Everything You Need to Know About Slugging

Kira Poletis Kira Poletis
3 minute read

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Slugging—no, it's not a slimy, homeless snail, but a trending skin treatment making its rounds on popular social platforms. Skin slugging doesn’t consist of actual shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusks (Google it, that’s what they’re called!), but it does emulate their ultra-hydrating habits.

Slugging consists of sliming your face with a thick balm, like petroleum jelly, right before bed so that you wake up with glowing, hydrated skin. The occlusive balm helps to hold in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out overnight.

While the benefits of slugging range from moisturizing to wrinkle reduction, there are also some potential downsides to be aware of before you add this step to your beauty regimen.


Slugging Solutions

Slugging benefits can include hydrating the skin, retaining moisture, protecting the skin barrier, and even repairing dried-out skin. This technique can also be used on any part of the body where dryness is rampant, but the face, lips, and eyelids are usually the most common.

Those struggling with eczema and dry skin patches will benefit from this beauty trick, and it can also help to smooth fine lines. Rather than preventing wrinkles, slugging helps to reduce the appearance of them by repairing the skin barrier function. When the skin barrier wears down is when fine lines and wrinkles really tend to rear their ugly heads.


Slimy Side Effects

Slugging may not agree with all skin types, like those that are already particularly oily or prone to acne. By putting an extra layer atop the pores, you run the risk of clogging them and trapping extra bacteria within, causing a breakout.


Smooth Slugging

If you feel this is the new beauty trick for you, then let’s get started.

  1. Cleanse. Give your skin a good cleansing and pat dry to begin with.
  2. Moisturize. Start with your favorite moisturizer, particularly something with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or glycerin. Dermatologists have suggested avoiding products with AHAs, BHAs, or retinoids because these could cause chemical burns when locked in under a barrier.
  3. Top with a thin layer of occlusive balm. Vaseline, CeraVe Healing Ointment, or Aquaphor will do the trick. You can leave the treatment on for a few hours or overnight while you sleep.

Turns out, being a homeless snail isn’t as bad as it sounds. Introducing slugging into your beauty regimen could be just what you need to up your skincare game and stay hydrated all night long. If you have any concerns about potential side effects, always consult with your doctor or dermatologist beforehand.

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