Slugging In Skin Care: A Complete Guide To Skin Hydration

Learn everything about this K-beauty trend and transform your dull and dry skin.

Medically reviewed by Dr Ashok Gund, MBBS, CSD Dr Ashok Gund Dr Ashok GundMBBS, CSD facebook_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years

Regardless of how much work you put into your skin care regimen, dry and cracked skin is extremely prevalent in the winter. It is one of the most common skin issues and typically continues despite using a variety of skin treatments and moisturizers. Here’s where slugging skin care and other DIY techniques come in handy! Slugging is a new K-beauty trend that promises to lock in moisture and give you bright, dewy glowing skin. Let’s have a look at what this strategy entails and how it can help you get healthy skin. Keep reading to know more!

What Is Slugging?

Do not let the unsavory name put you off this brilliant beauty technique. We assure you, slugging skin care has got nothing to do with actual slugs sliding across your face. Slugging is simply a K-beauty skin care trend that is exploding in popularity these days owing to its promise of giving your skin a deeply hydrated and dewy skin with a radiant complexion. It involves slathering your face in a layer of petrolatum-based ointment or petroleum jelly as the last step of your nighttime skin care routine to repair the skin overnight. The thick, slimy texture of the jelly or ointment could be compared to the mucus of a slug, and that is how the name of this process came to be.

Slugging helps lock in the moisture of the other products applied before it. It also provides an extra layer of skin barrieri  The outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum) that protects the underlying skin and the body. protection. Although this method has been widely popular for quite some time and many women have made it a part of their beauty routine, it’s now that it has gained a recent resurgence in popularity thanks to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

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The concept of slugging dates back to the 15th century. The Native American Seneca tribe used petroleum jelly to lock moisture and seal wounds to speed up healing.

Now, let’s take a look at the various benefits of slugging.

Four Amazing Benefits Of Slugging

One of the most obvious benefits of slugging is the intense moisturization it provides to your skin. There are a few other benefits as well. However, keep in mind that no scientific research has been conducted on slugging and its reported benefits. These benefits are only based on anecdotal evidence.

1. Forms A Protective Barrier

When slugging, a thin protective layer of petroleum jelly or ointment is slathered on the skin after moisturizing. This layer acts as a protective barrier that locks in the moisture and prevents it from escaping. It also keeps external elements like dust from coming in direct contact with the skin.

2. Promotes Skin Repair

Applying skin care products such as creams and serums with nourishing ingredients just before slathering a layer of petroleum jelly can promote skin repair. Locking in the nutrients gives them ample time to penetrate and work on your skin while you sleep, and you wake up with well-nourished, refreshed skin.

3. Offers Intense Hydration

Those who struggle with dry skin, flakiness, and eczemai  Also called atopic dermatitis, it is a chronic skin condition characterized by itchy, dry, and inflamed skin. can benefit greatly from slugging. The process not only gives your skin an instant boost of hydration but also helps your skin stay moisturized for a long time. It promotes moisture retention by preventing excessive transepidermali  An action that happens through or across the epidermis, i.e., the outermost layer of the skin. water loss.

4. Delays The Signs Of Aging

Dry skin is susceptible to premature aging and the early appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Maintaining optimum water content in the skin cells is essential to achieve a smooth, plump look. The intense hydration provided by slugging keeps the signs of aging at bay and lets you enjoy firm, youthful skin longer and easily adding a dozen of beauty products to your beauty regimen.

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Celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Beyoncé, Lucy Liu, Charlize Theron, and Jessica Simpson swear by slugging. They use Aquaphor as the final step of their routine.

Slugging skin care is an awesome step for anyone to include in their nighttime routine. However, there are a few skin types for which slugging is especially beneficial. Is your skin type one of these? Find out below!

Three Skin Types That Should Not Skip Slugging

While slugging suits most skin types, and anyone can enjoy the benefits of this super hydrating routine, there are certain skin types that stand to get the most out of this method. People with these three skin types should never skip slugging:

1. Mature Skin

Mature skin needs slugging
Image: Shutterstock

With age, your skin becomes thinner and more prone to damage. People with mature skin should make slugging a part of their nighttime routine to retain moisture and promote skin repair. It helps protect your skin from further damage by forming a protective layer and shielding it against external elements.

