Beauty trends come and go. Not all of them are created equal, so there is often good reason to be skeptical. Trends don’t always provide the answers you need for pesky skincare issues.
That is why you should still have trusted skincare products to fight acne and other common skin issues outside of what is “in” at any time. A solid skincare routine keeps your face clear no matter the season! Still, once in a while, something may come along that is so practical and effective that you can’t ignore it.
If you are a skincare enthusiast who frequents online discussion spaces, you may have already heard of the term “slugging.” It is one of the most recent Korean beauty trends to take the internet by storm, made popular a few years ago by a humorous Reddit post that resurfaced through TikTok.
If you have no idea what slugging is but want to know more about this dermatologist-approved trend, you have come to the right place.
What Is “Slugging” Exactly?
For the uninitiated, this is one big question mark. Slugging isn’t the most pleasant-sounding term, and it doesn’t seem clean and fresh. What does it exactly do, and why has it been all the rage in the beauty community?
Slugging is the term for the practice of sealing moisture into your skin by applying a petroleum-based product as the last step in your nightly skincare routine. It is then washed off in the morning of the next day.
If the practice sounds a little iffy, don’t worry. Dermatologists have approved the use of petroleum jelly to soothe skin irritations and help wounds heal. It can even be applied to babies’ skin to treat diaper rashes and alleviate eczema on babies and adults.
The practice of slugging has been popularized as a moisture-locking skincare step, but it is actually good for different parts of the body, too.
The Science Behind Slugging
To get into more technical details, the epidermis, or the outermost layer of the skin, is primarily made up of keratinocytes or skin cells. These keratinocytes secrete lipids that act as a glue that fills the spaces between cells. This means that without lipids, your skin suffers from transepidermal water loss.
Slugging puts a protective barrier over your skin. This layer then prevents transepidermal water loss. (TEWL is just a more scientific way of referring to when water evaporates from the skin externally!)
Petrolatum is occlusive, which means it reinforces the barrier formed by lipids. That is how slugging keeps moisture in and soothes the skin.
Is It the Best Practice for Your Skin Type?
Slugging is great, and many who have tried it attest to its effectiveness, but it is not a universal skincare step.
Those who have naturally oily skin or are prone to breakouts may not experience the same benefits as others. Slugging may even lead to more skin irritation.
If there are some parts of your face that you feel need extra moisture, you can do spot slugging instead of doing the whole face. As the last step to your nightly routine, apply petroleum jelly only to the specific parts that need the support. If you have more sensitive skin, replace petrolatum with another product, such as a moisturizer.
Slugging is great for making your skin more moisturized. Those who suffer from dryness or eczema will reap many benefits from adding it to their bedtime skincare regimens.
You don’t even need to be suffering from skin issues to benefit from slugging. If you have long desired to achieve a glowing, dewy look and softer skin, slugging may finally provide the answer to your questions.
How to Properly Slug Your Face
It isn’t too complicated a process. You begin by going through your nightly routine as you usually would. But in case you don’t have a nightly routine just yet, we have a suggested step by step. Just note that routines vary from skin type to skin type.
First, cleanse your face. Then proceed with your moisturizing ritual. This usually includes a serum and a moisturizer. Make sure the products you use are light on the skin to not stress your face out.
To finish, apply a thin layer of your preferred petroleum-based product onto your face to seal in the moisture. Go to sleep, wash it off the next morning, and enjoy the results!
While slugging has many proven skin benefits, remember that your skin has many nuances that general suggestions cannot capture. Before committing, give it a try first to see if your skin says yay or nay.
Meta title: An Introduction to Slugging—The Latest Skin Care Trend
meta desc: Slugging is a skin care trend with proven benefits that even dermatologists approve of. Do you not know what it is? Learn how it can make your skin better.