Slugging is trending. But is it for you?

Slugging is trending. But is it for you?

Most beauty hacks bite the dust before the month is out. However, slugging, the latest skincare trend to take social media by storm, may be beneficial, according to skincare professionals and doctors. Slugging, a technique that involves slathering petroleum jelly on your face last thing at night, is supposed to make your skin moist and juicy.  

While you may think this is a new trend, you will be surprised to know that slugging was first mentioned as a beauty treatment way back in 2014 in the United States. So, what does slugging involve? And more importantly, what are the benefits of this method? Let's take a deep dive and find out. 


What is slugging?


The inspiration behind the term ‘slugging’ comes from the slimy trail left by slugs and snails as they slither up the garden path. Slugging is a skincare trend that entails slathering petroleum jelly on your face at bedtime. And no, you don’t wash it off but keep it on overnight.


It is believed that slugging gives your complexion a beautiful glow. So, what is the science behind this off-beat beauty method? Read on to know more.


How does slugging work on your skin? 


Photo by: Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Alt Text: Use a dollop of petroleum jelly for slugging


Petroleum jelly used for slugging has occlusive properties, which means it can form a protective layer on the skin. This layer seals in moisture and doesn’t allow the skin to dry out, which is one of the most notable benefits of slugging.


According to Dr. Michelle Henry, the Aesthetic Dermatologist at Kiehl's, "Petrolatum is occlusive, it is not comedogenic, and helps to lock in moisture without clogging pores."


What are the benefits of slugging? 


While dermatologists have been using this method for years to prevent trans-epidermal water loss, the term ‘slugging’ is a recent addition. Admittedly, when you slather a thick petroleum jelly layer on your skin, there are going to be some benefits

of this skincare trend. Let's check them out: 


  • It moisturizes the skin: Once the layer of jelly is applied, the skin retains the hydration, much like a sponge would. This thickens it and makes it elastic and malleable.  

  • It protects the skin: The barrier formed by petroleum jelly keeps water in but doesn’t allow outside irritants to enter the skin. Without this protective layer, these irritants can easily enter and trigger immune responses.

  • It repairs damage: With a layer of petroleum jelly protecting the skin at night, the skin is allowed to self-repair. 

You can use this technique on any part of the body; however, the target areas are mainly the lips, the face, and the eyelids. So, how do you go about it? Let’s find out. 


Slugging, how to go about it?


The slugging technique is a very simple and straightforward skincare trend. Follow these steps for your nighttime skincare regimen:


  • Prepare your skin for slugging:  Your skin needs to be clean before slugging. So, to begin, follow the standard nighttime routine of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Skincare products that contain ingredients such as retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids, and beta-hydroxy acid may irritate your skin when they get trapped under the jelly, so avoid them.


  • Slather on the petroleum jelly: As petroleum jelly has a thick and gooey texture you don’t need a lot of it to apply on your face. Also, for the treatment to be effective, make sure to address areas such as your lips, the eyelids, and the dry parts of your face such as the cheeks.


  • Let it set for 30 minutes: Let the skin take in the petroleum jelly for half an hour before bedtime. Petroleum jelly can play havoc on your bed linen, so make sure to spread a towel over your pillow cover to protect it. Also, a hair net can come in handy as you don’t want the jelly getting in your tresses. 


  • Sleep with the jelly on: Without washing off the petroleum jelly, go to bed and let it do its magic on your skin. 


  • Wash off the next day:  It's a good idea to wash your face every morning irrespective of what you have put on it. However, when you use petroleum jelly, you will need to get it off your face and any other stuff stuck on it during the night. A good wash sloughs off dead cells, bacteria, and oils from your face.

So, what should be used for slugging? Any petroleum-based healing ointment should do the job.


The importance of a good moisturizer 


A good moisturizer is essential when you are slugging. As you prepare for slugging, you not only need to cleanse and exfoliate but moisturize too. Products that contain hyaluronic acid or ceramides and glycerin will be beneficial as they work with the jelly to lock in moisture. So, what moisturizers should you pick? 


The following are a few suggestions: 


  1. DermDoc skin tightening face gel with hydrolyzed collagen is a good bet. This superlight face gel gives your skin a youthful look as it reduces fine lines and prevents moisture loss, resulting in firm and elastic skin.


  2. DermDoc 2% hyaluronic acid face gel is an ultra-smooth face gel that hydrates your skin without a greasy feel. This gel retains the skin’s moisture and softens uneven texture. It also rejuvenates and reduces the appearance of fine lines.


  3. DermDoc pH rebalance face cream with 0.5% hyaluronic acid moisturizer is a lightweight and nourishing cream that glides over your skin smoothly to give you an even skin texture. The result is smooth and plump skin that is youthful and firm.  


Is slugging good for everyone? 


It is best to avoid slugging for oily skin as you don’t want another layer of grease on an oily face. It could clog the pores and increase breakouts.  


Final thoughts


Slugging may just be the hydration your skin needs. As most dermatologists accept the benefits of it, you don't need to stress about it being just another beauty hack. However, make sure to use good cleansers, exfoliants, and moisturizers to guarantee good results. The best place to check out beauty products is

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