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What is slugging and is it actually good for your skin?

Are you brave enough to try it?

slugging© Photo: Getty Images
Orin Carlin
Content Writer
September 6, 2022
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Anything involving the word "slug"? Naturally, we want it absolutely nowhere near our face. Only slugging, the skincare trend that has taken TikTok by storm, has piqued our interest and compelled us to investigate whether it's worth a try.

It's clear that users of the world's most downloaded app are utterly obsessed – the slugging hashtag having amassed an impressive 464.3m views on TikTok – which begs the question, what's all the fuss about?

MORE: These 5 beauty hacks are serious game changers

Hello! Fashion caught up with leading skincare expert Abi Cleeve to find out everything that you could possibly need to know about slugging.

What is slugging?  

Slugging Trend© Photo: Getty Images

The simplest way to describe slugging is a skincare step in which you use a petroleum based/type product over the whole skin as your last night-time step in your routine. This would be after your usual skincare products (although it's advisable to take out any targeted blemish treatments or facial oils on the nights that you "slug").

How does slugging work? 

This technique supports the skin barrier by locking in the skincare products you use, and it can be very effective in protecting from TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss).  It can prevent up to 99% of TEWL. Additionally, it can increase the efficacy of any skincare product used because hydration is locked in and product is kept in the skin system after application, rather than evaporating from the skin's surface.

READ: 10 makeup artists that you need to follow on TikTok

RELATED: Hailey Bieber reveals exactly how she achieves her signature glazed skin

Who is slugging suitable for? 

It is particularly helpful for those with dry or sensitive skin, where the skin can feel tight in the mornings or is prone to roughness.  Those with a compromised skin barrier, ongoing or temporary, looking to build back and repair it, may also benefit. 

Does slugging actually benefit your skin? 

Slugging Skincare Trend© Photo: Getty Images

Locking moisture in all night and preventing TEWL is great for your skin, but do be prepared to actually "feel" it on the skin from a texture perspective. There will be transference so perhaps swap out your favourite luxe silk pillowcase on the nights you do it! 

What alternative skincare products would you recommend for people wanting to retain moisture? 

Look at the formula of your products to ensure that they can remain stable and lock in ingredients targeting skin barrier support and moisture retention. A lamellar formula encapsulates active ingredients delivering them just below the skin's surface to stay working for longer overnight without the greasy residue (your bed linen will thank you!).

Ingredients to look for include glycerin, aloe vera, copper peptides, squalene, and hyaluronic acid. 

My genuine "why" for creating SkinSense was because skincare only really works when it is absorbed where it's needed - locked into your skin's system. Lamellar technology means the ingredients are literally interwoven into the skin system guaranteeing slow-release delivery and all-night support. For a real night-time hydration focus I would use the SkinSense Overnight Leave On Mask and Midnight Oil.  These two are a powerful combination of actives that deliver moisture and give guaranteed glow the next day.

Shop skincare expert Abi Cleeve's product recommendations for moisture retention: 

skinsense leave on mask

Overnight Leave on Mask, £34, SkinSense

skinsense oil concentrate

Midnight Oil Concentrate, £30, SkinSense


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