What is Slugging? (And Why You Should Do It!)

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What is slugging? Let’s talk about the Korean Beauty treatment that’s seriously trending right now!

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There was a time in my life when I was able to easily keep up with the latest trends in fashion and beauty.

I read all the magazines, listened to the podcasts, followed all the social media accounts, etc.

Friends, that time is not now. 😆

Between having two small children, trying to run two small businesses, doing 47 loads of laundry a week, and starting on a food allergy treatment plan for Indy, and doing all the regular life stuff, I’m lucky if I remember to change out of the clothes I slept in.

BUT, I did hear of a beauty trend that’s making waves AND I had time to research it AND I had time to try it out!

And it’s only taken me a couple of weeks to tell you about it so I’m going to call that a big win!

Alright, let’s talk about…slugging.

what is slugging - JK Style

It’s not a baseball term and it doesn’t involve anything weird, I promise.

In fact, I’ve been doing this to Indy for years and didn’t realize I should be doing it for me too!

What is slugging?

what is slugging - JK Style

Slugging is a K-Beauty trend that involves applying a thin layer of an “occlusive” like Vaseline or another petroleum jelly product as your final step in skincare before you go to sleep. It’s meant to keep moisture in your skin.

Both my boys have eczema and I’ve been applying their creams and ointments with a top coat of either Vaseline or more recently, CeraVe Healing Ointment for years at the recommendation of our dermatologist.

It makes sense. You apply your skincare and then the top layer (in our case, the ointment) to seal it in. It works on them, I figured it would work on me!

Oh, and it’s called slugging because your face looks shiny… like a slug. 😊

Is slugging safe?

Yes. It may sound weird to put petroleum jelly on your face but it’s actually a super safe ingredient and is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology for use in babies with eczema.

If it’s safe for babies, you can use it too!

Do dermatologists recommend slugging?

Apparently so! And while I haven’t asked our dermatologist about doing it myself, I’m pretty confident if she recommended it for my children, I’m good to go.

I’ve read several interviews with dermatologists lately where they say that not only do they recommend it as a way to create a moisture barrier, they also do it themselves.

Wait, but petroleum jelly isn’t “clean”!

Hold your horses, folks. Petroleum is considered a skin protectant by the FDA and is regulated, tested, and safe to use.

Should everyone try slugging?

No. If you have acne-prone skin or struggle with too much oil or sensitive skin, this isn’t for you. It can create too much moisture and you’ll have more issues with oil and blocked pores.

If you’ve got dry skin, or skin that’s considered “normal” or combination, I think it’s worth a try. You can even spot-treat if you want.

How often can I “slug”?

slugging skincare - JK Style

That’s up to you! Some people with drier skin may find it helps every night. Some may try it a few times a week.

One important thing I read was that you should only do it when you are using a moisturizing product as your final step. If you’re using a retinol, alpha-hydroxy acids, or beta hydroxy acids, you’ll want to skip it that night.

Only “slug” when you’re moisturizing!

So, how do you “slug”?

what is slugging - JK Style

Do your nighttime routine as normal. For me it typically includes cleansing and moisturizing. Then I take a small amount of Vaseline or CeraVe and apply all over. The first time I did it I was definitely way too greasy and now use a smaller amount. 

That’s it! In the morning I wash it off and then do my normal morning routine.

What can I use for slugging?

skincare - what is slugging - JK Style

Here are my three affordable occlusive recommendations, starting at under $4!

*My mom found out she had a lanolin allergy after using Aquaphor, just be aware if you’ve never tried it before.

Won’t slugging make a mess?

I’m a side sleeper who also likes to bury my face in my pillow when I hear one of my kids in the night, so I can testify to this issue. 

The first time I tried it I used too much and my face was greasy! A towel on my pillow did help, but lately I’ve just used less product. (I go back and worth between Vaseline and the CeraVe ointment.)

Instead of slathering it on, I’ve been using a small amount, about the size of a pencil eraser. It’s enough to coat my face but isn’t uncomfortably sticky. Would using more be better? Perhaps, but my current preference is just to use less.

Does Slugging Work?

Yes! I can tell a difference in the way my face feels when I wake up. I’m going to keep up my routine and see if I can get the “glass complexion” people talk about. It’s easy, it’s affordable, and you really don’t have much to lose by trying it out! I’m particularly interested in keeping this up through the winter to see how it goes.

Have you tried slugging? Have you noticed a difference in your skin? Give me all your thoughts!

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