2. Dry Skin

Does your skin tend to dry out quickly, especially in the colder months? It is time for you to add slugging to your skin care routine. By giving your skin a boost of hydration, slugging helps replenish lost moisture and makes your skin visibly plump and soft.

3. Skin With Inflammatory Conditions Like Eczema

Skin with inflammatory conditions like eczema needs slugging
Image: Shutterstock

Inflammatory skin conditions can leave your skin looking dull, damaged, and scaly. Regular slugging can help with the healing process and help your skin recover its lost moisture. Make sure you apply a deep moisturizer or a nourishing cream on your face before slathering on a layer of petroleum jelly.

Now we know that most of us can enjoy great-looking skin by ditching cosmetics simply with a dose of slugging. For the best results, it is important to follow a proper process. Here is how to incorporate slugging into your daily skin care routine.

Try Slugging This Way For The Best Results

In order to get the best results, slugging needs to be done the right way. If done improperly, it can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. But when you do it do properly, you wake up with plump, velvety smooth skin. Here is how to do it in seven simple steps:

1. Remove Your Makeup

If you have been wearing sunscreen and makeup all day long, the first step in your night skin care routine should be makeup removal. Use a gentle cleansing lotion or micellar water to remove all traces of makeup from your face. You can use an oil-based cleanser to remove waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and liquid lipstick.

2. Wash Your Face

Wash your face as a part of slugging
Image: Shutterstock

Wash your face with cool water and a gentle face wash that will not strip your skin of its natural oils or disrupt the microbiomei  Microorganisms that exist in any particular environment, including in parts of the human body. of your skin. Always use a facial cleanser developed for your specific skin type.

3. Use A Toner

Toning removes the last traces of makeup and tightens your pores. If you have oily skin, it is a good idea to use an alcohol-free toner after washing your face.

4. Apply A Serum

Young woman applying face serum
Image: Shutterstock

The serum is often the most nutrient-rich component of your skin care routine. Depending on the needs of your skin, you can choose from a range of serums enriched with different nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin A, peptidesi  Short chain fatty acids that make certain proteins needed by the skin, including collagen. , and hyaluronic acid. Your options include calming serums, hydrating serums, serums for repairing damaged skin, anti-aging serums, and anti-acne serums. Apply the serum and leave it on for at least a minute for it to soak into your skin before moisturizing.

5. Moisturize Your Skin

Moisturizing your skin with a nourishing lotion helps promote skin rejuvenation as you sleep. Use a lotion or a cream that suits your skin type. Those with dry skin can go for richer creams, while a water-based lotion or gel would be the best bet for those with normal to oily skin.

6. Apply An Eye Cream

A woman applying an eye cream as a part of slugging
Image: Shutterstock

Some people tend to skip this important part of a nighttime routine, but you should not. The area around your eyes is very delicate and needs special care. The first signs of aging – like fine lines and wrinkles – tend to show up around your eyes. Make it a point to apply an overnight eye cream or eye serum every night.

7. Apply A Layer Of Petroleum Jelly

While your skin is still damp from the moisturizer, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly over all your face. Be careful not to apply a thick layer as it may end up clogging your pores.

Once you are done with your skin care routine, you can go to sleep and wake up to glowing, glass-like skin after slugging from the previous night!

While slugging has the potential to give you gorgeous skin if done right, you might not have the time or energy to go through all these steps regularly. This is where the short-cut beauty tips come into play as a quick-fix solution for those who want to try slugging but do not have the time.

Short-Cut Slugging Method

Do not have the time for a lengthy slugging routine? Do not worry! We have got you covered with this short-cut version with fewer steps.

1. Remove Makeup

In the evening, remove your makeup with micellar water or a cleansing lotion. Make sure you remove all the traces of stubborn makeup like mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick.

2. Wash Your Face

Wash your face with cool water and a mild cleanser. Ensure you use a face wash suited for your skin type. Pat your face dry.

