I Tried Tik Tok's Slugging Trend For Two Weeks - Here's What Happened – The Speak Collective

I Tried Tik Tok's Slugging Trend For Two Weeks - Here's What Happened

By Nisa Z.  
March 17, 2022

Tik Tok is not my usual resource for beauty hacks. 

Sunscreen contouring, anyone? But once in a while, there are some gems to uncover. One trend that’s blown up with over 150 million views on Tik Tok alone is slugging. 

What Is Slugging?

Slugging is coating your face with an occlusive product, like Vaseline, overnight with promises of baby soft skin the morning after.

Occlusives act as a protective, physical barrier on the skin. This helps to prevent transepidermal water loss and lock in hydration. Examples of occlusive ingredients are petroleum jelly, lanolin, waxes, and silicones.

The term comes from when you slather on a shiny, ‘slimy’ layer and look like, well, a slug.

Is Slugging Good For The Skin?

That depends entirely on your skin type. Slugging is the last step of your night time routine and is said to be especially beneficial for those with dry skin. 

I’ve had combination skin on my face all my life. Which is a total mismatch to my very dry, eczema-prone body.

Now my thirty-something face has now decided it’s had enough. Perhaps it’s time to try another skin type. Dry, dry, dry. And a dash of monthly hormonal breakouts just to keep things exciting.

Humectants like glycerin and emollients were doing its job temporarily, but I needed something more heavy duty to combat dryness.

Here I am below - ready to embrace the slug life.

Here’s What Slugging Did For Me

Instead of Vaseline, I opted for something plant-based with nutritional oomph - shea butter. I don’t find shea butter as greasy as Vaseline, but it still has the moisture-locking, occlusive properties my skin craved.

Slugging is meant to be the last step in the routine. So after doing my usual easy-peasy routine - cleansing, misting and moisturizing - on goes the shea butter.

Initially, having a goopy layer of butter on my skin felt uncomfortable and sticky. But the promise of glowing skin was too hard to pass up. Slug face be damned!

After three consecutive nights of diligently slugging, my skin felt softer. But I noticed my skin was becoming congested and I would wake up with whiteheads. Not cute. (Hard lesson learnt - see slugging tips below)

So this is what I switched up:
I cut down on slugging to every other day, exfoliated on the nights that I would slug and avoided my nose area.

By the end of the two weeks, these changes definitely helped. 

Bottom Line: Does Slugging Actually Work?

Yes, slugging worked for me and my skin type. While the glow up won’t have me taking selfies in bed #wokeuplikethis, my skin did feel touchably softer. I’ll be adding this to my night time routine to combat drier nights.

Is it essential? Nope. If your skin barrier isn’t compromised and not showing signs of irritation, dryness or flaking, then skip it.

These are 5 tips you should keep in mind before trying this out:

5 Tips To Know Before You Try Slugging

#1: Know your skin type

Slugging can be incredibly beneficial for dry skin types. If you have combination skin, try slugging on drier areas and avoid oily parts like the T-zone. Oily skin may want to avoid this trend as it can worsen breakouts.

#2: Start with a skin-friendly occlusive

Vaseline is the easiest and cheapest way to try to get aboard this trend. It’s non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. But if you prefer a plant-based alternative, try shea butter.

Tread carefully with exotic plant butters, like aloe or green tea butter, as they may contain oils that your skin won’t tolerate like coconut oil or hydrogenated vegetable oil. 

#3: Start slowly

Try slugging once or twice a week and see how your skin responds. Change the frequency depending on the temperature or hormonal changes.

#4: Avoid using retinol or acids when slugging

An occlusive layer traps everything under the skin, intensifying the penetration of products and increasing risk of irritation.

#5: Exfoliate regularly

Occlusives are thick and rich for the skin. Keep breakouts at bay by regularly exfoliating and maintaining healthy skin turnover.

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