First, there was slugging, then there was hair slugging, now there’s body slugging. To the average person, the word “slugging” likely conjures up images of slimy, creepy-crawly creatures with tiny antennas. For K-beauty lovers, however (particularly those who frequent TikTok), the term means something entirely different. Granted, the skin care craze does involve some level of slime, but aside from that, it has nothing to do with the slow-moving mollusk. Rather, to “slug” your skin is to apply an occlusive product (like Vaseline) as the last step of your skin care routine to seal in moisture, leading to plumper, glowier skin. It’s not exactly surprising that the concept is also being applied to body care and as a result, body slugging is one of the latest trends to emerge on TikTok.
“The concept of slugging can apply to any skin area, not only the face,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King tells TZR. “It’s particularly helpful for areas that tend to be dry, like elbows, knees, feet, hands, cuticles.” TikTok user @GlowWithAva, whose video about body slugging has amassed over 228,000 views, says that she likes to slug using Vaseline on extra-dry areas like the cuticles and elbows as well as her neck and decolletage to help with “tech neck.”
“Locking in moisture will help to keep the skin hydrated and plump,” Dr. King explains. “For dry skin, particularly in a dry environment that will exacerbate transepidermal water loss and dryness of the skin, applying an occlusive like petrolatum can be very helpful.”
The most effective slugging routine, however, is about more than just slathering on Vaseline. Dr. King says that first, you should apply a product with humectants to help hydrate the skin (hyaluronic acid is a good example) and emollients (such as shea butter or beeswax) to support the skin barrier.
“Then follow with a generous amount of an occlusive, like Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Original,” she says. “And unlike the face, you can then follow with clothing like socks or cotton gloves, for example, to further increase penetration and avoid wiping all of the product off on your sheets.”
Ahead, check out more of Dr. King’s slugging recommendations for your most hydrated skin yet.
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