If you’ve seen influencers slather their face with Vaseline before bed, then you’ve seen Slugging, the new skincare trend in action.
Slugging went viral on Reddit. TikTokers then got wind of it. There is a logic to the Korean beauty-inspired hack. Applying an occlusive product as the last step of your evening skincare routine may seal moisture into the skin. Occlusives are moisturizing agents that create a physical barrier on top of the skin, such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
Why is it called slugging? The process makes your skin look shiny and slimy – just like a slug. Fans of slugging swear by it. But before buying into the hype, there are a few things to consider.
Slugging: Proceed With Caution
“I am not a big fan of this concept. While it may help prevent moisture loss from the skin, it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with acne-prone or oily skin. It might clog pores, causing breakouts and irritation,” says Katya Holub, founder of Flawless Skin Labs.
As Holub puts it, while slugging may hydrate the skin temporarily, it’s not something you should rely on long-term: “If you are using a cleanser, serum/oil and moisturizer appropriate for your skin type and concerns, your skin will not require slugging. It will be healthy, hydrated, and glowing. Would I do it? No!”
Perhaps some people love the trend because they don’t have particularly oily skin and enjoy the extra hydration. That said, you’re better off figuring out what your skin needs and customizing your routine accordingly.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Slugging
If you are going to try slugging, Holub recommends choosing a non-comedogenic product that is specifically designed for the face and appropriate for your skin type. In other words, Vaseline may not be your best bet. Holub suggests trying a facial oil – rosehip oil, jojoba oil, and squalane are all good options.
Apply the product to clean skin and after serums and moisturizers. “Do not apply too much product – you don’t want clogged pores,” adds Holub. Even though it may not look like it in TikTok videos, less is more. “Don’t do it if your skin is irritated. Don’t do it on a daily basis. Use it only as needed, as a once in a while. Again, you don’t want clogged pores,” warns Holub.
You should avoid slugging if you have acne-prone, oily or sensitive skin. Your skin may not agree with it and it may exacerbate existing issues. Buying Vaseline may be cheaper than seeing a dermatologist or aesthetician, but it’s not a magic pill just because it’s trending.