By Prudence Wade
The latest beauty trend to hit TikTok is all about bouncy, super-hydrated skin.
Known as ‘jello skin’, Dr Miriam Adebibe – cosmetic doctor and co-founder of Victor & Garth – says “it refers to the bounce-back-ability of your skin – the consistency of jello is soft but firm, and bounces right back when prodded”.
While some TikTok beauty trends shouldn’t be tried at home (remember – not everyone online is a dermatologist), this one could help boost your skin health and appearance.
Here’s everything you need to know about jello skin…
What is jello skin?
It looks like ‘jello skin’ was coined by skincare influencer Ava Lee at the end of 2021.
“‘Jello skin’ is the new term for extremely plump, supple skin that is as beautifully bouncy as jello,” explains Dr Kemi Fab, who works with Alya Skin. “Those who have jello skin will naturally have high levels of collagen and elastin in the dermis of the skin, which are the two most important connective tissues responsible for structure and elasticity.
“Without collagen and elastin, the skin becomes looser, less bouncy and starts to sag.”
Adebibe suggests you check the elasticity by using an old doctor’s trick: the skin pinch test. “Simply pinch the skin of your neck or the back of your hand for five seconds, let it go, and watch how long it takes for the skin to flatten out or bounce back,” she says.
“Hydrated skin with sufficient collagen and elastin will bounce back instantly. Dehydrated skin that has lost its collagen and elastin through age and lifestyle choices will take seconds to return.”
Can anyone achieve jello skin?
“Since jello skin simply refers to healthy skin, which is plump with hydration, well-upholstered with collagen and supple with elasticity, it is absolutely what we should all be aiming for,” suggests Adebibe. But can everyone get it? For anyone under the age of 25, Adebibe says it is “very achievable without help”, but after this age, it might take a bit more work.
Fab explains: “The amount of collagen and elastin in our skin is due to our genetics. Our skin’s natural levels of collagen and elastin begin to deplete in our mid-20s, and the rate at which it depletes is also due to our genetics.
“Whilst it may be difficult to increase our skin’s natural levels of collagen and elastin, there are definitely lots of things that we can do to slow down the rate at which it breaks down.”
How can you get jello skin?
Adebibe advocates a two-pronged approach: internal and external. For internal care, she suggests staying well hydrated and having a balanced diet – eating all colours of the rainbow and avoiding too much processed food and sugar.
And in terms of skincare, both Adebibe and Fab agree wearing SPF is the most important thing you can do. “Ultraviolet radiation from the sun breaks down our natural levels of collagen and elastin, and therefore accelerates premature ageing and loose saggy skin,” explains Fab. “Use a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30, and reapply throughout the day.”
What other skincare ingredients should you look out for?
“Ingredients like vitamin C and glycolic acid help to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin,” says Fab. “Hyaluronic acid applied to damp skin can help to improve the appearance of your skin.”
Adebibe says: “I recommend a skincare routine that provides vitamins A, C, and E (in various forms) for optimal skin function and protection, and treatment of certain skin conditions.
“I also recommend using chemical exfoliants to slough away dead skin cells, which can leave the skin dull and clog pores to cause spots.”
How long before you start to see results?
“A full skin cycle (where new healthy skin cells rise to the surface) takes on average six weeks,” says Dr Lauren Hamilton, cosmetic doctor and co-founder of Victor & Garth. “Therefore the best results will be seen around four to five months, if you are patient and stick with a regime.”
Any mistakes you should avoid?
Hamilton urges caution with new TikTok beauty trends, “As you may end up damaging your skin barrier and your bank balance”. Consider if this trend is right for you, with Hamilton saying: “Listen to your skin’s needs, and work out your skin goal.”
And when it comes to boosting your collagen levels, Fab doesn’t recommend putting all your efforts into supplements. “A lot of the collagen found in supplements are not ‘bioavailable’, which means that the collagen does not reach your skin and they often cost a lot,” she suggests. “A better method is to eat a healthy balanced diet packed with all of the vitamins and minerals needed for glowing skin.”