Slugging is a skincare trend that’s been around for some time now, sparked by a social media post back in 2014. Flash-forward to today, and face slugging is still going strong. Why? Well, it’s actually an effective and gentle way to replenish and restore your skin, particularly if you’re prone to dryness and dehydration. And, while the name sounds a little off-putting—it’s nothing to do with slugs thankfully, it has everything to do with boosting your skin’s moisture levels, plumpness, and suppleness. Skin slugging does this by coating skin in a thick layer of an occlusive product and leaving it on overnight to set in. Sounds simple enough, right? It really is, and that’s why this skincare trend is still as popular as ever.
“Slugging is a skincare technique that has a lot of buzz about it still, because it actually can be so beneficial for people with dry or dehydrated skin,” explains Steph Scalet, Glo’s Global Aesthetics Lead. “It really is an effective and simple treatment for locking in moisture and helping the complexion feel more comfortable and strengthened. Think of it as like leaving your favorite hair mask on overnight for a deeper conditioning treatment.”
We dive into how to slug your face and what to use for slugging.
So what actually is slugging? “Slugging is a popular skincare trend whereby you coat your face in a layer of petroleum jelly or any other thick occlusive product just before you go to bed at night,” explains Steph. “Its goal is to prevent transepidermal water loss and lock moisture into your skin. And, doing it at night means it can work its magic while you sleep.”
If you’re wondering what occlusive means, it basically refers to any skincare product that acts as a moisturizing agent and forms a protective barrier or layer on your skin to prevent moisture loss. By using an occlusive like petroleum jelly or our Barrier Balm, you’re rounding out your nightly skincare routine by effectively locking in your products and moisturizer with this additional barrier. Overnight, it allows the products to absorb and sink into skin, so you wake up to glowing, conditioned, hydrated skin.
If you’re prone to dryness, dehydration, tightening of the skin—particularly in winter, dry patches, redness, or other sensitivities, then skin slugging could be super beneficial for you. “Face slugging is a very gentle process that doesn’t involve active ingredients, but rather soothing, conditioning, and hydrating products that help strengthen and replenish skin,” shares Steph.
If you have oily skin or are acne-prone, you may be concerned about slugging causing blocked pores or breakouts. “We’ll show you a hack to tailor your slugging routine for oily or acne-prone skin,” she adds.
And, you can always zone your slugging too, “If you know you’re prone to breakouts on your chin or forehead, try zoning your slugging to other areas instead.”
Wondering what to use for slugging? “When you see the slugging trend on TikTok, most of the time the video shows a user grabbing a tub of petroleum jelly and sticking a few fingers in the tub, then slathering the product on their skin. When we slug, we actually only want to use about a pea-sized amount of the product to coat our skin,” explains Steph.
“We strongly recommend using Barrier Balm as a more effective and targeted product. Unlike petroleum jelly, it has added ingredients including bisabolol, rose hip seed oil, and vitamin E to help soothe irritation on the skin, it also helps maintain skin’s elasticity, refine texture, and provide additional hydration while locking in moisture.”
Here's our quick and easy expert guide to how to slug your face in just a few steps.
After cleansing, spritz skin with Phyto-Calm Flower Mist to rehydrate skin and give your skin a boost of instant hydration.
From there, add 2-3 drops of HA-Revive Hyaluronic Drops. Hyaluronic acid replenishes cell moisture and we want to add this to skin immediately after misting when skin is still moist.
HA-Revive Hyaluronic Hydrator is perfect in a slugging routine because we’re trying to capture and maintain as much hydration as possible. This moisturizer has micro-molecule hyaluronic acid to dive deep within cells.
Face oils can be applied after moisturizers to seal everything in. Use 2-3 drops of Phyto-Active Conditioning Oil Drops for its conditioning squalane benefits.
The goal is to really nourish skin and lock in moisture. You can use this face oil on lips and eyelids as well as your full face. If you’re oily or acne prone, this will be your stopping point. Just add our Oil-Free Moisturizer as your hydrator, and you’re ready for your beauty sleep.
If you’re dry, dehydrated, or have combination skin, continue with your slugging ritual. Apply a pea-sized amount of Barrier Balm to the entire face. This will help prevent transepidermal water loss especially in the winter months and will help protect your skin's barrier. Hit the hay and wake up to nourished, conditioned skin.
And, this routine is also great for helping dry or cracked hands and feet in winter too.
As your skincare routine will be customized for your skin, so too will your slugging routine. You may want to experiment with different serums, oils, or creams to find the perfect combination for your complexion. “You’ll also want to play around with how many nights a week you’ll slug your face. In winter it may be most nights, while in summer it could be just one. Find the cadence that suits your skin the best,” advises Steph.
Discover even more about your skin’s moisture barrier with our handy guide.