What Is Slugging—And Should You Be Doing It?

What Is Slugging—And Should You Be Doing It?

Have you heard about slugging, the latest viral trend? Here’s what you need to know!



Does your skin feel tight, itchy, and angry, particularly during winters? Then slugging could be your holy grail for smoother, hydrated, and healthy skin. Slugging has been making the rounds on popular sites like TikTok and Instagram but is this viral trend really worth trying?


What is slugging? 


Slugging is the practice of slathering your face in an occlusive moisturiser, like Vaseline or any petrolatum-based formula. But what is an occlusive? Occlusives are moisturising agents that create a protective barrier on the surface of your skin to lock in hydration and prevent moisture loss. While it can get a little messy, slugging can do wonders for your skin. You will wake up to softer, smoother, and more hydrated skin in the morning.


What are the benefits of slugging?

What are the benefits of slugging

The ultimate goal of slugging is to lock in hydration. For a healthy skin barrier, it is crucial to maintain the balance between keratinocytes (skin cells) and lipids. Lipids act as glue to keep the outer layer of your skin intact. If the lipids in your skin are depleted, it leads to transepidermal water loss and your skin barrier is compromised. 


Going overboard with peels, scrubs, and acids can break down your skin barrier and make it more susceptible to damage. Since slugging seals in the moisture, it can fix your compromised skin barrier by allowing it to heal and rebuild itself. It also helps your skincare products work better, thus boosting your skin health.


While slugging has incredible skin benefits, you might want to stay away from this hot trend if you have acne-prone skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, applying petroleum jelly can irritate the hair follicle and cause breakouts in people with acne-prone skin.


How often should you do slugging?


The frequency of slugging completely depends on your skin type and concerns. If you have dry and irritated skin, you can do it two to three times a week or even daily for a while. However, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, I recommend that you avoid it or take part less. Or only do it during the colder months. To find out what works best for you, start gradually and see how your skin reacts.


 What type of products should you avoid while slugging?

What type of products should you avoid while slugging

Slugging itself isn’t hydrating; it works by locking in the moisture. For the best results, I recommend pairing it with hydrating products. Use a good moisturiser or hydrating serum before slugging, as it’ll get sealed into your skin and provide intense hydration. When slugging at night, steer clear of active ingredients, such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or retinoids. When trapped, these actives can become more potent and lead to unpredictable results on your skin. 


How do you properly slug your skin?


Want to get the most out of slugging? Here’s how to do it the right way:


Step 1: Cleanse

The first step is to cleanse your face thoroughly. If you have clogged pores or makeup residue, it can get trapped under the occlusive and cause an infection or breakouts.


Step 2: Moisturise with humectant-based products

Slugging is all about hydration. Therefore, after cleansing your face, apply a hydrating serum or moisturiser. Look for glycerin, hyaluronic, or aloe-based products as they retain moisture. 


Step 3: Layer on the occlusive

Seal in your moisturiser with a thin, occlusive layer of Vaseline or any other petrolatum-based product. However, don’t overdo it. I recommend using only a pea-sized amount of occlusive. 


I recommend doing these steps about 30 minutes before bed to allow the products to seep into the skin. 

I recommend doing these steps

To learn more about slugging and its benefits, book a consultation with me. Click here.

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