To slug or not to slug - that is the question...

jANUARY 23, 2023

Slugging - What is it, what does it do, is it beneficial?

Slugging involves coating your face in petrolatum or Vaseline. The aim is to prevent transepidermal water loss and lock moisture into the skin. It is most relevant for those with dry, sensitive or irritated skin.

Lipids are the glue that sticks together our stratum corneum, or outermost layer of skin.  Any damage to this epidermal barrier, leads to transpeidermal water loss, dryness and sensitivity. When the lipids in your skin are depleted, whether it be via environmental stressors, overvigorous use of skincare, or your genes, using occlusive skincare can help heal the problem.  Petrolatum prevents most moisture loss from the skin, and hence, aids with healing the epidermal barrier.

Petrolatum can be applied over some active skincare ingredients such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and anti-inflammatory cosmeceuticals ingredients. I would avoid applying over any ingredients which can potentially irritate the skin, as occlusion can increase the irritancy of active ingredients.  So, retinioids, AHAs and vitamin C may not play so well with the slugging trend.

Though petrolatum is not comedogenic by definition, it is occlusive, so is best avoided in those who are prone to acne or breakouts – or in those with combination skin, I wouldn’t “slug” in the areas where you experience acne.

But, if your skin barrier is compromised, or you feel as if your skin is in need of a moisture surge, slugging is a cost-effective way to boost your glow factor. 

If you’re wanting to try the viral Tik-Tok trend, the Bespoke products that are compatible with ‘Slugging’ are Dream Cream, Radiance Reset Anti-Pollution Cleanser, & Replenish Cleansing Butter. 

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