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If you have on the TikTok, you may hear of slugging. This K-beauty skincare technique is about applying petrolatum on your face overnight to obtain plump skin.

It’s one of the latest and viral skincare trends with more than 100 million views on the app.

This fad creates a new term: slugging. However, in the dermatology world, dermatologists have recommended this technique to moisturize the skin for a long time.

What is slugging?

So, let’s find out what is slugging and how it works. First, slugging is nothing to do with slugs or snails. It basically only needs one product – a thick, petrolatum-based product to coat your face, for example, Aquaphor or Vaseline.

It should be applied after cleansing and moisturizing as the final step of your skincare routine.

Since petrolatum cannot be absorbed directly into the skin, it creates a surface barrier. As a result, the skin can keep moisturised and hydrated overnight.

Therefore, this barrier can prevent further water loss and lock in hydration. Also, by acting as a protectant, it helps to repair the skin barrier.

What is slugging?

Who can benefit from this hack?

People who have irritated, dry, cracked winter skin can be beneficially greatly from slugging, since it offers supreme moisturization.

Moreover, experts also recommend patients who experience eczema practice slugging. It’s because of the frequent handwashing during the pandemic, their hand may be very dry or cracked. So, they can put cotton gloves on top of the slug layer.

Selective and soft focus of the woman hand with red spots and dry skin. Concept of allergy to wind and frost in winter and cold season. Need to use protective and healing cream, slugging can be use on dry and ichy hand

Is this trend suitable for everyone?

Topping off an occlusive barrier like Vaseline on the skin to lock in moisture is great for dry and flaky skin. However, for people who have oily, sensitive skin is not suitable.

Petroleum-based products are too heavy and greasy. It may irritate acne-prone skin and cause blackheads and trigger breakouts.

Acne on face, slugging is not suitable for oily skin

Slugging Dos and Don’t

• Add slugging to your skincare routine as the final step
• Apply a very thin layer on your whole face, especially during winter
• Consider slugging as intense barrier repair, the frequency of using it should base on your skin condition
• Avoid using potentially harsh or irritating ingredients like retinol, retinoids or hydroxy acids at the same time

Is it necessary to add slugging to your skincare routine?

Slugging is like an intense barrier repair treatment, the frequency of using it should base on your skin condition. But it is not a long-term solution to combat dry skin.

Slugging is not for everyone, but a proper skincare routine does. Whenever your skin type is, the best skincare routine is finding the balance between exfoliation and hydration according to your skin needs.

Too much exfoliation without hydration will lead to the overproduction of oil. But if you don’t exfoliate the skin properly, it may cause dullness and clog pores. Apart from that, dermatologists recommend to use hydrating cream containing ceramides and hyaluronic acid which is more suitable than topping off petroleum all the time.


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