You may have seen #slugging pop up on your social media feeds recently. Whilst the trend appears strange, it’s worth noting that sometimes when it comes to odd skincare trends, we just have to trust the process! This Korean beauty craze has been hyped up by influencers and celebrities alike, and I for one love Korean skincare so was definitely intrigued yet left with a few questions... What is slugging? What are the pros and cons? Is it just another fad or does it have a permanent place in my skincare routine? If you’re finding yourself asking similar questions, read on to hear both sides of the slugging story.
What is Slugging?
So, the million-dollar question... what is slugging? In short, slugging is a method of moisturizing the skin which involves applying a thick layer of petroleum jelly, or another occlusive product such as Vaseline or Aquaphor to the face overnight. This practice emerged as a super-trend after a Korean actress claimed it was her ultimate secret to dewy, radiant skin. The idea behind slugging is that the occlusive layer will help to lock in moisture and prevent water loss, leading to softer, more hydrated skin.
What are the Benefits of slugging?
The benefits of slugging are known to be contested between influencers and dermatologists. Many influencers and celebrities claim that slugging is the secret to extreme skin hydration. Numerous dermatologists have claimed it acts more as a sealant to lock in hydration when used over the top of other products like moisturizer. However, this in of itself is a benefit of slugging is that it can help to seal in moisture and prevent water loss, which can be especially useful for those with dry or dehydrated skin. It can also provide a protective barrier for the skin, helping to keep out irritants and pollutants. Additionally, some people have found that slugging can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and create a smoother, more even skin texture. Vaseline can also be a useful product when creating beauty looks... Marilyn Monroe claimed to apply layers of Vaseline under to foundation to help her skin catch the light and give her a soft glow!
Are there any downsides to slugging?
While slugging may work for some people, it's not for everyone. One potential downside is that it can feel greasy and heavy on the skin, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Whilst slugging has the potential to act as a sealant to lock in moisture, it can also lock in the not so nice stuff, like excess oil, dirt, and bacteria. This can make us more prone to breaking out. Additionally, it's not clear how effective slugging is at delivering skincare ingredients to the skin, as the occlusive layer may prevent them from being absorbed.
Is it worth it?
Slugging may be worth trying if you have dry or dehydrated skin and are looking for a simple way to boost hydration. However, it's important to consider the potential downsides and choose a product that is right for your skin type and concerns. Some dermatologists like Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe suggest just slugging on small dry patches, rather than a thick blanket layer all over the face as this can open the door to breakouts.
I personally have found slugging to be a fun beauty trend, and it does have an occasional place in my own beauty regime. My skin tends to be on the drier side, so sometimes slugging is the best option. However, my go to is a QV intensive moisturizing ointment, which has a similar consistency to Vaseline, yet contains ceramides that truly help to deeply hydrate the skin. I find this to be more nourishing that the traditional slugging products. So, whether slugging is worth it is over to what best suits you and your skin. As with any skincare trend, it's always a good idea to do your own research and consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional before trying something new.