What Is Slugging?

Welcome to the latest K-Beauty skincare trend that's been blowing up on TikTok: Slugging! Not the literal act of putting slugs on your face (although we'll try anything once), no slugs are harmed in the making of this slimy yet satisfying skincare trend. Slugging is the act of cocooning the face in a thick layer of rich occlusive moisture to lock in hydration and provide intense nourishment overnight. It's the last step in the evening skincare routine for those looking to repair and quench reactive, combination, dry, or very dry skin. 

An occlusive moisturizer traps in moisture

Why Slug?

Slugging enthusiasts and skincare pros boast 4 significant benefits to slugging:

Intense Hydration - Slugging helps to lock in moisture and prevent dehydration and is particularly beneficial for those with dry, dehydrated skin. The occlusive (physical barrier) nature of a slug layer means that water is trapped in the skin, keeping it hydrated for longer periods. It creates a physical barrier on the skin, preventing moisture from escaping through transepidermal water loss, or TEWL. What causes TEWL? Environmental factors like dry, cold air can damage the outermost layer of the skin and increase TEWL. Age - as our skin matures, its natural barrier function weakens, advancing TEWL. Skincare products - harsh or drying skincare products can strip the skin's natural oils, increasing TEWL. And certain skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, can disrupt the skin's natural barrier function and advance TEWL.

Improved Barrier Function - battling dehydration or a compromised skin barrier? Slugging helps to reinforce the lipid barrier, protecting the skin from environmental stressors and irritants.

Improved Skin Texture - slugging enhances the skin's texture by smoothing out rough, dry patches and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when practiced regularly.

Soothes Irritated Skin - the occlusive properties of slugging can help to soothe irritated or inflamed skin, particularly for those with conditions like eczema or psoriasis.


What's The Cleanest Way To Slug?

Now that we know the many benefits, we're ready for quenched skin! Traditionally, the slug layer is petroleum jelly, a by-product of crude oil production, which, when not fully refined, can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Petroleum jelly can also be comedogenic (pore-clogging) and may exacerbate acne or other skin conditions. Fortunately, there's a growing list of clean alternatives that will do the job - and do it better. 

Our Top 5 Slugging Treatments 

  1. Cocoon your skin with the Advanced Hydration Mask from Josh Rosebrook. This moisture bomb is a super rich, concentrated treatment designed for maximum moisture retention; we swear this balm solves all life's problems.
  2. If you're after a petroleum jelly dupe, we love the CV Skin Labs Restorative Balm. This award-winning, all-natural balm is a true cure-all, helping to heal the most chapped and irritated skin. (it's also a secret favourite among celebrity makeup artists).
  3. Best-seller, cult-classic, 5-star reviews, award-winning ... we absolutely adore Josh Rosebrook's Vital Balm, and so do our GK regulars! This whisper-soft, buttery cream is deceivingly hydrating and rich and effortlessly comforts a compromised skin barrier. We're not supposed to declare a favourite child - but here we are. It's a Hydrafacial in a bottle.
  4. Small but mighty, the 100% Pure Super Fruit Balm is deeply nourishing and packed with a concentrated blend of rich butters and superfruit oils - perfect for sealing in nutrients as the last step in your skincare routine. Warm this puppy up in your hands and press overtop of serums and oils.
  5. Here's a fun twist - level up your slug with a retinol balm! 100% Pure delivers again with their Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm. An all-natural nighttime balm full of carrot-derived retinol that works hard to protect and nourish dry skin from within. Tone. Firm. Slug!

Don't forget the lips! For pillowy-soft lips, slug post scrub with our dreamy Fitglow Beauty Night Lip Serum. Are you sick of us talking about how BEYOND incredible this lip treatment is?? Well, we're not done. This regenerative and plumping lip treatment is designed to hydrate, repair and strengthen the lip moisture barrier with plant ceramides and pomegranate sterols. The addition of vegetable collagen repairs cell structure, increasing lip volume. 

Can't decide? Try them all! We love giving samples to ensure the products work collaboratively with your skin type and any skin concerns before you invest. Reach us here

Massage moisture into skin

Supercharge Your Slug 

Level up your hydration by treating the skin to multiple layers of moisture. 'Skin Flooding' - another buzzy TikTok trend - serves up a quenched complexion by layering damp skin with a series of hydrating mistsserums and creams, essentially "flooding" the skin with hydration. When followed by slugging, this method increases the efficacy and absorption of your skincare products and protects the skin barrier, leaving it hydrated, glowy, and baby-smooth. Hyaluronic acid is often seen as the star ingredient in skin flooding. This hard-working little molecule is favoured among skincare professionals for attracting and holding water onto the surface of your skin, keeping it plumped and bouncy. (Enter: Jello Skin! Ok, TikTok, I give up). We recommend starting with a peel pad, then applying your hydration-boosting products on top of damp skin to ensure your skin stays hydrated, then sealing in all the benefits and delivering additional moisture by slugging. 

Finally, it's important to note that slugging should not be done every night. While it can be a great way to hydrate the skin, applying a thick layer of occlusive moisturizer every night can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. It's best to incorporate slugging into your routine 2-3 times a week, depending on your skin type and needs.

Final Thoughts 🐌

We're thrilled that this long-standing, dermatologist-beloved practice of applying an occlusive layer over the skin to prevent water loss is trending! Less water loss means more hydration; more hydration means plump, juicy, healthy skin. The slimiest trend is skincare is GK-approved! We have seen dramatic results from slugging, particularly when done with a few clean beauty tweaks.

Visit us at our brick-and-mortar or email us for a complimentary skin analysis. One of our core values is providing efficacious, intentional skincare to the right skin type. All Green Kiss Educators are well-versed in common skin concerns and our product lineup and are here to help you take care of you!

Slugging is a skincare trend that delivers moisture to the skin

All copy found on The Green Kiss website is written for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with questions regarding a medical condition.