Slugging has become very popular these days thanks to TikTok. It has become a trend to try slugging, a popular Korean skincare practice. This article will answer any questions regarding the slugging trend and will provide all the info you may need in order to try this popular trend.
What Is Slugging in Skincare?
Slugging is a Korean beauty skincare practice that means coating your face in Petroleum (or Petrolatum). This helps keep the skin moisturized and protects the skin barrier, especially during colder months. It is a fairly simple moisturizing routine that locks in all moisture.
Even though “slugging” sounds like something that is related to slugs, it actually doesn’t involve any slime from slugs. The name comes from the fact that your skin will feel slimy, almost like a slug has slid over your face.
What to Use for Slugging
Slugging can be done with any Petroleum-based product. It’s important to try out different ones, since your skin may react well with one and get irritated by the other. You can never know what works the best for your skin specifically.
I would say look for tubes rather than tubs. This helps to prevent the risk of growing more bacteria and cross-contamination.
Best Slugging Products
There are different options for slugging but the most popular options are:
Is Slugging Good for the Skin?
Slugging is a great fix for dry skin and helps keep the skin protected and moisturized during cold weather. I would say slugging is good for skin types that are suitable for it. Petrolatum, in general, is safe to use on the skin.
Slugging makes my moisturizer and other skincare products work better under it. My skin is less tight and has more hydration than before. It has saved my dry skin during winter.
Petrolatum repairs the skin’s protective barrier and prevents transepidermal water loss. This is why it’s such a popular skincare practice. It is important for hydrating and keeping your skin healthy with anti-aging benefits.
What Does Slugging Do for the Skin?
Slugging is used for:
- Repairing the skin barrier
- Locking in other skincare products
- Reducing wrinkles and fine lines
- Deep hydration
Petroleum Jelly, which is used in slugging repairs the skin by acting as a barrier on the skin. Slugging is most effective when you combine it with humectants like Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin.
By applying a dose of Petroleum as the final step of the skincare routine, you’re sealing in all the other products you have applied under it. This increases the efficiency of the other products underneath.
Slugging makes my skin super soft and non-oily the next day. Since I started using Petroleum, my skin has been hydrated and produces less oil. It is definitely more effective during winter and when you are struggling with dry skin.
How Often Should You Slug Your Skin?
Slugging can become a part of your nightly skincare routine. It’s especially beneficial during winter months and cold weather when your skin is driest. You can slug your skin every night if that’s what you prefer.
Using Petroleum during summer may be too much or heavy for the skin since there’s moisture in the air. Slugging can not repair your skin overnight and takes time, results show after a month.
How to Do Slugging Skincare
- Cleanse your face and make sure it’s completely clean
- Apply hydrating skincare product that contain humectants and emollients (such as Hyaluronic Acid)
- Add a moisturizer such as: cream, lotion or oil
- With clean hands, apply the Petroleum Jelly product such as: Vaseline, CeraVe, Aquaphor
- Use only a pea-size amount of Petroleum, no more is needed
- Wait 30 minutes for the Petroleum to absorb before sleeping
- Wash and cleanse the face in the morning
Slugging is the final step in the nighttime skincare routine since it seals in all the other products applied beforehand. This way you can lock in all the moisture from the other products when you are sleeping.
With slugging, you need to add humectants beforehand, moisture is needed in order for it to work. In order to achieve the best results, I recommend applying all the hydrating and moisturizing skincare products before the Petroleum.
It’s best to use Petroleum only during the night, before heading to bed since otherwise, you will feel greasy all day. You can slug your skin during the day if you are in a very cold and dry environment if your skin needs it.
How Much Vaseline to Use for Slugging
It’s best to use a pea-size amount of Vaseline for slugging, since overdoing it won’t help and may be too much. If you feel like it’s too big of an amount, then it probably is.
Of course, everyone’s skin is different and face sizes too. Try with a small amount first and see what it does for you. You definitely shouldn’t use the whole jar of Vaseline.
How to Sleep While Slugging
I usually wait for 30 minutes before going to bed, after applying the Petroleum. That way my bed won’t get as messy, especially the pillowcase. I would recommend using pillow covers that you don’t fancy as much when slugging.
