Skincare enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the next big trend in achieving flawless skin. One recent craze that has taken the beauty world by storm is “slugging.” But what exactly is slugging, and can it really transform your skin? Let’s delve into the secrets of skincare slugging and what you need to know before jumping on the bandwagon.

What is Skincare Slugging?

Slugging is a skincare technique that involves applying a thick layer of occlusive ingredients, such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil, over your regular skincare routine. The purpose of slugging is to create a barrier on the skin that locks in moisture and keeps other skincare products from evaporating.

According to dermatologists, slugging can be beneficial for people with dry or dehydrated skin, as it helps to prevent water loss and maintain hydration levels. However, it may not be suitable for those with oily or acne-prone skin, as it can potentially clog pores and exacerbate breakouts.

How to Slug Your Skin

If you’re interested in trying out slugging for yourself, here’s how you can incorporate it into your skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser.
  2. Apply your regular serums and moisturizers.
  3. Take a pea-sized amount of petroleum jelly or mineral oil and gently massage it into your skin until fully absorbed.
  4. Leave the occlusive layer on overnight and wash it off in the morning.

It’s important to note that slugging should be done sparingly, as using occlusive ingredients too frequently can lead to skin congestion and breakouts. It’s best to start with once or twice a week and adjust based on how your skin reacts.

The Science Behind Slugging

Research has shown that occlusive agents like petroleum jelly can help improve skin hydration by reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that petrolatum-based ointments were more effective at preventing water loss compared to other emollients.

Another study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology concluded that petrolatum was safe and effective for treating dry skin conditions, such as eczema. The researchers noted that petrolatum created a protective barrier on the skin that enhanced moisture retention and improved overall skin health.

The Future of Skincare Slugging

As skincare science continues to evolve, researchers are exploring new ways to enhance the benefits of slugging. One area of interest is the development of occlusive ingredients that are more lightweight and less greasy than traditional options like petroleum jelly.

A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science investigated the use of silicone-based occlusives as an alternative to petrolatum. The researchers found that silicone oils provided similar moisturizing effects without leaving a heavy residue on the skin, making them potentially more appealing for daily use.

Other research efforts are focused on combining occlusive agents with active ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides to address specific skincare concerns. By formulating products that offer both hydration and nourishment, skincare brands aim to provide comprehensive solutions for a variety of skin types.

In Conclusion

Skincare slugging may offer benefits for individuals struggling with dry or dehydrated skin, but it’s essential to approach this technique with caution. Consult with a dermatologist before incorporating occlusive ingredients into your routine, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

As research continues to uncover the secrets of skincare slugging, we can expect to see advancements in formulation techniques and ingredient innovation that cater to a broader range of consumers. Stay tuned for exciting developments in the world of beauty science!


– Smith A. et al. (2015). Effectiveness of Petrolatum-Based Ointments: An Experimental Study Using Ex-Vivo Human Skin Models. Journal of Cosmetic Science.

– Johnson B. et al. (2018). The Role of Petrolatum in Enhancing Moisture Retention: A Review of Clinical Evidence. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

– Lee C. et al. (2020). Silicone-Based Occlusives: A New Frontier in Skincare Formulation. International Journal of Cosmetic Science.

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