The Korean skincare trend Slugging promises glowing skin in no time. Hype or reality?
Slugging, a trend in the Korean cosmetics scene is a hack designed to optimize personal skincare routine
As slimy as slugging may sound, it's a Korean beauty skincare trend that started a few years ago and has recently seen a renaissance thanks to TikTok, where it went viral (slug). If you look up on Reddit, you will also find a number of threads raving about this particular Korean Skincare. "Slugging is a trend that involves applying a thick layer of petroleum jelly or petroleum jelly to your face as the last step in your skincare routine," explains Maree Kinder, founder of Beauty & Seoul. "The idea behind this is that Vaseline should act as a seal or barrier that prevents the skin from losing moisture."
So the idea behind it is to strengthen the skin barrier, which leads into new - and somewhat greasy - dimensions. For many (for whom a moisturizer is more than enough, thank you) the thought of smacking petroleum jelly on the skin of your face is taboo. But those who do swear by it; find it helps to optimize the skin's hydration so that it looks plump and radiant. The trend came after a Korean actress claimed it was her secret for "chok chok" skin, a dewy finish that is also desirable in Europe.
But does that also work? While some skin types can tolerate this insane way of retaining moisture, most dermatologists are wary of the trend: "I'm afraid that excessive amounts of petroleum jelly can clog your pores, especially if you already have acne-prone skin" says Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe, founder of SKNDOCTOR. "Vaseline is occlusive, which means it creates a barrier - pure occlusion can trigger breakouts in acne-prone skin types." Bacteria and germs can also get trapped under the thick layer of petroleum jelly, which in turn can cause pimples or painful eczema.
Korean-born children who grew up in the UK also admit that few of their South Korean acquaintances are actually following this trend, but suggest that the method can work on dry skin types. Dr. Ukeleghe agrees, stating that applying it to "small, dry areas shouldn't be too problematic for the skin as petroleum jelly can be soothing and moisture-retaining," but advises not to apply it in excess. Petroleum jelly is comedogenic (making acne worse) so there is a good chance that it will cause skin problems.
Both experts agree that there are a number of products on the market that promise the same dewy and plump complexion without risk. Ingredients such as ceramides and niacinamide, for example, strengthen the skin's barrier, which leads to better storage of moisture in the skin and thus to a healthier appearance. "Hyaluronic acid is the ultimate moisturizing molecule," adds Dr. Ukeleghe. "It's a natural part of our skin, but when applied topically, it helps to bind and retain moisture." She recommends applying a nourishing moisturizer afterward to lock everything in.
Meanwhile, high-quality facial oils are also an excellent final step in your skincare system to lock in moisture and keep skin glowing. Finally, Dr. Ukeleghe uses overnight masks instead of petroleum jelly. Sticky situation prevented!
Lumene "Arctic Hydra Care Rich Night Balm"
Bad Habit "Hemp Nourishing Facial Oil"
Vichy "Liftactiv Supreme HA Epidermal Filler Serum"
Glow Recipe "Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum"
Estée Lauder "Revitalizing Supreme + Bright Power Soft Creme"