amount of the product is not even reaching the skin.”

As for how to apply products the right way? “You should always spread serums with your fingers; not with the palm,” says Estefanía Nieto, technical director of Omorovicza. “The fingertips do not absorb the product and the palm does. This way, no product is wasted.”

Face slapping: Are there any benefits?

“The only thing that face slapping does is to increase blood flow to the subdermal tissue, as a result of the trauma. However this will not at any time cause products to penetrate into the skin more,” says Dr. Elena Jiménez, plastic and esthetic surgeon and medical director of Eleca Clinic. “The products are still in the superficial layer of the skin.”

Jiménez adds that while the skin might become red as a result of slapping, it doesn’t mean product is penetrating more. “It’s just the effect of repeated trauma to the dermis and the subdermis, where the capillaries are”,” she explains.

Plus, there are ways to stimulate collagen production without harming your face. “Slapping can damage the blood capillaries and even the muscles,” concludes Consuelo Mohedano, Training Director of Shiseido’s Prestige division. “There are other ways to do it and tools that have this effect, such as gua sha and rollers. They don’t run the risk of damaging the skin structures, and above all, are pleasant to use.”

How to increase skin care absorption

Simply put, try face massage. “Face slapping seems to be an adulterated version of Kobido massage, an ancestral Asian method used to improve circulation, tone and firm the facial skin,” says María José Rioja, a Skin Spa Clarins trainer. “But like any technique, if you do it incorrectly, you won’t get the expected benefits.”

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