Should You Try ‘Slugging’ for Softer, Better Skin?

woman slugging and putting vaseline on her face

Hey, we’re no stranger to weird-sounding beauty trends (case in point: root beer hair, tanning vitamins and sparkly face masks). But when we heard that people were “slugging” in the quest for better skin, we were seriously confused. Fortunately, it has nothing to do with the slippery creatures in your backyard—here’s what you need to know.

Um, what is it? “Slugging” is the process of slathering your face with Vaseline before bed (after cleansing and applying moisturizer), thereby turning yourself into a shiny, slimy slug.

And why are people doing this? Devotees (often found in various “Slug-Life” threads on Reddit) swear that slugging leaves them with softer and more hydrated skin when they wake up.

But won’t it clog my pores? Actually, probably not. “Pure petrolatum is heavy and can feel greasy on oily and acne-prone skin; however, it has not been shown to clog pores, so is fine to use,” Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Curology tells us. (And here’s a study published in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists that found the same thing.)

Does it really work, though? Vaseline is an occlusive product, meaning that it forms a film on the skin and creates a barrier to prevent water loss. Translation? It seals in moisture, which may be beneficial for those suffering from dry skin. But the verdict is out regarding the benefits on those who are more oily or acne-prone.

So, should I try it? If you’re seriously concerned about dryness or any other skin issue, your best bet for a glowing complexion is to work with your dermatologist. But if this winter has left you with a few more dry patches than usual, then give it a go. One more thing: Dr. Lortscher cautions that although it’s very rare, some people can be allergic to petrolatum so just make sure to do a patch test first, OK? (And maybe don’t sleep on your best pillowcase.)

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...