Everything you need to know about skin slugging



If the world of K-beauty had to be defined in one word, it would undeniably be ‘trendsetting’.

After all, some of the most popular skincare rituals that are currently popular have been bestowed upon us by the Koreans.

The flawless, dewy, glass-like skin that the Koreans flaunt reflects the amount of effort that goes into maintaining such skin.

If you’ve jumped on the bandwagon of the very many K-beauty trends floating around, such as the 10-step skin ritual, double cleansing and so on, here’s the latest one that has TikTok abuzz – slugging.

What is slugging?

If you think it has something to do with petroleum jelly, you are right. It is the process of slathering petroleum jelly on your face as the final stage of your overnight skincare routine. The K-beauty community has popularised the custom on social media, although it’s worth noting that numerous cultures have been doing so for decades. According to popular opinion, it helps to lock in the moisture from the other products you’ve used and prevents water loss from the skin. The thick, slimy texture is reminiscent of slug mucus, which is where the trend’s moniker originates from.

How does slugging help?

When you think of petroleum jelly, your first thoughts undoubtedly are about its moisturising and healing properties. So you already know that it will only do good to your skin. The ultimate purpose of slugging is to lock in hydration. The jelly lies on top of the skin to insulate and keep it from losing moisture. It is said to be especially effective during the colder, less humid winter months when your skin might feel tight and dry. You can also try it for your feet and hands. Remove the dead skin with a pumice stone or a scrub and then apply thick moisturiser followed by petroleum jelly. Wear a pair of socks or gloves for deep hydration.

How to get the slugging routine right?

A quick and simple run-on on the steps:

Step 1: Cleanse your face.

Step 2: Apply moisturising actives like hyaluronic acid or glycerin liberally.

Step 3: Apply an occlusive or petroleum jelly to your face. (While TikTokers use a full handful for dramatic effect, you can get the same results with as little as a pea-size amount.)

Step 4: Take a few moments to relax before going to bed.

Yes, there are clauses

Petroleum jelly may or may not be comedogenic, but it’s definitely something that can adversely affect your pores and overwhelm them. I would advise people with acne-prone skin to avoid using petroleum jelly on their faces since it might clog pores and cause breakouts.

Further, if you have oily or blemish-prone skin, this jelly can be too greasy for you. Those with dry skin, on the other hand, may find it excellent for keeping their skin hydrated. If you have dry skin, slugging several times a week, or even daily for a few weeks might help. Those with oily skin, on the other hand, might want to do it less frequently or only during the winter months.

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