Is this the ultimate hack for always dehydrated skin? I’m a scientist here to expose TikTok’s newest viral skincare trend – slugging. Psst not everyone should slug.

What The Heck Is Slugging? The Viral Skincare Hack You Must Know About

In Viral Skincare Hacks by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

Slugging. Wowser, what a name for a skincare trend eh. And spoiler alert – you do not have to cover your face in slug slime to slug. In fact, this new viral skincare trend has nothing to do with using slug slime.

Nothing at all.

It’s so detached from slug slime that it’s 100% vegan 😉.

And has big (scientific) potential to get you the glowing skin you so want.

But what the heck is slugging? How do you slug? Will slugging actually work for you?

Come with me dear friend, I’m exposing everything you must know about slugging your face.

Is this the ultimate hack for always dehydrated skin? I’m a scientist here to expose TikTok’s newest viral skincare trend – slugging. Psst not everyone should slug.

What Is Slugging?

My friend, slugging is a K-beauty trend that’s getting big facetime right now on TikTok and IG… and it’s super simple.

There’s no 10-step skincare routine.

No waiting in between layers.

No leave on and then wash off before you proceed to your next skincare step.

It’s the simplest skincare hack yet.

And it involves;

  1. Doing your usual PM skincare routine
  2. Getting a big pot of Vaseline and slathering it all over your face till you look like slug slime 😂
  3. Leaving it on exactly like that (psst, depending on how close to bedtime you try slugging, you might want to sleep on a microfibre towel)

Does Slugging Actually Work?

Yes, yes, yes. And no, no, no. You must be aware of both sides.

Come with me while I explain more.

Let me put on my award-winning skincare formulators hat for a second will you 😉

Ahh much better 😂

It’s important to know this fact to understand slugging skincare.

Vaseline is an FDA-registered skin protectant.

Navigate to the FDA’s website and you’re going to be seeing this;

Skin Protectant Drug Products For Over-The-Counter Human Use. The active ingredients of the product consist of any of the following, within the concentration specified for each ingredient…  Petrolatum, 30 to 100 percent.21CFR347.10

Psst, petrolatum is just the fancy, technical name for Vaseline.

Vaseline is a brand name – like Coca-Cola or Clinique or Paula’s Choice.

And when you’re slugging your face you’re covering yourself with a known skin protectant. Skin protectants sit on your skin to form a temporary second skin. Think of them like a skin shield.

They can be super helpful for locking in your skin hydration and for allowing your skin to de-stress while it’s being protected. Ahhh.

[Us scientists call this preventing trans epidermal water loss aka TEWL – we’re so fancy eh 😂]

Psst – your skin’s job is to lock in hydration and prevent skin stress by being an awesome barrier to the external world. Blocking out bacteria, viruses, pollution particles, UV light and more. Thing is – sometimes it needs help (don’t we all!).

Your skin’s not afraid to ask for help. It will scream help with skin symptoms like;

  1. Dehydration (!!!)
  2. Dryness
  3. Flaky skin
  4. Red, reactive skin
  5. Skin sensitivity
  6. Skin texture and uneven skin tone
  7. Accelerated skin ageing – psst make sure to grab your free copy of my 5 best anti-ageing actives cheatsheet here – you’ll want to be using these alongside skin slugging 🙂

Are any of these ringing true for you right now?

Does Slugging With Vaseline Work?

So we’ve just covered the yes, yes, yes. Slugging your skin can be wondrously helpful for increasing your skin’s hydration levels and getting you that glow. Plus reversing all of those screaming skin symptoms I list out above.

But, here’s the no, no, no.

You should not be relying on slugging long term.

At least not without other skin barrier replenishing actives in your skincare routine.


Because slugging with Vaseline does not ‘give’ to your skin, it only allows your skin to keep what it already has. For example, it prevents moisture-zapping central heating or drying air conditioning from stealing your skin’s hydration levels.

Bottom line – Vaseline is a temporary seal on your skin. 

As you take this seal off your skin’s immediately looking happier and healthier. You’re feeling like – ahh here’s the skin glow I’ve been looking for all my life. 

But now as your skin’s no longer ‘protected’ – your skin’s hydration levels are depleting quickly again.

This is how you can end up addicted to slugging.

It’s also how you can suddenly feel like slugging’s stopped working for you.

Your skin’s now screaming – Help!!! I need you to give me active skincare ingredients which help me be my own, independent skin shield.

Is Slugging Good For Your Skin?

Is slugging the ultimate hydration hack for chronically dehydrated skin?

Ahh, I bet you already know the answer to this eh. You’re so savvy.

Slugging your face is a fantastic quick-win hydration hack. It has short-term benefits. And if your skin’s suddenly zapped of hydration or dry because of excess sun exposure or red and sensitive out of nowhere – slugging can help.

Slugging can also be especially helpful if you have a one-off event you want your skin to glow for.

However, you should not be relying on slugging long-term. And you should not be relying on slugging skincare to correct persisting skin symptoms.

Should You Try Slugging?

A huge myth bust coming at you. If you have oily, acne-prone skin I bet the last thing you would think to do is slather your face with Vaseline. Because it blocks pores, will make your skin greasy and break you out.


My friend, I’m about to rock your world.

I had this chat with one of the beautiful, wonderful women I’m currently working with in my Acne Clinic. We’re on the phone for our 3-month catch-up as she tells me all about one of the ultra-thick, technically ‘greasy’ night creams I have her using.

“When I first used that night cream, it felt like putting Vaseline all over my face, I was thinking surely this has got to be bad for my skin and is going to cause me breakouts. But you know what, it’s really helped. I still can’t believe it”

I start explaining, actually, “it’s not about the thickness of a skincare product but the ingredients inside”.

Did you ever have one of these when you were younger?

Only the heart fits in the heart hole, only the triangle fits in the triangle hole and only the square fits in the square hole.

Imagine you now have a star – it’s not fitting anywhere eh – so this star of yours sits on top of this ‘grid’ aka your skin, it’s not getting lured in by any holes and it’s also not getting stuck in any holes aka your pores – and therefore – big news – this doesn’t cause you breakouts.

Psst – so long as you’re using the correct, supporting skincare routine.

This can be helpful when you have certain types of acne because acne can be caused by;

  1. Skin barrier disruption
  2. Irritation/sensitivity (which causes inflammation – psst – acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition)
  3. Overuse of exfoliating skincare
  4. Friction aka MaskNe

Bottom line, do try slugging if:

  • You’re human and you don’t fit into the don’t try slugging box below
  • You want to boost your skin’s hydration levels or help your skin to de-stress aka heal quickly from something it’s reacted to
  • You want to support your skin’s ability to look younger for longer

Don’t try slugging if

  • Your skin’s ridiculously oily
  • You have acne and haven’t yet seen an improvement/identified your acne triggers (I’m here if you need my help with this)
  • Your skin’s heat reactive (/if you get heat-induced rosacea flares) – slugging has the potential to lock in your skin’s heat

How Often Should You Slug?

And finally, the last question I’ve been getting asked about skin slugging. How often should you slug?

In reality, you can slug as much as you like. That’s because there’s nothing inherently irritating about Vaseline – it’s not exfoliating your skin, it’s not got a low pH level, it’s not giving your skin active ingredients. Slugging with Vaseline is just forming a temporary skin shield so your skin can glow better after.

However, you should not be relying on skin slugging every night. If you are – you need to change your skincare routine to support your skin’s natural ability to hold onto hydration.

Boom – and there you have it my friend, everything you must know about skin slugging. Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments below. Oh and if you have a best bud who’s baffled by this viral TikTok trend, use that big green button below to forward her my blog with love. You are the best.