3. Apply Petroleum Jelly

When your skin is still a little damp, coat your face in a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Leave it on for a couple of hours.

4. Wash Your Face

After a couple of hours, wash your face with cool water. Do not use a face wash.

5. Moisturize

Apply a serum with a hydrating ingredient like hyaluronic acid. Finish off your routine by applying your regular moisturizer.
While the short-cut method may not be as effective as the regular method, it still gives your skin a plump and hydrated look.

How Often Should You Slug Your Skin?

It is recommended that you slug your skin once or twice a week, depending on the condition of your skin. Those with extremely dry skin can slug two to three days in a row and give it a break for two to three days before repeating the process. However, irrespective of how dry your skin is, daily slugging is not recommended for anyone.

Now, let’s answer the most important question.

Does Slugging Have Any Cons?

While many people could benefit from slugging once in a while, it is not suitable for everyone. Those with oily skin can experience breakouts after slugging as it traps in dead skin cells and increases skin oiliness. Slugging can also be messy and may stain your pillow covers. The thumb rule is that people with oily or acne-prone skin should avoid slugging.

Kay, a blogger focusing on mind, body, and skin, experimented with slugging and shared the results. She writes, ” The only little hiccup I ran into was the oily feeling on my face. The slight sticky feeling, wasn’t feeling it at all. Actually I hated it. It felt like I was sticking to my pillow. I was thinking that I would need to wash off a layer of yuck off my face when I woke up but surprisingly, I didn’t (i).”

Infographic: Slugging: Dos and Don’ts

This trend has exploded in popularity due to TikTok influencers advocating it as a relatively simple technique to bind moisture into the skin using Vaseline or other petrolatum-based moisturizers. However, it is critical to learn the dos and don’ts of slugging and know whether it is something you should try or avoid. Take a look at the infographic below to ensure you get it correct the first time.

skincare slugging (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Like many K-beauty trends, slugging is currently creating waves in beauty circles. It is an overnight skin care technique that promises intense hydration and skin barrier repair. It is a must-try for those with dry or compromised skin. However, the treatment could be overly hydrating and not suitable for people with oily skin. If you have normal to dry skin and could do with a boost of hydration, go ahead and give this technique a try to wake up with dewy, supple, and glass-like skin. However, remember that no scientific research has been done to establish its benefits. You need to follow the advice of skin care experts or doctors as slugging is not meant for all skin types.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is slugging good for acne scars?

Slugging may not eliminate acne scars. However, the technique can improve the skin texture and soften your skin.

Is rosehip oil good for slugging?

Yes, rosehip is suitable for slugging and can be used as a facial oil. It does not clog pores and keeps the skin healthy.

Does slugging prevent wrinkles?

It may help up to some extent. Slugging locks in the moisture and hydrates the skin, thus slowing down the signs of aging.

What skin care tips do Korean women follow?

Korean women follow a 10-step skin care routine that begins with double cleansing, exfoliation, toner, serum, sheet mask, eye cream, moisturizer, and SPF. They also use natural ingredients like snail mucin, bamboo, and fermented rice water to get a hydrated glow.

Key Takeaways

  • Slugging is a K-beauty trend that claims to lock your skin’s natural moisture and provide you with a dewy glass skin look.
  • It involves sealing your nighttime skin care routine with a layer of slimy petroleum jelly to lock the moisturizing ingredients.
  • Mature or dry skin types seem to benefit the most from this slugging treatment.
slugging skincare

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn about the beauty trend that defies age boundaries! Take a look at this video to delve into the world of slugging and learn how to achieve glowing, youthful skin.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr Ashok Gund

Dr Ashok GundMBBS, CSD (Dermatology)

Dr. Ashok Gund is a dermatologist with 21 years of experience. He provides services like ultrasonic lipolysis, I-lipolysis treatments for fat loss and body reshaping treatments, along with esthetic PRP treatments in Kalyan and Dombivli, Maharashtra, India. He is well-versed and updated with cutting edge technologies in anti-aging medicines. He has academic membership with AMAR and WOSIAM and was full bio

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