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Slugging: The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Popular TikTok Beauty Hack

  • “Slugging” refers to the application of petroleum jelly-based ointment onto your face.
  • TikTok videos tagged “slugging method”, had been viewed 25.4 million times.
  • People with sensitive skin can use slugging to protect and heal their skin.

The current TikTok trend of “slugging” is a term that refers to the TikTok viral beauty trend. According to the social media platform, videos with the tag “slugging” have received 25.4 millions views by the time this article was written. Commentaries from celebrities and skin care professionals were also included.

Slugging, in a nutshell is the act of applying a petroleum jelly-based ointment to your face as the final step in your evening skin care regimen.

Kyla Pagani, a researcher on the subject, stated that slugging “helps hydrate and improves the skin barrier.” She also claims it can reduce wrinkles.

Her team discovered that 36.7% were educational when they analyzed all the videos available at the time of her study.

However, only 20.4% of these films discussed the dangers associated with slugging.

Pagani stated that this illustrates the danger to the public when health information does not get delivered in fair and accurate manner.

Pagani cautioned, however, that slugging is not necessarily harmful. TikTokers tried to emphasize the benefits of the activity, rather than always mentioning the drawbacks.

The researchers found that only 2 of 10 posts dealt with potential problems consumers should be aware, while 6 of 10 posts focused mainly on positives.

The reality of slugging? Is it good for the skin? What are the potential dangers?

According to Dr. Hope Mitchell (a board-certified dermatologist who is also the founder and CEO at Mitchell Dermatology in Perrysburg, Fremont, Ohio), an occlusive cream can help to moisturize and repair your skin.

She stated, “It moisturizes, retains moisture, protects skin barrier, repairs dehydrated skin, and repairs.”

It can be done anywhere on the body, but she said that it is most common to focus on the face, eyes, and lips.Mitchell stated that “Dermatologists use this beauty hack to prevent transepidermal moisture loss and lock in moisturizing to quickly heal dry skin for years.”

Dr. Susan Massick is an associate professor of dermatology at The Ohio State University Wexner Hospital Medical Center. She says that the procedure can be especially beneficial for those with skin conditions.

Massick stated that if you have dry or eczema-prone skin, an emollient moisturizer may be able to help.

“As we age, our skin barrier becomes less able to repair itself. One may notice a decrease in hydration or saggy skin, as well as more wrinkles and fine lines. She said that slugging can have a positive effect in all these situations.

Mitchell says that slugging may not be right for everyone, especially oily skin.

She pointed out that adding oil to top of the oil could cause more breakouts and clog pores.

Massick said that petroleum jelly, an occlusive emollient, can block pores and trap bacteria and oil.

Mitchell recommends that you use a hyaluronic Acid serum first as a moisturizer, then a non-comedogenic cream/lotion as a spot treatment.

Mitchell stated that “slugging is a great method for sensitive skin to heal, protect and moisturize their skin, especially in the winter months.”

Mitchell and Massick recommend the following drill for slugging practice:Massick recommends gently rinsing the skin with a mild cleanser, and then patting it dry.Mitchell advised that a product with hyaluronic, ceramides and glycerin should be considered. This will help to seal moisture into a skin barrier.She stressed that it was important to avoid using products containing AHAs or BHAs or retinoids as they can cause chemical burns if they are enclosed in a barrier.

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