Have you wondered why all your favourite influencers have skin shining like a wet dolphin at the moment? They are probably slugging. This new skincare trend is all over Tiktok and Instagram. So what is slugging, and should you do it?
What is slugging and how do you do it?
Slugging means applying a thick layer of an occlusive (vaseline is the most common product) on your skin to “lock in” moisture or your skincare. The idea is that it acts as a plaster for your skin, preventing trans-epidermal water loss. So you apply the petrolatum jelly on clean, possibly damp skin, and you leave it on like a mask.
Is it good for the skin?
I find this trend really interesting, it’s a modern spin on an old method: artificially recreating a skin barrier. That’s why most of eczema creams feel so thick and gloopy, it’s exactly the same concept than slugging. Vaseline is an inert product, so it should not lead to any particular skin problems.
It’s effectively a raincoat for your face. It prevents anything from going in, and anything from going out, especially water.
I’m not sure where exactly the trend was born, but this is clearly very similar to the old kind of eczema treatment: something very occlusive to artificially replace a damaged skin barrier. I find this a bit old style, I prefer the products that help the skin rebuild its own skin barrier.
What could be the potential harm to the skin from slugging?
As Tik Tok trends go, I find this one quite harmless. Outside of having something quite sticky on your face, potential harm is minimal. But ultimately, it makes more sense to take care of the skin barrier everyday with adapted skincare than with this kind of fix. It’s also a cheap thing to try, so why not!
I would only recommend it on clean skin. Remember, anything under the coat of vaseline cannot escape anymore. And by regard for your pillow, if you do slugging in the evening, change it often!
So do I recommend slugging?
Not really, I really prefer products that help the skin rebuild the skin barrier and soften it by helping with the cause rather than the symptoms. For example, squalane and
other skin-like lipids that are closer to the real skin barrier.
How should you lock in moisture?
I think the first step is not to be moisture-stripping! So maybe if you feel your skin is super dry, use gentler cleansers with the right pH. Ultimately it’s all about working with you skin, not stripping then fixing.
Slugging is only a temporary fix that can feel good from time to time, like you would use a mask. So it only works while it’s on your skin.
Squalane has the advantage of being a lot closer the the lipids of the skin. Out new Gallinée Oil is actually targeted at rebuilding the skin barrier, and that the base of the formulation, as well as other interesting barrier oils such as oat oil.
By Marie Drago
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Image Credit (Top Banner): Towfiqu Batbhuiya / Eyeem / Getty Images