While skin care products containing snail mucin are all the rage these days, bangs, a beauty trend that is all the round on TikTok, actually doesn’t involve any slimy creatures.
Instead, the term refers to a skincare technique in which you coat your face with petroleum jelly or a similar product with promises of hydration. Although it recently took off on the app, the method has been around for a while: It has roots in Korean beauty and has long been the favorite of the beauty crowd on Reddit.
So what is it exactly? We asked two dermatologists to describe the process and how it benefits your skin.
What is slugging?
While there aren’t really any slugs involved in the process, you might end up looking a bit like one when you’re done coating yourself with the moisturizer. The technique involves applying a heavy emollient, such as petroleum jelly or aquaphor, as the final step in your skin care routine, said Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a certified dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. These products are occlusive, that is, they seal the top layer of the skin and improve the penetration of the products that came before them, making them more effective.
What are the advantages of slugging?
In addition to increasing the potency of your nighttime skin care products, the process also traps moisture that’s already on your skin and prevents you from losing some of it to the atmosphere overnight, said Nazarian.
Dr Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, compared it to a method of hydrating “supercharged” skin. “It helps repair a damaged skin barrier, hydrates dry skin, fights sagging skin and wrinkles, increases water content and makes skin plumper,” he said.
Who should try slugging?
Sounds like the ultimate skin hydration hack, doesn’t it? For those who suffer from constantly dry, itchy skin, this might be a good solution. Plus, even people with normal skin can benefit from testing it, especially during the colder months.
But the derms warn that the process is not for everyone. People with oily or acne-prone skin should avoid the tendency, as it can trap dead skin cells, promote bacterial growth, and make rashes worse. “Even though petroleum jelly and similar products do not technically clog the pores, they can interfere with the exfoliation methods that are crucial for the success of this type of skin and lead to acne breakouts and rashes,” Hartman said.
And because it can make previously applied products more potent, it should not be combined with retinoids, salicylic acid, or other potentially irritating ingredients, Nazarian said.
How to do
To try it out, apply a thin layer of the emollient of your choice after following your evening skincare routine. You can make the process even more efficient by using a humectant (something to hold in moisture), such as hyaluronic acid, beforehand to suck water onto your skin. Then apply petroleum jelly (or a similar product) to seal it, Nazarian said.
It also works on the rest of your body. “If you have dry areas on your knees, elbows, ankles, or anywhere else on the body, use your favorite moisturizer and then seal it with the petroleum-based product,” Hartman said.
Petroleum jelly and Aquaphor tend to be the most popular choices, but there are a few other options that will do the trick. “Similar results can be obtained with a facial oil, but only facial oils like grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, and rosehip oil all of which have low comedogenicity or ability to clog pores, ”Hartman said.
While most people can benefit from incorporating it into their regimen once a week, those with older, dry skin can tolerate the process every night, Nazarian said.
If you can’t wait to try the slimy skincare hack, grab any of the dermis approved products below and start bumping into it.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Aquaphor healing ointment
CeraVe healing ointment
Radha Beauty Organic Rosehip Oil
Maple Holistics Sunflower Oil for Hair, Skin & Nails
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