Slugging, the Latest TikTok Skin Care Craze

By Dr Natalie Ledbetter

What is slugging, the latest TikToK skin care craze? Slugging is the application of an occlusive barrier such as Vaseline or other petroleum jelly product to the skin at night before going to bed and then sleeping in it. It is named from the slime that a slug leaves behind because when you use this method your face looks slimy, and it leaves a mess on your pillowcase.

What are the benefits of slugging?

This skin care craze is supposed to increase the moisture levels of your skin and leave you with soft, supple, hydrated tissue. The Vaseline or other occlusive petroleum Jelly product does not actually add any moisture to the skin, but it helps seal in the other products that you place on your skin under the petroleum Jelly. It also slows or stops water loss from the skin into the air. So, the key to the success of this is to cleanse your face first and then apply your hydrating and moisturizing products before the occlusive. Recommended products include those containing hyaluronic acid such as HA5 from SkinMedica to draw and hold water into the skin and emollients like SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream to add intense levels of moisture, hydration, and antioxidants for skin on the drier side.

Who can benefit from slugging?

Those with very dry skin will benefit the most from this technique. People who are in windy climates or who have an air conditioner blowing on their skin all day can develop dry and or cracked skin from water loss and this method can help restore the skin barrier and moisture levels.

Who should not use this technique?

If you do not have dry skin, then this method is not for you. The intense occlusion of the petroleum Jelly can make the skin very oily and can lead to clogged pores and increase the risk for pimples and acne. If you are already acne-prone, this will most likely make it worse!

How to slug.

If your skin is on the drier side or you’ve been in conditions that have or will dry your skin, then you will wash your face at night with your normal cleansing product. After you wash your face apply your moisturizing creams and serums. Then apply a pea sized amount of petroleum Jelly to your skin over your moisturizing products. Then you will go to bed like usual and sleep with this on your face. You will want to use an extra pillowcase or maybe a towel to protect your pillow from the slime. When you wake up in the morning wash your face with your regular cleanser. You may need to do a double wash to get all the product off your face and then you will apply your other day creams and your sunscreen as usual.

Not sure if you have dry skin?

Skin can get dry in the winter. Check this out.

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