Skincare Enthusiasts Claim Skin Smoothies Make Your Face Glow—Dermatologists Weigh In

  • TikTok users are claiming skin smoothies—a combination of different skincare products, applied at the same time—to give skin a dewy look.
  • While the method may seem like a time-saving technique, dermatologists note that mixing products can actually lower each product's effectiveness.
  • Experts recommend maintaining a layering approach to skincare, applying the lighter products first before moving on to heavier creams and lotions.

Skin smoothies are the latest skincare trend taking off on TikTok, with users claiming a simple mix of products applied all at once can give your skin that highly-sought after glowy, dewy look.

The genesis of skin smoothies came from TikTok beauty creator Amy K who claims the combination of petroleum jelly, moisturizing lotion, an illuminating serum, and a dab of self-tanning lotion can do wonders for dull, dry skin.

The sudden popularity of skin smoothies has many skin care enthusiasts wondering if the concoction is as good as it seems—or if there’s a chance it could clog their pores, leave their skin feeling greasy, or work differently on various skin types.

The short answer: it really depends on your skin type and the products you use. 

Woman applying skincare products

Woman applying skincare products

Getty Images / Sergey Mironov

How to Do a Skin Smoothie

A skin smoothie involves “mixing several skincare products like serums, oils, and moisturizers and applying the mixture to your skin all at once,” Shoshana Marmon, MD, Ph.D., FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology at New York Medical College told Health.

The combo of petroleum jelly, moisturizer, serum, and self-tanner is meant to hydrate your skin and make it shine.  

It’s quick and less complex than a facial, which has multiple steps—in a specific order—like cleansing, exfoliating, extracting, and layering on various serums and treatments, Dr. Marmon explained. Plus, facials are sometimes usually geared to address specific skin issues, whereas skin smoothies are intended for a more immediate cosmetic effect. 

While Amy K touts her mixture as a wonderworker, you can play around with different ingredients.

Depending on what your goals are, the effects of a skin smoothie can be achieved with a good moisturizer and makeup, said Natalie Hone, MD, a dermatologist with Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas.

“Think of it as a way to apply foundation that mixes other products to give it a specific sheen. It will not give you long-term results, but it can be a nice way to give you that extra temporary glow,” she clarified.

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Avoiding Negative Skin Smoothie Side Effects

According to Dr. Marmon, people can have different reactions to skin smoothies, depending on what their skin type is like. So it’s worth doing some research (and experimentation) to find out which products will give you the most effective combination instead of resulting in negative side effects.

Unfortunately, it's pretty easy to mix and match ingredients that have adverse effects on the skin.

Rebecca Marcus, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Dallas, TX warned about the wrong skin smoothie combination’s ability to clog up your pores. If you’re acne prone, you may want to ditch the petroleum jelly. Occlusive products—meaning they form a barrier on the skin to seal in moisture—can clog up pores and trigger breakouts, she explained.

Dr. Marmon recommended not using products that claim to provide instant results, and steering clear of anything that contains alcohol or fragrance as these tend to be irritating.

Arisa Ortiz, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist with UC San Diego Health, added that organic or natural products generally don’t have any validity—they likely haven’t been tested and are known to trigger allergic reactions in some people.

“Medical-grade skincare products often have the best research behind them and provide safe and effective results,” she reiterated.  

In order to find the right skin smoothie for you, it may take a few trail runs. It’s a good idea to test out the products, individually and together, before stirring them together and applying them to your face.

Dr. Marmon recommended using each product individually to ensure your skin responds well to it. “If you apply five new products all at once and have a bad reaction, you won't know which one caused it,” she said. 

You may also want to mix up the products ahead of time to ensure they’re compatible with one another so they don’t cause any skin reactions (like a burning sensation) by applying some to your inner arm before putting it on your face, Dr. Marmon suggested.

Dr. Hone noted that certain products don’t work well with others—vitamin C, often used for anti-aging purposes, can oxidize and give the skin an orange tint. Plus, benzoyl peroxide, used for acne, should deactivate the ingredients in retinoids.

“In a nutshell, ingredients that are difficult to keep stable in a formula shouldn’t be layered as they can deactivate or cause skin irritation,” she clarified. 

All of this skincare information can be overwhelming, even to the most seasoned home beauty expert. That's why a skin smoothie—while fine in theory—may not be wise without a dermatologist consultation.

“I recommend an evaluation by a dermatologist to determine what your skin type is and what type of products suit you best,” emphasized Dr. Hone. 

Mixing Products Could Impact Effectiveness

While a skin smoothie may seem like a time-saver, Dr. Marcus still prefers layering your products one by one rather than mashing them all together.

“Formulation truly does matter and has an effect on a product’s efficacy,” she said, noting that she’s hesitant to recommend skincare smoothies—at least regularly. 

In general, she recommended a simple layering technique that allows each product to do its job effectively: Apply the lightest, or most active, products first before moving on to the heavier creams and lotions.

“Typically, a serum is used first, followed by a moisturizing cream, and topped off with sunscreen and makeup,” Dr. Marcus explained. If you add petroleum jelly into the mix, there’s a chance it could prevent the other products from being able to penetrate the skin. 

If you notice any peeling or irritation, you might be overdoing it, noted Dr. Ortiz. In this case, give your face a good wash and let your skin breathe, without products, for a couple of days. 

Ultimately, all three dermatologists agreed that skin smoothies, while perhaps providing instant gratification, probably aren't a habit they'd suggest for the most effective skincare.

“While the skin smoothie may be a good tip to use for a glow once in a while," Dr. Marcus concluded, "I probably wouldn’t recommend doing this every day."

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