The What, How And Why Of Slugging


I’m not usually one to jump onto weird skincare trends (I will *not* put lube on my face), and yet here I sit after slugging, primed and slimed, ready to hit the hay and wake glowing in the morning. So what changed my mind? I’ll tell you. A ~crazy~ amount of TikTok-ers singing its praise, all with impressively clear and bright skin. And just like that, a week later and my complexion was as radiant as the sluggers who came before me. Whether you’ve heard of slugging already thanks to your FYP or a complete newbie, here’s everything you need to know.

What is slugging?

Slugging involves applying a thin layer of Vaseline all over the face, usually before bed. And thanks to Vaseline’s unmistakably smily texture, when you coat your face, yep you guessed correctly, it looks kinda slug-like. Nice. But before you get completely put off the idea, the trend comes from the world of K-beauty, who as a skincare community have a great track record of knowing a thing or two about achieving a radiant complexion.

How does it work?

Vaseline is an occlusive, which means it forms a physical protective barrier on the skin’s surface that locks in moisture. It creates a moist environment that allows your skin to stay hydrated whilst it slowly heals. The skin barrier is largely responsible for how your skin looks and feels, and since it is the top layer, it can get easily damaged. This means it is crucial to ensure it has sufficient hydration and is able to heal correctly when on the quest for a killer complexion. 

Will slugging work for me?

If you have particularly dry skin, or suffer from dry skin conditions such as eczema, slugging could work great for you as it prevents water loss and provides your skin the conditions it needs to heal. It is a great technique to use if your skin barrier is damaged or stressed from over treatment or environmental aggravation such as pollution too.

But what about breakouts, you ask? Since Vaseline’s molecules are too large to block your pores, you don’t need to be concerned about it causing acne if it isn’t already an issue. However, if you have naturally oily skin or are prone to breakouts, slug with caution. Due to Vaseline being so occlusive, it won’t allow natural oils to escape which can irritate the skin and cause spots. With this in mind, you may be better looking for a moisturiser or serum filled with hydrating and repairing ingredients, such as the Multi Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum by Allies of Skin.