What Is Slugging?
It's slugging season! No we aren't talking about the animal, we are talking about the skincare technique that is ideal to help your skin over winter!

What is slugging?
Slugging is a technique from Korea (all good barrier support techniques originate here) used to help repair and moisturise the skin by applying a thin layer of an occlusive product, most commonly vaseline, over the skin and leaving it on overnight. It is said to make you wake up with fresh, 'reborn' looking skin. The technique gets it's name slugging from the fact that your skin looks glossy or slimy with the vaseline on, similar to the slime that slugs and snails leave behind as they move.

Does slugging work?
Yes it does, it is especially helpful during winter when your skin is drier and really needs help keeping all hydration contained in the skin. By applying an occlusive to the surface after all your other skincare, you are locking all that moisture and goodness in place. It is an especially great technique when you have damaged your skin barrier and it feels irritated and inflamed, by just applying vaseline (or an alternative) over the surface you are allowing your skin to repair itself.

Can anyone slug?
Yes and no, it's all going to depend on your skin and how you find it handles certain things.
The technique is especially great for anyone with dry skin, even balanced (normal) skin, however if you have combination - oily skin and you are acne-prone you may want to avoid this technique. Whilst vaseline isn't comodegenic (pore clogging), it does prevent your skin's sebum escaping the surface, meaning you could potentially cause breakouts by slugging.
*Myself personally, I cannot slug due to the fact that I will 100% breakout the next day, I do however slug around my eye area during winter as the skin around my eyes can get quite irritated and dry.

What do you use to slug?
Most commonly Vaseline is used for slugging, or you can use any petrolatum-based product. Despite claims otherwise, vaseline and other petrolatum based products are save for your skin.
If you want to avoid petrolatum in your skincare, there are some alternatives on the market that are harder to find, mostly using castor oil as the base, which will work. Alternatively you can use a face oil, but you won't get exactly the same effect.

How do you slug?
It's really simple, do your regular skincare routine, then to finish off apply a thin layer of vaseline, petrolatum-based product or alternative to the entire face. Sleep with this on overnight and wash off in the morning.
Avoid using actives like retinol, exfoliating acids and vitamin c in your slugging routine, as applying a petrolatum-based product over the top could potentially increase the potency, save the slugging technique for your recovery nights where you just want to hydrate and support your barrier.

How often should you slug?
Again this is going to depend on the individual person and your skin. If you are someone with a very damaged barrier or extremely dry skin, you can slug every night, otherwise slugging a few nights a week is ideal.
Make sure you have an old, clean pillowcase on your pillows, as the products will get onto it during the night (and we don't want to ruin a nice fancy pillowcase!) and always wash your face with a cleanser in the morning to remove the residue.

So if you are someone with very inflamed, dry skin and you are looking for a solution, give slugging a go!

If you don't think slugging is right for you are your skin, try one of these other techniques to support your skin barrier and add much needed hydration to your skin...
Skin Flooding
Skin Cycling
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