The “for you” page on my phone always has skincare articles because I look up products for the Amazon posts. If you read our shopping posts you’ll know that I only started learning about skincare about three and a half years ago. Luckily I’ve used sunblock since I was a teenager, but my skin needed more moisture and some resurfacing. I was able to make my skin somewhat younger and smoother-looking with serums and creams. Retinols have helped, although I could probably benefit from a little Botox. Currently I’m dealing with dry skin and am moisturizing a lot. Apparently there’s this practice called “slugging,” which I assumed was about using snail mucin but it’s simply applying a petroleum-based product, like Vaseline or Aquafor, as the final step in your night time routine. Yahoo! interviewed a dermatologist who said it does work, but that you have to have dry skin without active breakouts and use it sparingly. You also have to be careful what products you use before it.
In The Know spoke with Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky, a board-certified dermatologist, to find out if slugging is really all it’s cracked up to be.
“Slugging is using an occlusive, like petroleum jelly or petrolatum, as the final step in your nighttime skin care routine to really lock in hydration and prevent water loss so that you have super dewy, moisturized skin in the morning,” Dr. Zubritsky tells In the Know.
Products that contain petrolatum, like Vaseline, Aquaphor and CeraVe Healing Ointment, tend to be popular options for slugging. And while this may be the latest trend amongst Gen Z, Dr. Zubritsky says it has actually been around for decades.
“It’s something that not just the younger generation can get behind, but it’s something dermatologists can get behind as well. So it’s effective. It’s affordable,” she says. “And it actually works.”
While she doesn’t recommend the method for acne-prone or oily skin types, it can be beneficial for those with normal to dry skin.
“I typically don’t recommend slathering it on in a thick layer. Really, you just need a super thin layer to reap the benefits,” the doctor says.
Dr. Zubritsky’s slugging routine entails cleansing, applying serums, moisturizing, then finally putting on a thin layer of petrolatum. She recommends only slugging a few nights a week so that the skin can still breathe…
“Vaseline or petroleum jelly in and of itself is non-comedogenic.”
This article came up at the right time for me because I was with my mother last weekend and tried her Aquafor. It’s very thick and made my dry hands feel so nice! I bought some and tried it on my face last night. First I used a gel-based cleanser, then followed with Mario Badescu rosewater spray. I then used some Cos de Baha niacinamide serum (I swear by this stuff) and DHC Urumai Cream. (My mom got that for me as a gift, here’s a less pricey alternative.) I used a just small amount of Aquafor on my face as recommended. While I woke up with skin that was a little softer than normal, it wasn’t amazing or noticeably dewy. I’ll keep using it occasionally when my skin feels particularly dry.
As Dr. Zubritsky mentioned, I always assumed that Vaseline would clog pores and didn’t realize it was non-comedogenic. She did warn not to use it before cleansing because it can trap dirt. Plus it may make retinols and acids irritate the skin. It’s good to know that it’s not harmful at all. I used to use Vaseline to take off eye makeup in the 80s and 90s. A lot of women used Vaseline on their face back in the day and it looks like it’s making a comeback.
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