Ever come across the slugging method on TikTok and wondered if its a hack? Slugging is a K-beauty trend of generously applying a petroleum-based product as the final step in your routine, to help lock and seal in your skincare products overnight, and then washing it off with a cleanser the next day. Petroleum jelly is an occlusive that is not only amazing at soothing irritated skin and promoting wound healing, but it can act as a protective barrier for the skin. Slugging is proven to especially help individuals with dry skin or during winter time to help restore moisture to the skin.
Moisturizers hydrate your skin, while petroleum-based products are occlusives—meaning they lock in that hydration , which reduces transepidermal water loss. This helps skin retain moisture better.
Here are some benefits of slugging:
Slugging creates a seal over the skin, prevents transepidermal water loss, and protects and repairs your skin's natural lipid barrier that binds skin cells together. Occlusive means the product itself is non breathable. Thus, upon applying it on our skin, it helps lock in the water in between the layers of our skin that is usually lost due to heat, activities, etc.
Protect The Skin Barrier
By reinforcing the lipid barrier, it is artificially strengthening the way that your skin protects itself. If you're dealing with dryness or skin damage right now and want to give your moisture level a boost to try to rebalance your skin, slugging is a great reparative approach.
However, we do recommend individuals to slug modestly as too much of something in skincare could harm your skin as well. As slugging would lock in the skin care product before the petroleum jelly, we do advise individuals to not include active ingredients like niacinamide, retinol and other active ingredients as they would not react well with the petroleum jelly. Individuals with oily skin may also want to practise sluggin once a week first to analyse how it reacts to their skin.