Slugging, unlike its name, does not involve coating your skin with the goo found on the underbellies of slugs (though there are skin care practices that do use it). IYKYK, it’s using Vaseline, or Auqphor—really any thick, occlusive, moisturizing substance, overnight to moisten, heal, and protect skin. The goal is to improve your skin’s barrier quickly, locking in moisture to reveal a healthy “glow.”
And while it’s trending more than Bridgerton right now, this method of skin care has been used by many for decades, especially by those with irritation, eczema, chapped skin, and notably dry skin. The best part? It’s super easy and super cheap. A tub of Vaseline that will allow you to slug until your heart’s content costs less than $10, while Aquaphor is under $15.
So, is slugging actually good for your skin?
Turns out, yes (with some caveats, but we’ll get to those). For those with dry skin, slugging will do all of the aforementioned above, plus, with regular use, you can keep dry flakes at bay for extended periods of time. Even if you’re not prone to dry skin, our epidermis loses moisture consistently, so a slug sesh here and there is a great, affordable way to seal in hydration and a healthy look and feel.
Application is simple, too. For best results, maintain your nighttime skin care routine: cleanse, tone (or don’t), apply a serum, a thin layer of moisturizer (if you have oily or sensitive skin, you can sit this step out), and then slug away. Cover your face in the occlusive ointment of your choice, get cozy, and sleep yourself into brilliant skin the next day.
When performed in this order, slugging can actually help increase the effectiveness of your other skin care products by locking them into skin overnight. This, combined with occlusive products’ protective abilities, can lead to healthier skin over time.
Just don’t get your hopes up. Slugging doesn’t clear pimples (possibly the opposite), it won’t help scars, and it doesn’t transform skin entirely. It’s simply a deep moisturizing method with a little extra sparkle.
How to know to skip the slug phenomena
While slugging isn’t harmful to most skin types, those with excessively oily skin, blackheads, moderate to severe acne, or blemishes should consider avoiding this craze. Why? The overnight-promise of healthy, youthful-looking skin may not be the results you get.
Let’s say you have oily skin. Adding a massive layer of an occlusive product that doesn’t allow moisture out will more than likely make your skin feel even more oily and may even lead to breakouts and irritation. Additionally, slugging may worsen skin for those with blackheads or acne, leading to more severe symptoms.
If you have any skin issues, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist (hey, we have those!) before slathering your face with Vaseline. Certain skin needs certain treatments, and this one may not be for you.
Beyond those with oily or irritable skin, even those with normal or combo skin types may want to test the waters before cannonballing into slugging. Too much of even a good thing can lead to clogged pores or negative results. If you’re new to this skin care technique, try it out once, maybe, twice a week, and see how your skin does. You may notice amazing results (yay!), you may not notice a thing and will need to try again, or you may realize your skin just isn’t liking this goop all over it.
However you decide to proceed, just be glad this addition to your skin care routine doesn’t 1.) cost more than that puffy sleeve top you’ve been coveting for summer, 2.) isn’t invasive, and 3.) doesn’t involve placing those creepy little critters all over your face.
Wanna start small? You’ve come to the right place
While we aren’t in the slugging business, we do have our own line of over-the-counter Skin Care products and prescription acne treatments that pair perfectly with the slugging routine—if you’re game, of course. And if you’re not ready to slug just yet, these clean skin care products are your go-to daily essentials and are cruelty and fragrance free, all natural, and designed by our team of dermatologists for all skin types.
Check out our Hyaluronic Acid Cleanser, Vitamin C Serum, and Vitamin C Moisturizer. Add them to your routine for a comprehensive approach to skin care. And, if you’re curious about why we include Vitamin C in our products, peep our blog on the benefits of Vitamin C.
At The Pill Club, our goal is to provide the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information to help readers make informed decisions. Articles are written by experienced contributors; they are grounded in research and evidence-based practices. All information has been fact-checked and extensively reviewed by our team of experts to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.