Another thing that I have noticed is that my hair gets greasy faster when slugging. I have started washing my hair every morning after slugging since otherwise, my baby hairs are sticky. That’s something to keep in mind.
Does Slugging Repair the Skin Barrier?
Petrolatum is occlusive, which means that it forms a protective layer on the skin. This way it repairs the skin barrier and prevents transepidermal water loss. Slugging is a great way to heal and protect dry skin.
Does Slugging Break You Out?
Petroleum should not cause any breakouts by itself. The breakout may happen if you use it on acne-prone or oily skin. Slugging can trap all the dead skin and sebum with bacteria under the layer creating a breakout.
Any dirt or cosmetics that have been sealed under the Petroleum can cause acne etc. This is why I recommend patch-testing before fully committing to slugging.
Does Slugging Clog Pores?
Slugging does not clog pores, it’s just important to keep your skin moisturized and very clean under the Petroleum. If you don’t keep the skin clean underneath, it can trap all the bacteria and cause irritation.
Can You Slug With Retinol?
I would say slugging is a bad idea when combined with Retinol because it could increase irritation. If you apply a retinoid between a moisturizer and Petrolatum then it’s safer but even then I can’t promise for it to work.
When you combine occlusives with topical medications, it can and probably will affect your skin negatively. Layering Petroleum over a retinoid can strengthen its potency and cause further irritation.
Is Slugging Good for Dry Skin?
Slugging is intended for dry and very dry skin. It alleviates the itchy feeling and reduces dry patches that are common with chronic dry skin. Slugging will help repair the moisture levels in the skin and keep your skin hydrated for longer periods.
Slugging is very beneficial and helps treat dry skin conditions such as eczema.
Is Slugging Good for Aging Skin?
Slugging is actually very beneficial for mature, dry skin. Many doctors recommend this skin practice to people that struggle with fine lines and wrinkles. When you start slugging at an early age, it will keep your skin youthful and healthy.
As we age our skin starts to lose its elasticity along with its ability to retain water. Slugging can fix that and repair the skin barrier, preventing further water loss. The more you keep your skin hydrated, the less it shows signs of aging.
Is Slugging Good for Acne?
Slugging is not the best for acne-prone skin. It can potentially trap all the bacteria, clog your pores and irritate the skin. This is what causes the breakouts when it comes to slugging with acne-prone skin.
While Petrolatum-based products may not be problematic for acne entirely, they can still contribute to creating a non-suitable environment where acne can worsen. This can aggravate and increase the negative side effects of acne.
If you are prone to acne, it’s best to avoid slugging and occlusives entirely since they won’t do you any favors. I would recommend using alternatives: oil-free moisturizers that are formulated with Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid.
Is Slugging Good for Oily Skin?
Slugging is not meant for oily skin since it traps all the oil in the skin, increasing the problem with excess sebum. I would recommend using a hydrating cream that is non-comedogenic.
You can try alternatives: non-comedogenic creams with Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid.
Is Slugging Anti-Aging?
Slugging has anti-aging benefits and prevents wrinkles and fine lines from forming. Combined with your other skincare routines, it can have a significant impact on your skin. Slugging by itself maybe be beneficial, but I recommend adding it to your own routine and trying to make it work for you.
Where to Buy Slugging Products
Vaseline is available online at:
Aquaphor Healing Ointment is available online at:
CeraVe Healing Ointment is available online at:
Does Slugging for Skin Work? The Bottom Line
Slugging works for dry and mature skin the best. It is most beneficial for people who are exposed to dry and cold weather often. The dry and cold weather can increase transepidermal water loss and dryness so slugging is super important.
Slugging makes a huge difference in how hydrated your skin is since it contributes to repairing the skin barrier. This skincare practice fixes water loss in the skin and helps keep it healthy and moisturized.
Slugging is not meant for every skin type. Some people have a sensitivity towards Petroleum and can’t even try it. Those who have oily skin and acne-prone skin should not be slugging their face.
For combination skin, I recommend using Petroleum on areas that are dry, avoiding the oily areas. A targeted routine is the best approach since this is not something you need to do for your oily areas.
- Petrolatum: Barrier repair and antimicrobial responses underlying this “inert” moisturizer
- A Study to Document the Effect of Petrolatum on Innate Immune Responses in the Skin