What Is Slugging? The Reddit Skincare Hack You Need to Try 2021

One fateful evening, many moons in the past (*dims lights*), I seemed within the toilet mirror earlier than mattress and realized that my pores and skin was completely, positively, completely f*cked up. My face was perpetually purple and dry, I had a tiny rash round my nostril, a smattering of cystic zits had claimed sovereignty on my chin, and my pores and skin itched and tingled all day lengthy. This promptly kicked off a weeklong analysis/crying jag that led me to the very great factor known as slugging, which was finally the important thing to therapeutic my offended messed-up pores and skin.You’ve in all probability heard of slugging earlier than, particularly now that’s it’s been trending on TikTok and IG in the previous few months. But if not, right here’s the short gist: “Slugging, which comes from the Okay-beauty world after which went viral on Reddit, entails placing a skinny layer of Vaseline in your face to assist stop water loss,” says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, dermatologist and founding father of Mudgil Dermatology in New York City.

And if that little rationalization simply opened up extra questions than it answered—particularly like how TF does Vaseline repair your face?!—then I get it, and I’ve received you with all the pieces you want to find out about slugging, under.What does slugging imply?The time period “slugging” comes from the concept that after you coat your pores and skin in Vaseline, your face finally ends up wanting shiny and ~slimy~, kinda like a slug. Yum. As Dr. Mudgil mentions, slugging comes from the world of Okay-beauty, the place moisture reigns as a very powerful side of skincare, and slugging is the final word means to max out your moisture. How does slugging work for pores and skin?At its core, slugging is solely coating your face in an occlusive moisturizer, like Vaseline or any petrolatum-based formulation, so as to assist it heal. An occlusive, FYI (since you’ll see this time period used lots), is a moisturizing agent that creates a bodily barrier in your pores and skin to lock in hydration and stop water loss. “We use occlusives, or Vaseline, for wound therapeutic after surgical procedures,” says Dr. Mudgil. “I’ll put it over stitches as a result of it retains the wound moist and helps it heal quicker.”

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So how does that apply to your face? Welp, your pores and skin barrier—i.e., the highest layer of your pores and skin that’s largely accountable for how your face seems to be and feels—can get broken (or wounded) fairly simply by something from solar publicity to air pollution to utilizing overly harsh skincare merchandise. Take me, crying within the toilet mirror a number of years in the past: I had, in an effort to repair my facial keratosis pilaris, doused my face with salicylic acid each single evening for months, ignoring the tingles and itches, till I had very slowly and unknowingly destroyed my pores and skin barrier.“When your pores and skin barrier doesn’t have an efficient steadiness of fat, the moisture and hydration that make your pores and skin look supple, full, and plump can’t be maintained,” Dana Stern, MD, dermatologist and assistant scientific professor at Mount Sinai in NYC, has instructed Cosmo. And that’s what can occur if you go overboard on the peels, scrubs, and acids—you’ll be able to break down your pores and skin barrier, leaving it wounded and susceptible to exterior chaos. Slugging, nevertheless, can assist restore the harm by making a moist atmosphere that enables your barrier to slowly heal and rebuild itself. “For actually dry pores and skin, or eczema, I believe slugging works very properly,” says Dr. Mudgil. “It locks in hydration and actually forces the moisture again into the cells.” Is slugging dangerous for zits?Yes and no—however in all probability not for the explanations you suppose. Vaseline will get a nasty rap due to its greasy really feel, so it has to be a recipe for clogged pores, proper? Actually, no. Vaseline by itself received’t clog pores, as a result of the scale of its molecules are too massive to match into your pores, making Vaseline utterly noncomedogenic (severely, there are even revealed research to show it). So should you’re somebody who by no means breaks out and has bone-dry or broken pores and skin, don’t let the concern of zits cease you from slugging, as a result of Vaseline will not be the enemy.That being mentioned, should you’re naturally oily or acne-prone, slugging is dangerous. “For acne-prone people, I’d say keep away,” says Dr. Mudgil. “Vaseline is so occlusive that it received’t let your pores and skin oils escape, which might irritate the hair follicle and stimulate zits.” Basically, that entire “let your pores and skin breathe” factor could be very true when it comes to zits. Instead, Dr. Mudgil suggests swapping out your common moisturizer for one which’s stuffed with barrier-repairing elements (suppose: ceramides and hyaluronic acid), like one in all these under:

The greatest slugging merchandise to your pores and skin kind

For oily/acne-prone pores and skin
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

For oily/acne-prone pores and skin
Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

For dry/broken pores and skin
Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly

For dry/broken pores and skin
CeraVe Healing Ointment

How do you slug your face?You can slug two methods: in a single day (the normal means) or short-contact (like a wash-off face masks). Here’s how to do every one.〰️ How to slug in a single day 〰️Your pores and skin works hardest to restore itself whilst you sleep, so slugging proper earlier than mattress is the popular and hottest technique. The draw back? You’re going to stick to your pillowcase (and depart some grease marks behind), so get out your white linens and settle for a bit facial discomfort till you get used to the slug life.Step 1: Do your regular skincare routine, however omit any spot remedies or face oils.Step 2: While your pores and skin remains to be barely damp from merchandise, unfold a pea-size scoop of Vaseline over your pores and skin. You don’t want a thick layer—so long as you’re coated, you’re slugging.Step 3: In the morning, cleanse your pores and skin to take away any extra Vaseline (use an oil cleanser if needed).〰️ How to short-contact slug 〰️Initially, I attempted the normal slugging technique, however I simply couldn’t get previous the stickiness. So as an alternative, I did short-contact remedy—i.e., slugged for a number of hours each evening earlier than I showered. It wasn’t fairly as efficient or fast-acting as common slugging, but it surely nonetheless helped heal my broken pores and skin barrier with out messing with my sleep. Here’s how I did it:Step 1: Right once I received dwelling from work every day, I eliminated all of my make-up washed my face like common.Step 2: Then, with my pores and skin nonetheless visibly damp from cleaning, I coated my face in a skinny layer of Vaseline.Step 3: I went about my common night actions (consuming, Netflixing, phone-scrolling) for a number of hours, earlier than hopping within the bathe and washing off the Vaseline and following with my common skincare routine.How typically do you have to do slugging?That’s up to you and your pores and skin wants. For me and my messed-up pores and skin barrier, I had to stick to the slugging life for 2 months straight to get my itching and irritation below management (in hindsight, I ought to have simply gone to the dermatologist instantly—please don’t strive to repair rashes by yourself; it’s so not price it). But in case your pores and skin is just a bit tight and dry from, say, an overzealous at-home peel or going a bit too laborious on the retinol cream, you’ll undoubtedly see some enhancements inside every week. And if not? Please get thyself to a derm ASAP (even when it’s digital).

Chloe Metzger
Deputy Beauty Director
Chloe Metzger is the deputy magnificence director at Cosmopolitan, obsessively writing about new make-up launches, the very best hair merchandise (curly woman right here; whattup), and the skincare formulation that actually work for each pores and skin kind (observe her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that journal life).

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