The Hack For Making Slugging 10x More Effective

South Korea is known for its skincare world, which is why its beauty secrets are taking over the world. In fact, the immense popularity of Korean beauty brands such as Glow Recipe, Innisfree, and Peach & Lily appear to be expanding rapidly. We've learned a lot from K-beauty in recent years, including what glass skin (clear and dewy-looking skin that looks just like glass) and what great skin-makeup hybrids, which are makeup products with skincare benefits, are, per Refinery29

If you follow K-beauty to its core, you must have heard of slugging: a viral skin hack on TikTok and Instagram. In defining this skincare term, New York-based dermatologist Adarsh Vijay Mudgil told Cosmopolitan, "Slugging, which comes from the K-beauty world and then went viral on Reddit, involves putting a thin layer of Vaseline on your face to help prevent water loss." In the process, it can also heal your skin if your skin barrier is damaged. 

The reason why slugging gives you such amazing skin is that the occlusive forms "a physical barrier" to keep the moisture in and stop loss of hydration that a humectant and emollient can't do as well. It makes your skin slimy like a slug, hence the term slugging. Furthermore, Dr. Angelo Landriscina told Byrdie, "Petrolatum prevents most water loss while allowing your skin to repair its barrier, leaving it better off once the petrolatum is removed." 

We know what slugging is and how it helps your skincare, but there is a hack that can make it work even better for you — and that is what you try slugging with. Ready for baby smooth skin?

Slugging is better with eco-friendly oils than petroleum

Most people automatically think of petroleum jelly as the go-to product for slugging. According to MindBodyGreen, switching it with a vegetable or fruit oil-infused balm works even better, and they are more eco-friendly. Clean cosmetic chemist Krupa Koestline told the outlet, "Mineral oil is petrochemical derived, meaning it's environmentally irresponsible to use mineral oil when there are vegetable and fruit oils, like coconut oil, that are more sustainable." 

Using oils like coconut and jojoba is kinder to your skin and the planet. While it is essential to keep your skin moisturized at all hours of the day, slugging will be best "as the last step of your nighttime routine." Our skin is most susceptible to losing moisture at night when we are sleeping, and that's when using an extra barrier to prevent moisture loss is so important (via MindBodyGreen). Our skin repairs and rejuvenates itself at night, so adding a little extra TLC before bed is an excellent idea.

Another tip to make slugging work even better is if you use it after using a humectant, like glycerin, because humectants attract water to your skin and occlusives seal it, per CNET. They will work together to relieve you of dry skin and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

The science behind how slugging works

When you moisturize your face, it is wise to use skincare products that have three general types of ingredients: humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Board-certified dermatologist Tiffany Tibby told Well + Good, "Humectants help hydrate and draw moisture into the skin, emollients add back moisturizing oils, and occlusives then help seal in moisture to prevent moisture loss." 

The products used for slugging fall under the occlusive category, which is beneficial for dry skin, eczema, and even to heal minor wounds, as the last step to seal in all the moisture. Slugging sounds like a dream come true for skin, but it might not work for everyone. Dr. Alexis Parcells, a board-certified plastic surgeon, recommends less to no slugging for people with oily skin (via Elle). You should check products' labels to ensure that the oils used won't clog your pores because it might make your skin worse, as not all oils are comedogenic.

Best products for slugging

We know that occlusives like Vaseline's petroleum jelly work their magic to give you the smoothest and softest skin of your life the following day, but these balms are even better. Here are some options for slugging that you can add to your skincare routine to get that endless glow that will last all day.

MindBodyGreen loves Peach & Lily Rescue Balm, which is infused with oils like sunflower seed and castor seed and combined with plant-based waxes for a more decadent, balm-like consistency. Alicia Yoon, celebrity esthetician and founder of Peach & Lily, told the outlet, "It's my modified version of slugging: Over my moisturizer, I melt it into my hands, then slowly roll my palms over my face, just pressing it into my skin." 

If you have oily skin and are worried about pasting Vaseline on your face, Cosmopolitan recommends Missha Super Aqua ell Renew Snail Cream. According to Missha, it has 70 percent snail slime to heal damaged skin by strengthening your skin barrier and improving water retention. Meanwhile, Elle recommends Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer. According to the brand, it has fig extracts that help your skin get soft and smooth. 

Additional plant-based ceramides, shea butter, and vitamin E help the skin barrier. Your skin doesn't have to look greasy for slugging anymore, and you will get equally moisturized skin that is soft and supple. If it works for you, maybe you can also consider if you should be doing hair slugging, too.