Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The Slugging Trend

Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi.

When I scroll on TikTok, it’s rare for me to watch a new beauty trend. Truthfully, the beauty industry is ever-evolving, and beauty trend posts seem to last longer than the actual trend itself. However, I was intrigued when I saw a Gen-Z content creator put Vaseline across her face and call it slugging. To me, “slugging” isn’t a newfound trend. Vaseline has been a beauty secret for me and many families of color. I vividly remember watching my mom moisturize her under eyes and lips using Vaseline. This beauty hack mainly existed in my household because it was the beauty routine my mother could afford. Growing up in an underserved community, there was no room in the budget for top-of-the-line beauty products.  

Outside of Vaseline being an affordable skincare product for Black and Brown families, I never knew of its benefits. All I knew was that it was affordable and could be found at any local drugstore. As the “trend” grew, I continued to wonder if this hack was truly meant for everyone and what the proper way to use it was. I reached out to Ashley White, a certified esthetician who prioritizes educating her clients so that they can achieve the skin of their dreams. 

Below, she breaks down everything you need to know about slugging. 

What exactly is “slugging?”

“The idea of slugging is using ointment (usually with petrolatum) as the last step or only step in your nighttime routine,” says White. Applying Vaseline at night was a new concept to me. I often saw that various family members used it during the day since nighttime skincare routines weren’t prioritized. Slugging as a nighttime regime seems more productive for reviving the skin, primarily when used with other skin treatments. White adds, “the purpose of doing this is to rehabilitate or maintain a healthy skin barrier.” 

The benefits 

“Vaseline is phenomenal for wound healing, barrier protection, and enhanced penetration of skin actives,” White mentions. Depending on the strength of your skin barrier, Vaseline could be an excellent baseline for harsher skin care products. “I mostly recommend using Vaseline to my clients starting a retinol. The corners of our eyes, nose, and mouth are sensitive areas. Applying a small amount to those areas before applying retinol keeps that active from traveling,” says White. Afterall, there’s nothing worse than damaging your skin barrier after using an active to enhance it. Adding an extra step to protect the skin can save us pain, discomfort, and time. 

The disadvantages 

Like many skincare products, this product may only sit well with some. White shares, “since Vaseline can enhance ingredient penetration, this could be an issue for sensitive skin types and those with seborrheic dermatitis.” Those in humid climates may also want to think twice before using the slugging method. White says, “people living in humid environments may experience a heat-trapping effect that can cause a flush of rosacea.”  

As for oily skin, a benefit may come with a sacrifice. White shares, “While Vaseline is safe for oily skin, this skin type may have a hard time adjusting to the greasy texture of this product.” It’s clear that when it comes to this method, it’s best to determine if the disadvantages outweigh the advantages for your skin type. 

How often should you use the slugging method?

With so many different skin types and needs, it’s best to remember usage could look different for everyone. White gave us an overall usage limit for slugging. However, please feel free to test and see what works best for you and go from there. White says, “It’s always a good practice to start 1 to 2 times a week, then increase frequency over time.” It’s also okay to decrease the number of times you’d like to use this method if your skin isn’t aligning with the product’s intentions. Always remember that trends are fun, but healthy and happy skin should be the main priority. 

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