Every so often, a beauty hack will take the internet by storm and influencers, YouTubers and beauty aficionados alike will flock to try it out. Such is the incredibly exciting and adventurous life of a beauty lover. Most recently, the beauty hack responsible for transforming my life — well, my skin, but what’s the difference? — is slugging. Granted, it doesn’t sound all too enticing, but once you hear what this one small addition to your skincare routine can do for you, we promise you’ll be hooked. Best of all, we’re not just telling you; we’re going to teach you how to slug the right way.
What is it?
Slugging is the act of coating your skin with an occlusive product — fan favourites include Vaseline and Aquaphor — to seal in moisture and help your skin heal overnight. FYI: An occlusive is an agent that forms a protective barrier on the surface of your skin to prevent moisture loss. Aside from helping with hydration, slugging can also help prevent dry flakes and patches, therefore improving your skin’s texture. Here’s a pro-tip from Dr. Alexis Stephens, a dermatologist on TikTok: after you slug, tie your hair back before bed and make sure to use a pillowcase that is clean to ensure a mess-free night and maximum benefit.
A step-by-step guide to slugging
Ideally, slugging should happen at the end of the night during your bedtime skincare routine. Here’s a breakdown of how slugging generally works.
Step 1: Cleanse
Cleanse your skin as you usually would. Whether it’s micellar water or a cleanser, make sure to clean off the impurities of the day before you begin locking in products on your skin.
Step 2: Hydrate
Use a hydrating serum or moisturizer to plump up your skin and hydrate it before applying your sealing agent. This is also where you would apply any other products that you normally would as part of your regular skincare routine. As someone with dry skin, hyaluronic acid and a night cream work wonders for me.
Step 3: Slug
Take a pea-sized amount of your occlusive agent of choice (I personally like Vaseline because of my skin concerns, CeraVe’s Healing Ointment is another influencer favourite) and apply a thin layer evenly on your skin. Less is more here!
If you suffer from blackheads, apply a salicylic acid serum or BHA toner to your problem areas and apply your occlusive agent on top to lock it in and help the products work better. However, as with many beauty hacks, this may not work for everyone, so test it out for a few days before committing to this method.
For dry hands
Dry hands are one of the most bothersome casualties of winter, but fear not, slugging can help with this dry weather woe, too. Reach for your go-to hand moisturizer and apply a pea-sized amount to your hands. After rubbing it in, use your occlusive agent on top for extra hydration. Pro-tip: if you’re doing this at night, cover your hands with moisture gloves or anything else you may have handy to prevent a mess and maximize the benefits of your new skincare step.
For fine lines
Trying to prevent (or minimize) fine lines around your eyes? You’re not alone. Your eye area is naturally prone to premature fine lines due to how thin the skin is, but slugging can help slow down the process. Take a small amount of your occlusive agent and apply it evenly around your eye area. However, I would recommend doing this during the day to avoid getting any products in your eyes while you’re asleep.
There are myriad problems this beauty hack can help you combat; all you needed to know was how to slug the right way. Now that you do, go forth and enjoy your supple, glowy skin — we sure are!
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