Written by Subuola Oyeleye
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We’ve probably all heard about the trend “slugging” by now – one of the many K-Beauty trends that has taken social media by storm. If you haven’t, slugging is essentially slathering an occlusive based product (like vaseline, aquaphor or the cerave healing ointment) on your face as the last step of your night-time skincare routine.
Sounds strange – but it has its benefits. One of the main functions of “slugging” is preventing TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss) which is basically losing water and moisture from your skin. People that deal with constantly dry and/or dehydrated skin are no stranger to this and “slugging” can somewhat be a silent saviour. It works by locking in the moisture (as well as other products you’ve used in your routine) to reduce this process of water loss from the skin and believe it or not – when used the right way – it does leave your skin plump and baby-like overtime. As a plus, it has amazing benefits for your skin barrier and when your skin barrier is healthy a lot of other skincare concerns can fall into the right place.
Things to consider before slugging
1) Skip the retinoids, BHA’s or AHA’s
Like with any other viral skincare trend – people tend to leave out the downsides. For starters, slugging after using products that contain AHA’s, BHA’s and retinoids is a no go – this would only irritate your skin. This is because when you lock these types of actives into your skin with an occlusive it can increase the potency of the actives to a potentially irritating extent causing further damage to your skin barrier.
2) If you have acne or oily skin give it a miss
Additionally, if you’re dealing with acne or have oily skin, slugging is not the trend for you. This would only trap the acne-causing bacteria and oil in your skin and lead to worsened acne. That being said, slugging in itself does not clog the skin – this is massively dependent on the skincare products being used before the occlusive. I wouldn’t recommend using any oil-based products/ products with any potentially comedogenic ingredients under an occlusive as this would only trap them in.
If you’ve had a read through and you match the criteria of who slugging would work for, the perfect slugging routine includes a cleanser, hydrating serum(s), a good moisturiser and your occlusive. Here’s my tried and tested slugging routine for dry-normal skin and the results are great, if I do say so myself:
Youth To The People
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Gel
The Inkey List
Polyglutamic Acid Serum
Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream
Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm