Skin Slugging - verb - a trendy name to describe a technique of using an occlusive barrier at the end of an evening skincare routine to help seal in moisture, preventing trans-epidermal moisture loss. It leaves the skin with a slimy look like slug mucus, hence it's name.
For many of you, the term skin slugging is not new as it went viral on social media in 2020 thanks to a New York-based Esthetician. The trendy term was thought to originate as a Korean skin care technique but it has been part of many black women's skin care routine to manage dry skin for decades - just without a catchy name for it! Even before that - in the 15th century, members of the Native American Seneca tribe, who dug oil pits in northwestern Pennsylvania, used petroleum jelly on human and animal skin to protect wounds, stimulate healing and keep the skin moist. They were also slugging - they just didn't not know it!
Would everyone benefit from slugging?
No - in skin care not everything is great for every skin condition or concern.The trendy name might sound disgusting but it can be very effective in protecting compromised skin from bacteria getting in and moisture getting out. The perfect environment for skin repair! It is definitely great for repairing dry and compromised skin. If you have oil-rich skin you don't often experience a dry or compromised skin surface ( unless you over-dry your skin with a poorly balanced home care routine). This technique is not for oil-rich, acneic or acne-prone skin.
What are the signs of compromised skin that would benefit from skin slugging?
The signs can include redness, dryness, tightness, peeling, flaking, burning or stinging.
How to Slug:
1. Cleanse the skin with a mild, gentle non-soap cleanser. Always make sure you have freshly washed skin when applying occlusive treatments . Avoid trapping dirt and excess oil that can cause breakouts!
2. Apply a hydrating toner. Avoid if you are rosacea-prone. Our favourites are ultra-fine mists that contain humectants of different molecular weights that provide deep hydration and allow for deeper penetration throughout the layers of the skin.
3. Apply a hydrating serum and/or cream. Depending on the level of dryness of your skin you might need both a hydrating serum and cream.
Our fave serums/creams for slugging:
4. Apply an occlusive barrier treatment.
Our faves: HydroPeptide Soothing Repair Balm, Glymed PlusCell Repair Balm, Skinceuticals Advanced Sili Gel (great for those wanting a non-greasy feel).Our recommended favourites include products that are formulated with humectants to draw water in, emollients to moisturize and smooth, and occlusives to lock in the formulations on the skin. They work together to achieve optimal slugging results.
Important tips for slugging:
1. Do to the occlusive purpose of slugging treatments do not apply active ingredients such as retinols, alpha or beta hydroxy acids at the same time. It can increase the activity of these ingredients causing damage and irritation.
2. You must use an effective hydrating serum and/or cream before your occlusive treatment. You need moisture in the skin before creating a barrier or the skin will become dry.
3. Avoid putting occlusive treatment product on eye lids or too close to the under eye area. This an create puffiness and clogging on this thin tissue.
How long can you slug?
It depends on your skin’s natural oil production: If your skin’s looking like an oil slick in the day, you need to give it a rest - your skin is hydrated enough! The same if your are getting breakouts.
If your skin is glowing and thriving keep on slugging!
If you need help in deciding if this technique is right for you and which products are best for you, ask one of our Estheticians. We are always here to take the confusion out of choosing the right ingredients and treatments for your skin.