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The Slugging Trend Is Back — Here's What You Need to Know

It could be the answer to prolonged skin hydration.
March 28, 2022

If you’ve got a wealth of knowledge when it comes to
skin care trends, then you might remember slugging, the K-beauty trend that became popular several years ago. Considering that many fashion and beauty trends are cyclical, it’s no surprise that slugging has become popular on social media yet again.

But if you’re unfamiliar with what it is or perhaps you just need a refresher, keep reading because we’re sharing what you need to know about this viral skin care trend. Ahead, we’re breaking down what it is, if it actually has skin care benefits and how to try it for yourself.


What Is Slugging?

Slugging is the act of slathering your face in a layer of petroleum jelly as the last step of your nighttime skin care routine. The trend was made popular on social media via the K-beauty community, but it’s important to note that many cultures have been doing this for decades. The belief is that this helps to lock in the moisture from the other products you applied and prevent water loss from the skin. The thick, slimy texture could be compared to the mucus of a slug, which is how the trend’s namesake comes into play. 

Does Slugging Actually Work?

As far as the benefits of this trend go, there is one ultimate goal of slugging: locking in hydration. According to the Mayo Clinic, petroleum jelly sits on top of the skin to insulate it and protect it from losing moisture. It’s thought to be especially beneficial during the cold and less humid winter months that tend to leave your skin feeling dry and tight.

Is Slugging Good For Skin?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests that those with acne-prone skin avoid applying petroleum jelly on the face as it could lead to breakouts as it can be congesting. Additionally, if you have oily or blemish-prone skin, you might find it to be too greasy for you.

However, those with
dry skin might find it beneficial for keeping their skin hydrated. In fact, AAD states petroleum jelly is a good option for soothing dry lips and eyelids. 

How Often Should You Do Slugging?

As far as frequency goes, it’s completely dependent on your skin type and concerns. If you have dry, you may benefit from slugging several times per week or even daily for a period of time. Those that have oily skin, however, may find they want to take part less or only during the winter months. If you give it a try, see how your skin reacts before determining what the appropriate frequency is for you. 

How to Add Slugging to Your Routine

If you want to try out the trend, follow the steps below for a full routine.

1. Cleanse Your Skin

As with any skin care routine, it’s important to begin by washing your face. We love using micellar water because there’s no need to rinse, making it quick, easy and mess-free. Saturate a cotton pad with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types and glide it over your face to cleanse.

2. Smooth On a Serum

Slugging is all about layering on the hydration. So, pat on a moisturizing serum with hyaluronic acid, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

3. Apply Moisturizer

Next, add another layer of hydration by applying a moisturizer. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Overnight Mask because it’s a rich nighttime moisturizer and overnight mask that works to reduce wrinkles, firm the skin and hydrate all in one. 

4. Layer On Petroleum Jelly

Get some petroleum jelly on your fingertips and apply an even layer to your skin. You’ll end up looking slimy and shiny, but that’s the goal. 


Editor’s tip: If you use a silk pillowcase, consider forgoing it on nights where you plan to take part in slugging since petroleum jelly could temporarily stain the fabric. Instead, use a pillowcase that you don’t mind getting stained. 

5. Wake Up and Rinse

When you wake up in the morning, remove the petroleum jelly with the help of your face wash and a damp cloth to reveal beautiful, glowing skin.

Next: Why That Steamy Hot Shower May Actually Be Bad for Your Skin


Edited by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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