Don't Forget One Essential Step Before Using Boob Tape

Boob tape is a handy support system to reach for when your outfits just don't pair well with a bra. Whether it be a dress with a plunging neckline or a cut-out top, some clothing pieces will inevitably show a random part of your undergarment, no matter how hard you try to stop it from happening. That's when the adhesive strips known as boob tape come in and save the day! The best thing about the sticky aid is that you can fully customize it to fit your chest, and you can do so easily. All you need to do is cut the strips and place them around your chest to make your breasts stay where you want them to. You can push them up, together, or simply secure them in place for a carefree braless experience.

Boob tape is also a decent bra alternative overall, as it's easier to adjust the strips to your chest than figure out your exact bra size, which women often get wrong. The journal Ergonomics published a study that found 8 out of 10 women they surveyed were wearing the wrong bra size. And while using boob tape is not the most environmentally friendly option, there are also some ill effects on your skin when you choose the wrong bra for your body. However, taking care of your skin isn't going out the window just because you've started wearing breast tape. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking its best while using it.

Mind your skin

Gone are the days when it was normal to use gaffer tape to secure your chest, as well as the skin irritations that came along with it. Now there are several boob tape brands available that are made to be used on the skin. To avoid your skin reacting badly to a brand you haven't yet tried, it's essential to skin test it first; you don't want a rash that could've been easily avoided. "If you know that you're a super sensitive skin type, just do a little patch test, whether it's on your chest or your arm," Stephanie Montes, founder of breast tape brand Nue, advised when speaking to Byrdie.

As breast tape needs some sort of adhesive to stick to your skin, you should consider the ingredients that could possibly cause irritation. Opt for a brand that uses a hypoallergenic adhesive if your skin is generally sensitive. Whether it is or isn't, don't forget to protect the nipples with covers or pads before applying the tape — some tapes even come with them. Other than that, you might also need to skip a few steps of your usual beauty routine.

Erum Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist, advises avoiding using any products that could make your chest more sensitive at least a day before, telling Allure that includes exfoliating, toning, and using any products containing alcohol. Montes also recommends skipping moisturizing your chest and using the tape on dry skin. "Don't wear lotion as it would mess with the adhesive and it won't stick as well," she explained to Byrdie.

How to make the versatile fashion adhesive work for you

Once you've found a breast tape brand that suits your skin's needs, you also need to know how to apply the product properly. The beauty of this fashion adhesive is that you can use it for every style of top and every size of chest. You might be scared to try breast tape if you have a larger bust, but that shouldn't stop you, as all you need to make it work is just a little bit of extra product. "Build from the bottom up for support," Nue founder Stephanie Montes tells Byrdie. "Pull upwards for lift and inward for cleavage ... to get a balconette look."

As far as clothing goes, methods of taping your breasts differ depending on the fit of your top. For some, like strapless tops and dresses, you don't need much work to keep everything in place. Other styles, like the plunging neckline, are a bit more complicated and might need more maneuvering to ensure the extra lift with no visible lines you're looking for. It takes practice, but once you've gotten the hang of it, with the invisible support of good boob tape, you can say goodbye to hanging free.