Slugging Skincare: All You Need to Know About This New Skincare Trend

Slugging Skincare: All You Need to Know About This New Skincare Trend

Skin slugging isn't the newest craze; you may have first heard of "slugging" on Reddit or TikTok. For a long time, K-beauty regimes have included this technique.

Slugging doesn't truly include slugs, for the slugging wondering who still needs to be completely informed about this moisturizing method. To get radiant skin, you must slime your face with an occlusive, such as petroleum jelly, before night. However, this does require acting something like a slug. On your skin, occlusives function as barriers to keep moisture in.

Does it work?

Simply using an occlusive to serve as a barrier to lock moisture into the skin is known as skin slugging. Dermatologists have long advised skin slugging as the last step in your skincare regimen to address dry skin because it helps stop water loss.

Do you want to try slugging? Continue reading for more slugging advice, including what to use, how to do it, and other useful information.

Benefits of Slugging

The primary objective of slugging? Keeping your skin moisturized.

In other words, you could have radiant, plump, and dewy skin when you awaken following a night of sluggish, slug-like sleep.

Here are several more advantages beyond the obvious ones that help make slugging a worthwhile beauty hack.

It minimizes moisture loss

Occlusives rest on your skin's surface. This substantial-top layer guard against water evaporating from your skin, known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL is a normal biological process that becomes better with age. Your skin may naturally grow drier as you age, and your skin barrier function may deteriorate.

A rough night might help stop part of that TEWL, so your skin retains moisture and reveals the difference.

It guards against elements that could harm your skin

Do you like to turn up the heat as you sleep? Your skin may get dry due to the heated, dry air sucking away too much moisture. The skin may become dry due to environmental factors and ingredients in skin care products.

To prevent these factors from sapping your skin of its essential moisture, you may help protect it by applying the protective layer of an occlusive of your choice.

It brings back lipids

Skin lipids, or the natural fats found in your skin, are crucial to the health and structure of your skin. They support healthy skin suppleness, prevent germs and other harmful intruders from entering, and help your skin remain hydrated.

The lipids on and in your skin may be impacted by the same elements that cause moisture to be drawn out of the skin.

However, according to research from 2015, using moisturizers with occlusives like petrolatum helps replenish lipids and heal the skin barrier.

Are there any drawbacks?

Some people may need help finding slugging to be a smart strategy. Your skin type may determine whether or not this beauty tip works for you.

Cheung advises avoiding skin slugging if you often have acne or congested pores.

Applying potentially irritating actives below your occlusive will increase their penetration, so use caution. Use retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and beta hydroxy acids with caution (BHAs).

AHAs and BHAs are hydroxy acids that, depending on their concentration, exfoliate the skin to varying degrees. Retinoids are vitamin A-derived substances that may be used to treat acne and other skin issues.

How to Apply?

Slugging may be done in two distinct ways.

You have two options: you can slug all night long or attempt short-contact slugging, which only lasts a few hours. The latter is an excellent approach to attempt slugging if you cannot stand the sensation of sticky sleeping.

Here are the two methods for slugging.

Slugging overnight

If you sleep like a slug, your pillowcase will have grease stains, so if you're concerned about the mess, you may want to start by switching out your nice linens for some spares.
  1. Don't use face oils, spot treatments, or active ingredients like retinoids, AHAs, or BHAs in your normal skin care regimen.
  2. Apply your preferred slugging product in a small amount (around the size of a pea) while your skin is still moist from other products.
  3. Apply a small product coating to your skin and spread it all over.
  4. When you wake up, wash your face to remove any leftover makeup, then gently pat it dry.

Short-contact slugging

  1. Wash your face after removing your makeup.
  2. Apply a little coating of your chosen product to your face while your skin is still moist.
  3. For a few hours, go on with your regular activities.
  4. After removing the product, carefully pat it dry.

Points to consider

Ready to give slugging a try?

Final suggestions:

  • If your skin is wet from other skin care products or after cleaning, try applying the occlusive to it.
  • Before slugging, do not apply any OTC or prescription drugs for acne or other skin issues. You can aggravate your skin and increase its negative effects. However, do not skip them; consult your dermatologist before you begin slugging.
  • See a dermatologist if you have a skin disease like psoriasis or eczema before slugging.
  • You should discontinue slugging if it causes further breakouts, rashes, skin discoloration, or other irritation. Contacting a healthcare provider is wise if any skin problems don't go away in a day or two.

Your skin may immediately seem bright and silky after slugging. However, you may have to persevere for a few days before seeing benefits if you wish to treat dry skin.

In other words, because every person's skin is unique, their skin care regimen should be too. Therefore, it is impossible to predict how fast slugging will take effect.


Skincare and beauty gurus on TikTok and other social media platforms may be responsible for slugging's viral success. However, using occlusives like Vaseline to lock in the skin's moisture is nothing new.

Slugging is a secure beauty tip you may practice at home if you'd like to treat skin dryness or enhance your radiance.

Want to receive some basic advice on establishing a unique skin care regimen or seek treatment for ongoing skin issues? A board-certified dermatologist can provide further details on available therapies and assist you in beginning a skincare routine.
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