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‘Scalp Skinification’ Is Social Media’s Latest Beauty Craze — Here’s How It Works for Mature Women

Feel a glow from head to toe.


We often think of skincare and haircare as two separate categories of beauty — but why? Your hair grows from your scalp, which is made out of skin. So it makes sense that the latest beauty buzz on social media is “scalp skinification,” or pampering your scalp and skin with the same ingredients. Discover how the new craze can beautify you from head to toe.

What is ‘scalp skinification?’

The term “scalp skinification” was coined to bring awareness to scalp health, says Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist in New York City who specializes in hair care. And it’s gone viral on sites like TikTok and Instagram for good reason. “A healthy scalp nourishes hair follicles so hair is beautiful, full, and strong,” she says. And the easy way to achieve it is by giving the skin on our head the same attention and care as we give the skin on our face and body.

Ingredients traditionally used in skincare are just as effective when used on the scalp to target and reverse hair and scalp concerns, adds Shab Caspara, a New York City trichologist (hair, scalp, and follicle expert) and founder of the hair-care website Read on for the remedies that’ll genererate a more youthful-looking you — stat.

Beat hormonal breakouts and volumize limp locks with glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid helps get rid of dead, dry skin cells that accumulate in and clog pores, causing blemishes, while its anti-inflammatory compounds ease redness. Additionally, the acid’s astringent properties may rid the scalp of product buildup and other impurities that weigh down hair and make it look limp.

Try it!

  • On skin: Saturate a cotton pad with a glycolic acid toner (like The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (Buy from Kohls, $13) and swipe onto clean skin (avoiding contact with eyes) in the evening daily.
  • On hair: Apply all over a dry scalp, rub in, and let sit 10 minutes before shampooing. Tip: Use no more than once a week as overuse can dry the scalp.

Soften rough patches and nix dandruff with aloe.

Antioxidants in the plant moisturize and heal parched skin, while its antifungal agents kill dandruff-causing scalp fungus.

Try it!

  • On skin: Apply 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel onto dry skin; let absorb.
  • On hair: Rub 1 tablespoon of the gel on a clean, damp scalp; rinse after 15 minutes.

Firm skin and calm a sensitive scalp with baobab oil.

The oil helps firm skin, and its unique compounds reduce irritation and itchiness to soothe a sensitive, inflamed scalp.

Try it!

  • On skin: Rub 2 drops of the oil onto skin; let absorb.
  • On hair: Mix 3 drops and a dollop of conditioner. Apply to damp hair; rinse after 10 minutes.

De-puff undereyes and reverse thinning with caffeine.

When applied to skin, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which helps reduce the appearance of puffiness that pools underneath the eyes. And when massaged onto the scalp, caffeine may block the effects of hair loss hormones, helping stimulate hair growth.

Try it!

  • On skin: Soak a cotton pad in cooled, brewed, caffeinated coffee. Place under eyes for 5 minutes, then rinse.
  • On hair: Pour 1 cup of cold coffee onto the scalp, massage in for 1 minute, then rinse after 15 minutes.

Smooth wrinkles and and fight hair damage with peptides.

Peptides stimulate collagen output to smooth skin wrinkles, and when used on the scalp, they fortify follicles at the root to promote strong, healthy hair.

Try it!

  • On skin: Apply a peptide serum like The INKEY List Collagen Booster Firming Peptide Serum, (Buy from Sephora, $12.99) onto a clean, dry face twice a day.
  • On hair: Mix 2 pumps of the serum with a dollop of shampoo, then wash hair as usual.

3 Beautifiers That Do Double Duty From the Inside Out

  1. To lighten scars and close a wide part: Apple extract’s antioxidants may reduce scarring, while its procyanidin could aid in hair growth. Try: New Nordic Hair Volume (Buy from CVS, $22.79 for 30 tablets).
  2. To reduce wrinkles and fill in bald patches: Compounds in marine proteins may reduce the appearance of aging and spur hair growth to fill in pesky bald spots. Try: Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement (Buy from Ulta, $39.99 for 60 tablets).
  3. To boost radiance and add lock luster: Flaxseed oil’s compounds may keep skin smooth and glowing while also hydrating hair for added shine. Try: Vitacost Flaxseed Oil (Buy from Amazon, $29 for 300 softgels).

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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