How To Start Body Slugging For Healthier Skin All Over

It might be the most wonderful time of the year, but that doesn't mean it's the best time for your skin. Unless you live somewhere tropical or warm, winter brings cold, which in turn brings cold air and very dry skin. Even in warm places, these colder, dryer months aren't great for skin or hair either. Right now, you probably have weekends full of holiday parties, ice skating, festive markets, and more. You don't want to do all of that and worry about how your skin is being affected at the end of the day. Holidays are meant to be a fun time, but again cold air, less sleep, and stress can dry you out even more. And even though your regular skincare routine probably already includes moisturizers to hydrate your skin, you might notice that you need to amp up your efforts when winter comes along.


With that said, a somewhat newer skincare trend on TikTok has users going to bed with greasy, oily skin. That might sound counterintuitive to getting rid of acne, but this trend, slugging, is a technique used to lock in moisture and repair your skin barrier. It's usually used on the face, but if you have certain parts of your body that are in dire need of more TLC, you can slug there too. 

Slugging is great for dry skin, especially in winter

First off, what exactly is slugging? Cerave, the skincare brand, reported that slugging is "a well-known moisturizing technique that involves slathering the face with an occlusive product as the last step in your evening skincare routine." Of course, the word "slug" comes from the fact that you leave a greasy glaze on your face that might resemble a slug's trail. Don't worry, it's not as gross as it sounds.


The nice thing about slugging is that you only have to add a step and not change anything about your skincare routine at all. Once you're done with your nighttime skincare ritual, slugging involves applying a layer of occlusives onto your skin. As Olay Scientific Communications Senior Director Frauke Neuser, Ph.D., explained to Good Housekeeping, occlusives are "moisturizing agents that work by forming a protective layer on the surface of your skin and create a barrier to prevent moisture loss." They're made out of petrolatum, silicones, waxes, oil, and/or butter. More specifically, products like shea butter, petroleum jelly, and Aquaphor are great occlusives to slug with.

You can slug your body just like your face

The way this technique works is that the occlusive creates a barrier that seals any moisturizer you already used and "prevents transepidermal water loss," per Cerave. Basically, your go-to moisturizer or hydrating serums might already be doing their jobs, but slugging stops them from evaporating so that they continue to do the work of moisturizing your skin well into the night. This can also repair your skin barrier as a whole because of the protective nature of the occlusive product.


Again, slugging your face is a known practice on skincare TikTok. But body slugging is a new extension of the trend and has the same benefits, just on more areas of the body. As PopSugar reported, per Yahoo, using products with why "key" ingredients like a humectant (glycerin, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, or aloe vera) should already be in your skincare ritual in addition to your regular moisturizer (or purchase moisturize with vitamin E in it already). Slugging on top of all of that will lock in their benefits, making them work even better and hydrate your feet, hands, and more. 

Body slugging also comes with an added layer (literally) of benefits thanks to clothing that can help lock it all in further. Socks and gloves will hydrate your slugged feet and hands even more, which will really help if the cold air has severely chapped your knuckles.


Things to keep in mind about body slugging

By now it's obvious that slugging can come with some great benefits if done right. As Yahoo reported, per InStyle, you shouldn't slug for more than two to three times per month. Also, make sure you understand that if you slug the entire body, you're gonna have messy sheets in the morning. With that in mind, you might want to cover other areas you slug with long sleeves or pants. Maybe do parts of the body one at a time to prevent goopy sheets that you have to wash multiple times a week.


Per BeachBeautyBar, Vaseline and Aquaphor are "non-comedogenic," meaning they shouldn't clog your pores. However, as dermatologist Amy Kassouf, MD, told the Cleveland Clinic, if you have oily skin, acne-prone skin, or infected skin, this trend is not for you. Oily skin "already has an adequate or even too-robust lipid layer" and doesn't need you to add another. That's also why acne-prone skin could become worse if you slug. So even though slugging can be good for multiple skin types, especially in the winter, check on your skin if you try this technique. Only you know yourself best, so if you already have a lot of oils or acne, speak with a dermatologist first if you really want to slug.