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What Is Slugging, and Why Are Skincare Experts Obsessed With It on TikTok?

May 7, 2021
dahvi applies the slugging petroleum jelly technique to her face

I don’t know about you, but I’ve used some of the most critically acclaimed, buzzy moisturizers on the block, and after an hour into wear, my skin still feels (and looks) disturbingly dry and dull. If you feel me on this, here’s why you should try slugging.

Slugging (presumably named after a consistency that resembles a slug’s bodily secretion – gross, I know) is a skincare practice that’s grown in popularity over the last six months, namely on TikTok. Skincare guru Charlotte Parlermino really brought the emerging trend to the forefront, and I’ve been giving it a go myself as of late.


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♬ original sound – Charlotte Palermino

The practice requires the application of a pea-sized occlusive (most commonly petroleum jelly/Vaseline or Aquaphor) as the final step in your skincare routine. Doing so locks in the aforementioned moisturizer’s hydrating properties (along with a humectant like a hyaluronic acid serum, for example), which therefore gives you the glow you’ve failed to achieve with your products alone.

The occlusive creates a barrier between your skin and the environment, preventing any transepidermal water loss caused naturally as the day goes by. While the practice is most commonly applied to the face, the same goes for why you should try slugging on your whole body!

But, it’s important to note that locking everything into your skin applies to natural oils, too, so if you have oily or acne-prone skin, this is not a recommended practice, as it can clog pores.

“It’s great for a short fix like right before a big event for example, but don’t do it all the time, especially if you have damaged skin,” celebrity esthetician and founder of her namesake skincare line, Kát Rudu, tells skyelyfe. “I recommend using it with Vitamin E to provide extra moisture.” 

As Rudu—whose products focus on skin barrier repair—points out, the outcome of slugging is only temporary, and the practice doesn’t actually aid in skincare repair.

“Once you stop, your face will turn back to where it was after a short period of time,” the expert explains. “It won’t be a longterm mend, and you’ll need to fix the outer skin barrier.”

Speaking of the skin barrier, HERE‘s why you should incorporate kakadu plum into your routine to help with skincare repair!

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