What is Slugging and How Do You Do It?


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Welcome to the “slug lifestyle.” Slugging isn’t as common as it sounds. It is widely discussed on Reddit and TikTok. This skincare trend is not based on slugging. You don’t need to use any creepy crawlies on your skin to achieve glowing, soft skin.

Keep reading to find out what is slugging and how do you do it?

What is slugging?

Slugging is a K.beauty trend that involves generously applying a petroleum product as the last step of your skincare routine. This helps to lock in your products over night and then washing it away with a cleanser on the next day. Slugging can be a great winter skincare technique for people with sensitive or dry skin. Petroleum jelly, an occlusive, is a great way to soothe irritated skin and promote wound healing. It can also act as a protective barrier for your skin.

Essentially, you look like a slimy mess when you’re done that resembles the mucus of a snail or slug! That’s why this skincare bedtime routine is known as slugging.

What are the advantages of slugging?

Anyone want baby soft and hydrated skin? Slugging forms a protective seal on the skin. It prevents transepidermal loss of water and protects and repairs the natural lipid barrier that binds your skin cells together. Since skin cells are very similar to brick wall, the lipids are basically the mortar for the wall. They hold the bricks together and support the integrity of the wall. Your skin can be more susceptible to damage if its lipid barrier fails to perform as it should. This is similar to a brick wall that starts to decay when the mortar cracks.

Here is where slugging is most beneficial: it reinforces the lipid barrier and artificially strengthens the skin’s natural defense mechanisms. Slugging can be a great way to restore your skin’s moisture levels if you are suffering from dryness or skin problems.

Skin slugging vs. Moisturizing

Regular moisturizers do not contain occlusives, unlike petroleum-based products. Oil-based products are known for being thicker, more occlusive. This means that they are less breathable and lock in moisture. It is a reason why petroleum-based products are so popular. This helps skin retain more moisture.

Occlusive products like petroleum jelly can lock in moisture but they don’t moisturize the skin. Slugging does provide moisturizing benefits, but can enhance the effectiveness of your moisturizer.

What are the downfalls of skin slugging

Skin slugging contains occlusive products and can clog pores. This is especially true if you have acne-prone or oily skin. While the products are not prone to acne, if other products in your skincare routine cause it, it will keep it in.

It is also crucial to be cautious about the use of active ingredients under an occlusive. Slugging will lock in any product you’ve applied before it. You need to be cautious about using an occlusive layer over an active ingredient such as retinoids that can cause irritation.

It’s also important to remember that slugging must be done at the end of your routine. If you forget to do a step, you can either skip it or clean off the occlusive layer to start over.

Slugging does not provide a permanent solution. However, it is a good option for people with skin damage or dryness.

What should you do to your face for slugging?

After you have finished your nightly cleansing and moisturizing, apply a small amount of petroleum to your fingertips. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly,  Aquaphor Healing Ointment or Cerave Healing Ointment, are the most recommended products for dermatologists. Apply the cream to your skin by lightly coating your fingertips.

Apply a thin layer of ointment to your face, a small amount on each cheek, forehead, and chin. Then, gently rub or pat in. You may want to try sleeping on your back, and change your pillowcase less often [when slugging].” You can apply the ointment only to the lips or eyelids if you aren’t inclined to use it on your whole face.

How Often Should I do Slugging?

You shouldn’t do slugging every night, in fact, there’s no need to. You can slug a few times a month or maybe once a week because it will help you retain moisture in your skin but it isn’t a permanent fix to dry skin. Just remember your pillow cases may get greasy and it is a lot of work to do before bedtime so I suggest starting your slugging routine an hour before you plan on going to bed. 

Hope you enjoyed this overview on how to do slugging!

Let me know if you have any questions about slugging.


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