Your guide to slugging: the latest TikTok skincare trend

If your TikTok #fyp looks anything like ours, you're probably seeing the slugging trend everywhere...and we mean *everywhere*. Hopefully by now, you've figured out that the slugging technique has nothing to do with the slimy creature, and everything to do with bright, glowing skin. Interested in trying it for yourself, but not sure where to start? Here is your ultimate guide to the latest TikTok skincare trend. 

What is slugging? 

Skin slugging has garnered extreme popularity on social platforms in recent months. On TikTok alone, #slugging, has over 196.8 million views. So, what exactly is slugging? Is it worth the hype? According to Dr. Mamina Turegaano, MD, triple board-certified dermatologist, slugging is when you apply a thick layer of a petrolatum-based product (think Vaseline, Aquaphor etc.) to your face as an overnight mask. The slugging process might be a little messier than applying your classic, daily moisturizer, but the positive results are definitley worth the slippery feeling. 

@haleypham y’all…#slugging #skincare #tretinoin ♬ Elevator Music - Renja Ferry

How slugging helps your skin 

So your skin is feeling extra dry and dull this winter? You are not alone. Whether your hometown is a snowy winter wonderland or it's just been a little chillier lately, your skin may be facing irritation. Fear not—slugging has the power to protect your complexion from the harsh effects of the cold. Slugging essentially creates a barrier between your skin and everything else, preventing transepidermal water loss (when hydration naturally evaporates from your skin). Slugging keeps your skin protected and locks in moisture. Enter: waking up with a baby smooth face. 

You may be thinking that applying greasy-feeling products to a damaged skin barrier sounds counterintuative. Products like Vaseline, Aquaphor and Cetaphil Healing Ointment however, do not clog your pores, explains Dr. Turegaano. If you have an acne-prone complexion, slugging may exacerbate the effects, she warns, but otherwise, the technique is great for dry skin types. 

How to slug 

It's officially time to slug! Start by completing your full skincare routine. Slugging should be the final step to seal everything in. Be mindful of if your prodcuts contain strong ingredients like retinol—slugging can sometimes amplify these effects and make them harsh on the skin. Once you've done the works (cleansed, moisturized, jade rolled, spot treated, etc.), grab your petrolatum product. While some TikTok videos are a little dramatic, IRL you really only need about a pea-sized amount to get the job done. Smooth the product all over your skin before bed and wake up with a soft, radiant complexion. Now, it's your turn—happy slugging!

Tag us in your glowing skin pics on Insta @girlslifemag for a chance to be featured! 


by Kyra Surgent | 3/7/2022