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Every now and then, a beauty trend blows up on TikTok and leaves people craving to try it for themselves.
"Slugging" is one of those beauty trends. This skincare technique offers intense hydration and anti-aging effects for a youthful, glowing, and supple complexion.
Here's everything you should know about slugging, from what it is to the benefits of doing it and how to slug at home.
Slugging is a K-beauty trend that involves slathering on an occlusive agent (usually Vaseline or a petroleum-based product) as the last step of your skincare routine to seal in moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss.
Dermatologists recommend this skincare technique in the wintertime for those with dry skin or sensitive skin, as it's incredibly effective for hydrating and soothing skin. It can also act as a protective barrier for the skin.
While it's been popularized as a face treatment on TikTok, this little beauty trick works just as well on other areas of the body.
Ultimately, slugging keeps the skin hydrated and the skin barrier protected, warding off dryness, irritation, and signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.
Who doesn't want baby soft skin? Slugging provides exactly that. By creating a seal over the skin, it prevents water loss and protects your skin's natural lipid barrier for ultimate hydration.
Typically, the process of slugging involves using an occlusive skincare product such as petrolatum, the ingredient commonly found in ointments like CeraVe and Vaseline. Other good occlusives include shea butter and plant oils such as coconut, jojoba, argan, and avocado oil.
"In terms of an effective skincare practice, slugging is a good adjunct technique to help deliver skincare ingredients into the skin, maintain water content, and achieve a plump, firm skin surface," says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology. "It’s essentially a supercharged method of hydrating overly dry skin that has started to show signs of aging, including things like fine lines and wrinkles."
The long term benefits of this skincare trend include hydrated skin and skin barrier repair. However, in order for you to see the results, you'll need to make it part of your daily nighttime skincare routine.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work for all skin types. The derms strongly advise against slugging on oily skin or acne-prone skin as it can cause irritation and further breakouts. Even if the product you're using is non-comedogenic, the occlusive environment can trap dead skin cells and oil, clogging the pores and causing acne flareups.
"If you're acne-prone but want a similar effect, I would use a creamy moisturizer instead of petrolatum," says dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein, M.D. "Look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and dimethicone. And then you can spot treat with Vaseline where you're drier."
Those with dry, sensitive, and eczema-prone skin will find slugging particularly useful for combatting dullness, dryness, and irritation.
Want to give slugging a try? Here's how to do it from home.
Since slugging locks everything into your skin while you snooze, the last things you want lingering around is makeup, sunscreen, or dirt. It's a recipe for breakouts! Always cleanse really well before slugging.
Wash your face with our gentle and nourishing Super Matcha Facial Cleanser, which thoroughly cleanses without stripping your skin.
Slugging won't work unless you load on hydrating ingredients beforehand. While occlusives seal in moisture, humectants infuse the skin with moisture. Both are needed for intense hydration.
Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin work best. For enhanced results, apply them to damp skin so they absorb effectively into the skin. You'll find these humectants in our youth-restoring Flower Child CBD Face Cream.
Now it's time to slug!
Start by selecting your occlusive. If you've got normal, dry, or sensitive skin, you can use petroleum jelly or other petroleum-based products. Those with oily or acne-prone skin should stick to shea butter and plant-based oils.
Melt your chosen occlusive into your hands, and then press it into your skin. To prevent your face for getting super greasy, only apply a thin layer of ointment to the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. Let the formula set for several minutes before getting into bed to avoid making a mess of your pillowcase.
If you can, try to sleep on your back when slugging, as this will prevent any product transfer that messes up your sheets. Those who don't like the idea of putting petroleum jelly all over their face can also use on the lips and eyelids only. This way, you'll wake up with super smooth lips and revived eyes, without any risk of breakouts.
Traditional slugging usually involves slathering on a petrolatum product, like Vaseline to create a thick, shiny barrier. If you'd prefer a cleaner option, try slugging with products rich in jojoba oil, coconut oil, or ceramides, which replenish the skin barrier with healthy lipids. Here are some of our faves.
Pineapple Haze Skin Salve
A multipurpose, fix-it-all balm infused with hemp, jojoba oil, mango, and pineapple to treat very dry patches of skin and relieve irritation. This soothing, hydrating head-to-toe formula will leave your skin feeling smoother than ever.
Vegan Collagen Facial Serum
An anti-aging formula made with a nourishing blend of retinol, vegan collagen, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. It plumps, calms, and rejuvenates for a youthful, radiant complexion.
Unicorn Fruit Whipped Body Butter
If you're slugging your body, this whipped, buttery formula is your best bet. A base of shea butter boasts emollient properties that work to create a protective, hydrating barrier. While skin-repairing ingredients such as acai, matcha, and rose relieve existing damage.
Ready to embrace slug life? Slugging can be extremely beneficial -- especially for dry and sensitive skin types. But that doesn't mean oily and acne-prone need to miss out. You can also give it a try using the right products! Happy slugging, friends!!!