How Often Should You Do Slugging? Slugging Skincare Guide

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If you’re a regular TikTok user or Reddit Skincare addict, then you are always ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest viral skincare trends. And skin slugging, which is also known simply as slugging, is one of the biggest viral beauty hacks that has hit the social media scene over the past few years.

Originating from South Korea, this K-Beauty trend works well for those who have very dry skin, because you coat the skin with a product to prevent moisture from escaping. The petroleum creates a skin barrier, keeps your skin well hydrated with a bonus added glow. 

But how often should you do slugging? It depends on your skin and rhythms, but what I did was start with once per week, and then moved on to every other night to see how my skin reacted.

I’ll explain below.


How Often Should You Do Slugging?

It’s hard to say how often you should do slugging, as it depends on the condition of your skin and pores. Slugging can lead to breakouts because the jelly seals off the skin, preventing the skin from breathing.

However, if your skin is in good shape, you can try slugging once per week, and gradually move up to every other night if you find the benefits are significant enough to keep it going.

if your skin is in good shape, you can try slugging once per week, and gradually move up to every other night if you find the benefits are significant enough to keep it going.


What Are the Benefits of Slugging?

If you want to jump on the slugging bandwagon, then all you need is a jar of petroleum jelly, Aquaphor, or Vaseline to do it. After you perform your usual skincare routine, and finishing off with your moisturizer, you simply lather a layer of petroleum jelly or Aquaphor onto your face. Leave it overnight and wait for the magic to happen.

The petroleum jelly works by coating the top layer of skin, which protects it from the environment, while also preventing moisture from escaping. The end result is that your skin stays soft and hydrated, with many slugging enthusiasts also reporting that doing so leaves their skin with a gorgeous glow.

Luckily, you don’t need to use actual slugs to do slugging, although this trending beauty technique gets its name from the slug-like sheen that is left on your skin after the fact, which gives your skin the glow mentioned above.


Where Did Slugging Actually Come From?

Although this K-Beauty skincare trend has gone viral on TikTok, slugging is not new. In fact, in 2014 the skin care technique appeared in a Reddit thread. But even before then, using petroleum jelly to protect and moisten the skin has been recorded as far back as the 15th Century when Native American tribes used it to heal wounds.

It’s gone mainstream enough that Dermatologists have weighed in, agreeing that slugging actually works, especially for those who suffer from very dry and flaky skin — and don’t we all during these colder winter months!

But when and how often should you do your slugging?

First, we need to take a look at the science behind slugging…

Being Occlusive

Petroleum jelly, or Vaseline, is what is known as an occlusive, which is a moisturizing substance that creates a barrier on top of the skin in order to prevent moisture loss and lock in hydration. Other occlusives include silicone, mineral oil, waxes, dimethicone, and lanolin.

Occlusives are unlike emollients, which include products like oils, butters, and fatty acids, and work to help heal inflammation, as well as keep the skin supple. Saying that though, emollients also have occlusive properties, so can also be used for slugging – especially if you have sensitive skin or problems with clogged pores.

Being occlusive, petroleum jelly helps the skin to repair itself by forming a seal that locks in moisture, while also working to keep any dirt or bacteria away from the skin. This is why using this long-standing beauty product for slugging works well for those with dry skin conditions.

However, there is a downside to slugging if you have acne or oily skin. That’s because slugging will also trap in oil, debris clogged in enlarged pores, and dead skin cells, which will encourage bacterial overgrowth, and make you more prone to breakouts.

Therefore, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, then you’ll probably want to avoid the slugging trend. To read more on this topic, click here to read my article, Is Slugging Good For Acne?

When Should You Do Slugging?

When is the best time to do slugging, and how often should you do it? 

Well, that totally depends on your actual skin type, and what your concern is on the day. For instance, if you’ve just spent the day snowboarding, then you’ll definitely want to consider slugging your face!

Many slugging enthusiasts choose to do slugging at night so that they wake up with a gorgeous glow. If you choose to do your slugging at night, then make sure that you do so at least an hour before you go to bed, and a couple of hours after your normal nighttime routine.

Otherwise, your pillowcases will suffer the consequences!

Of course, there are no rules. So if you choose to slug in the morning instead, go right ahead.

Just don’t expect to apply your usual makeup on top though, because there’s a good chance that it will slide right off. So, be prepared to go makeup free on the days you choose to do this.

Many slugging enthusiasts choose to do slugging at night so that they wake up with a gorgeous glow. If you choose to do your slugging at night, then make sure that you do so at least an hour before you go to bed, and a couple of hours after your normal nighttime routine.

You only need a small amount of petroleum jelly to do your slugging. Just a dime-sized portion should be enough to cover your entire face with a thin layer, which is enough to work the magic.

Petroleum Jelly Alternatives For Slugging

If you want to try slugging but don’t want to slather slimy Vaseline on your face, there are a couple of other products to use for slugging you may want to try.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a water-free and multi-purpose product that works well to heal extremely dry skin, and can even be used to soothe chapped lips.

This ointment works by creating a protective barrier on the skin, but also allows for the flow of oxygen underneath, so that your skin has an ideal environment in which to heal. Along with 40% petrolatum, Aquaphor also contains pro-vitamin B5, bisabolol, glycerin, and lanolin alcohol — which means it’s not suitable for use by vegans.

Another alternative is Cetaphil Soothing Gel Cream with Aloe , which is a unique, and ultra-lightweight formula that works to heal dry, chapped, and skin that’s been irritated from the wind and cold.

Containing restorative ingredients like allantoin, which offers long-lasting environmental protection, vitamin E, and aloe vera to soothe and nourish skin, Cetaphil Soothing Gel Cream can be used for slugging to leave your skin feeling healthy and hydrated.


Final Thoughts

So, how often should you do slugging? Well, that depends on how dry your skin is and whether it needs it or not. Slugging your skin too often could end up blocking your pores, and leaving it prone to breaking out.

But when you find your slugging rhythm, whether that’s every other night, or once a week, you can be sure that you’ll wake up to a gorgeous glow to your face that you’ll be more than pleased with.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).