Skin Flooding: Skincare for Dehydrated Skin

What is skin flooding and how does it work? Discover everything you need to know about flooding thirsty skin in this guide to skincare for dehydrated skin.

Darlings, when skin feels dehydrated, skin flooding may be the answer to your skincare wishes! Discover how skin flooding works, the best skincare products for flooding the skin with hydration, and why skin flooding could be the answer to rehydrating dehydrated skin.

Gia Magic Water Cream model shot

What is Skin Flooding?

Skin flooding is a skincare technique where skincare products are layered to give the skin a deeply hydrating revival. The goal is to, in a sense, flood the skin with supercharged skincare ingredients including humectants like hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid and ingredients that strengthen the skin barrier like niacinamide. Skin flooding usually involves a cleanser, face mist, face serum, and face moisturiser, with each product being layered to increase hydration and efficacy.

How does Skin Flooding work?

The premise of skin flooding is that by layering hydrating skincare products, each product takes turns to flood the skin with moisture while helping to retain moisture over time. Layering is an important aspect of skin flooding; rather than washing away toner or serum before moving onto the next step, each product is left to absorb into the skin. This allows skincare ingredients to penetrate more deeply into the skin barrier while boosting the absorption of the skincare steps that follow. After skin flooding, your skin should feel drenched with intense hydration.

Which products should you use for Skin Flooding?

The core products that you will need when skin flooding include cleanser, face mist, face serum, and moisturiser. These products work together to add moisture back into the skin and help to strengthen the skin barrier for long-lasting hydration. Skin flooding is a more-is-more approach to skincare – the opposite of skin minimalism or ‘skinimalism’ – so products such as toner, face masks and face oils are wonderful additions to your skin flooding routine.

Whichever products you use for skin flooding, be sure to use hydrating formulas that don’t feel stripping on the skin. I recommend reaching for Magic Skin icons like Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist, Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, and Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream to flood the skin with healthy hydration.

Skin Flooding Products still life

Which skin types benefit from Skin Flooding?

Every skin type can benefit from skin flooding. The aim of skin flooding is to intensely hydrate the skin, and so those with dehydrated skin will get the most out of this skincare technique.

Skin flooding is skincare for dehydrated skin. Having dehydrated skin is different to having dry skin, although this is a common misconception. Every skin type can become dehydrated – whether it’s dry, oily or combination – and the key to rehydration is following a supercharged skincare routine that hydrates and revives the look of dehydrated skin.

Can you wear makeup after Skin Flooding?

Yes – you can apply makeup after skin flooding, but you’ll need to ensure that your canvas is perfectly prepped. Due to skin flooding being a maximalist approach to skincare, it requires a build-up of skincare products on your skin, and if these products don’t layer well, they can slide around and ball up on the face which is detrimental to makeup application. When choosing the skincare products you will be flooding your skin with, it’s important to make sure that they layer beautifully and won’t result in any pilling or bunching up on the skin that could interfere with your makeup.

Layering is at the heart of all of my skincare innovations, darlings. Whenever I create a NEW! skincare product, I’m mindful that it needs to work seamlessly with the other steps within a skincare routine. All of my magic skincare stars are designed to apply effortlessly alongside one another while helping to supercharge the steps that follow! They also layer beautifully underneath makeup and create a smoother-looking, glowing canvas that helps your complexion to look its best.

Skincare for Dehydrated Skin: Skin Flooding Routine

Darlings, discover the secret to skincare for dehydrated skin! This skin flooding routine breaks down skin flooding step-by-step, and is designed to drench and revive the look of dehydrated skin. Each of these products layer effortlessly with the next and are essential in my skincare kit for quenching thirsty skin!

  1. Charlotte's Magic Hydrator Mist radiant skin rescue essence with lid off

    1. Apply face mist onto cleansed skin

    Skin flooding begins with a misting of face mist onto freshly cleansed skin to instantly hydrate your complexion. Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist is my hydrating face mist – it’s powered by Hyaluronic Mesh Technology and is designed to give the face an immediate moisture boost. It also helps to supercharge the skincare steps that follow; other skincare products such as face serums and moisturisers absorb most effectively into a damp complexion, and a flooding of face mist is the perfect way to optimise your canvas for the rest of your skincare routine for dehydrated skin.

    Tilbury Tip: Skin flooding is all about layering, darlings. While face mist should be the first step in your routine, you can also reapply face mist between the rest of your skincare steps for even more magical hydration.

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist

    Learn more about face mist

  2. A glowy toner in a large, white-coloured bottle with a silver-coloured lid.

    2. Apply toner with a soft cotton pad

    Next, apply a gentle toner to hydrate and smooth the look of skin. When skin flooding, it’s important to choose a hydrating formula that adds moisture back into the skin while helping to tone the complexion and refine the appearance of pores. Glow Toner is my daily radiant glow solution for baby-soft skin with an ambient glow; the research-powered formula is infused with niacinamide to help strengthen the skin barrier which will help to lock in all of the moisture that your skin will be flooded with as you perform your skincare routine.

    Tilbury Tip: I recommend applying Glow Toner with a soft cotton pad. Add a few drops onto your pad and then gently press into the skin to let the formula absorb.

    Shop Glow Toner

    Discover the benefits of toner

  3. A luminous, ivory-coloured facial serum in a glass bottle with a white and gold-coloured dropper lid,

    3. Apply 4-6 drops of face serum

    Next, apply a hydrating face serum that floods the skin with deeply hydrating skincare ingredients. Face serums that are infused with moisture-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid are perfect choices for dehydrated skin as they provide targeted hydration that helps to revive the look of the complexion. While I was creating Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, I discovered the powers of polyglutamic acid – a supercharged ingredient that’s 4x as hydrating as hyaluronic acid. I infused my research-powered face serum with this skincare powerhouse to deliver deep, lasting hydration, making it a perfect face serum option for skin flooding.

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir

    Learn more about face serum

    Discover how to apply face serum

  4. Charlotte's Magic Water Cream ultra-lightweight, skin-drenching gel moisturiser

    4. Reach for a hydrating gel moisturiser

    Once you’ve flooded your skin with face serum, it’s time to reach for a moisturiser that’s designed to quench thirsty skin. I created Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream to not just moisturise your skin, but to DRENCH it. The unique, gel-cream formula is powered by Waterlocking Fusion Technology™️ with aquaporin to help deliver 100 hours of hydration* with every application, helping skin to feel intensely hydrated, balanced and with improved tone and texture. Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream drenches like a water cream and revives like a Magic Cream – it’s the skin-flooding formula that your skin is thirsting for!

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream

    Discover the differences between gel vs cream moisturiser

  5. Light-gold-coloured facial oil in an open glass bottle with a gold and white-coloured dropper lid.

    5. Soothe and luxuriate with face oil

    Finally, massage a luxe facial oil into the skin to soothe and hydrate the complexion. Reaching for a silky-smooth face oil is the perfect way to give your skin flooding routine a spa-fresh finishing touch. I created Collagen Superfusion Facial Oil as a spa-in-a-jar face oil that helps to smooth and nourish the look of skin while delivering gorgeous, natural radiance. The formula is enriched with calming essential oils and a plump-effect collagen matrix that helps skin to feel smoother and firmer. If your skin is dehydrated, this high-performance facial oil is perfect for getting your glow back.

    Shop Collagen Superfusion Facial Oil

    Discover how to use face oil

*Tested on 33 people.

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.