‘Slugging’ is the TikTok Skin Trend, But Will It Help Fight Winter Dryness?


Proactive Health


By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder


I’m all for being innovative when it comes to my skincare, but I'm not sure if I’m willing to jump on the ‘slugging’ bandwagon. Apparently, a TikTok skin hack called ‘slugging’ has many people putting heavy duty products like Vaseline on their faces.

“Slugging is a catchy term that means slathering your face with petroleum jelly as the last step of your evening skin-care routine. The practice leaves your face as slimy as slug mucus (hence the name),” according to one report.

This practice is actually approved by some dermatologists as long as you do not have oily or acne-prone skin. The concept behind this practice is to create a protective seal that helps prevent water loss from the skin, thus maintaining more hydrated skin that is less vulnerable to harsh elements such as the dry winter weather we are all experiencing right now.

“If your skin is dehydrated, a coating of petroleum jelly at night can help prevent further water loss from the skin and allow it to repair itself,” said one dermatologist, in this report from the Cleveland Clinic.

We can’t deny that moisturizing our skin, especially during this time of year, is necessary.

When skin dries out, its ability to protect you from external allergens and infections is compromised,” according to this recent Medical Xpress report discussing how to combat dry skin in the winter.

I can see how ‘slugging’ might be effective for some, however, it could clog pores and it seems like it would get very messy! Try it if you want, but I also think it is important to make sure that the skin is properly exfoliated so that products such as our moisturizers can actually penetrate the skin and do their job. If your skin is not properly exfoliated, then slugging is not going to be as effective.

Exfoliation must be a necessary part of a facial routine. It effectively unclogs pores, rejuvenates the face, removes dead skin cells  and other debris and essentially reveals newer skin beneath. Exfoliation can be competently performed by trained estheticians who may use various modalities and serums to get rid of that dead outer layer of skin and allow moisture to absorb into the skin.

Humectants are key.

For those who have a skin type (as mentioned oily or acne-prone) that would not take well to ‘slugging,’ be especially aware of these tips for properly moisturizing your skin:

  • I think this goes for everyone, but avoid moisturizers with fragrances. These can be irritating and really do nothing other than make the product smell good. Also avoid cleansers with fragrance.
  • Look for humectants. “Humectants, which help attract moisture, include ceramides (pronounced ser-A-mids), glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, and lecithin,” according to Harvard Health.
  • Consider sleeping with a humidifier. Running the heater through the night, which many people do during the winter, can contribute to dry skin.

It may be important to continue to wear sunscreen during the colder months just as much as we do in the warmer months. If you live in an area where it snows a lot, know that the sun reflects off of that bright white snow and actually makes it quite easy to get sunburned. 

Lifestyle is everything when it comes to our skin.

Nothing is more drying to the skin than drinking a lot of alcohol and not enough water. I highly recommend abstaining from alcohol if your skin is looking pretty lackluster these days. Keep a water bottle on hand at all times and add lemon, strawberries, cucumbers and mint for skin-brightening antioxidants. Also moderate your caffeine intake and drink antioxidant-rich green tea.

As always, avoid smoking, eat a nutrient-rich diet void of as many processed foods as possible, get plenty of sleep and practice stress management.

It is also good to make sure that you are nutritionally balanced by taking routine comprehensive nutrient tests. In order for your skin to maintain its health, moisture and elasticity as well as delay the signs of aging, it is important to make sure you have the right balance of vitamins and minerals. 

Micronutrients, such as vitamins C and A, zinc, copper and selenium, are key in maintaining the health and appearance of your skin. If you take a nutrient test and it shows that you are not nutritionally balanced, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on changing your diet and/or taking quality supplements.

Also consider red light therapy for treating your skin from head to toe! This is especially a treat during these long winter months!


Enjoy your healthy life, and your healthy skin!


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.                


The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses, and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products, and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


Related Products

Minerals - The Forgotten Nutrient: Your Secret Weapon for Getting and Staying Healthy