This post will explain what Slugging is and how to incorporate it into your skincare routine.
For the first time ever, I can say that I started doing something before it became a trend. Imagine my shock when I found that Slugging has become a trend on TikTok. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing this for years to retain moisture for my dry, dehydrated skin. Anyway, it’s good that this practice is becoming increasingly popular so that people don’t look at you funny when you say you slug with Petrolatum at night. Also, since most slugging products are formulated with Petrolatum and/or Mineral Oil, we can finally kill the misconception that these ingredients are harmful to our skin. I mean, there’s a reason why Vaseline is still in business.
Let’s go further into details about some of the benefits of Slugging.
What Is Slugging In Skincare?
It is the process of using an occlusive product at the end of your skincare routine at night to seal in moisture and all the beneficial serums you have layered. This is to prevent Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) overnight. In simple terms, it is to prevent your skin from drying out.
Most people who slug are those with dry, dehydrated skin or anyone struggling with a damaged skin barrier that needs healing and repair.
Whilst it’s nice for me to say it works for all skin types, people with oily to combination skin might find the process too greasy. Except you can find a non-greasy occlusive to slug with like the La Roche Posay Cicaplast. So don’t feel pressured to jump on the trend if your skin type won’t tolerate it.
What Occlusive Ingredients Are Best For Slugging?
When choosing products to slug with, you need to look out for products with the following ingredients;
- Mineral Oil
Don’t be afraid of putting these ingredients on your face. The skincare industry has progressed so much to formulate unique products. So, every misconception you have right now should be thrown out of the window. On the other hand, if you feel like your skin reacts negatively to any of these ingredients, you might as well just stay away. So, test them out and do a patch test before using them on your face. But they’re pretty much safe for everyone.
What Are The Best Products For Skincare Slugging?
Again, it would be wise to choose the best product to slug with according to your skin type. Although these products work across all skin types. But like every other skincare product, your skin will have completely fine preferences. So, play around and find the ones that work best with your skin type.
This is the OG product for Slugging which has been around for over a century. Many people are not a fan of it because it is 100% Petrolatum which is completely fine. They’re a lot more options on the market. But it is the cheapest and, dare I say, one of the most effective occlusive you can use on your skin.
Cerave Healing Ointment
After Vaseline, possibly the most popular occlusive for Slugging is the Cerave Healing Ointment. The brand has taken Vaseline and given it a glow-up by adding other beneficial ingredients such as Ceramides, Cholesterol, Panthenol and Hyaluronic Acid to make it a lot more cosmetically elegant. It is more lightweight than Vaseline and nicer to use.
Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment
Another incredibly popular occlusive is this one from Aquaphor, which I personally use. I find it less greasy than Cerave Healing Ointment. Instead of just Petrolatum and Mineral Oil, it also has Lanolin and Panthenol, which tones down the greasiness. If you have oily to combination skin, you might prefer Aquaphor instead.
La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
This barrier-repairing product has also become popular among those that do not want to deal with Petrolatum, Mineral oil or Lanolin but still enjoy the benefits of slugging. While the Cicaplast Baume is nowhere similar to Cerave Healing Ointment, it also works. With soothing ingredients such as Zinc, Panthenol and Madecassocide, this is the best product you can use to repair any damaged skin barrier or calm any redness or irritations.
Best Practices For Skincare Slugging
I’ve seen a lot of people slug the wrong way and demonize the technique afterwards just because it doesn’t work for them. Well, you misused the product; what would you expect? Anyway, you should adopt some best practices when skincare slugging to make the process more seamless.
- Use a pea-sized amount of product for your entire face. I use less occlusive than my moisturizer; I don’t want to wake up as a grease ball. You don’t need to be generous or slather your face with Vaseline. It is not necessary. A thin layer is enough to form a barrier and prevent water loss.
- Still, on the quantity being used, many people complain about occlusives staining their pillows. First of all, you should be doing your skincare routine about two hours before sleeping. Your skin has enough time to absorb most of the product without transferring it onto your pillowcase. Try sleeping on your back if you like to do your skincare routine right before bed. Again, if you use a pea-sized amount of product, you can prevent all these from happening.
- Don’t feel pressured to slug every day if you don’t want to. I mostly slug daily during the winter, but when it gets warmer, I only slug when I have a damaged skin barrier or when my skin needs a pick-me-up.
Frequently Asked Questions On Skincare Slugging
- Does slugging cause acne? No it doesn’t as it won’t clog your pores as long as you use a pea-sized amount over your moisturizer. But if your skin is very sensitive and easily prone to breakouts, you might just want to settle for the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume or skip slugging entirely.
- Do you wash your face after slugging? It honestly depends. Most times by the time you wake up, the occlusive would have fully been absorbed into your skin so you can start your day by simply rinsing your face if you skip the cleanser in the morning.
- Can I slug with Retinol? This also depends on your skin as well. I slug with Retinoids all the time to prevent any potential dryness and irriation. But some people find that slugging with Retinoids makes them sensitive as the occlusive forces the Retinoids to penetrate deeply into their skin. Again, listen to your skin and act accordingly. If you get irriattions from slugging with Retinoids, just have a dedicated night routine for barrier repair where you don’t use any actives but hydrate, moisturize and slug instead.
- How often should I slug? Again, it depends on you and what you feel comfortable with. But be rest assured that it is totally fine to slug daily especilly if you struggle with dry dehydrated skin. But you can always start with a couple of times a week to see how often you’ll be comfortable with.
If you’re considering incorporating slugging into your skincare routine and you’re not sure where or how to start, I hope this post has clarified that for you.