Another social skin care trend doing the rounds is ‘slugging’. We asked our Education Manager Victoria to explain what it is and find out if we should be doing it to our skin.
What is slugging?
Slugging is where you slather on a heavy, greasy occlusive product (typically petroleum jelly) as the last step in your regimen before bed. Some promote that it is the best way to treat dry skin, and some say it’s the best way to get results from the products you’ve applied underneath. I’m not sure I completely agree with either of these points. Let me explain why.
Is slugging good for your skin?
Occlusive formulas with mineral oil or petroleum jelly (these are the ones promoted to use to ‘slug’) sit on the surface of the skin and create a barrier. Whilst this may stop moisture escaping, so in theory preventing dry skin, it also prevents skin from being able to secrete oil, shed dead skin cells and excrete waste effectively. Your skin does a lot of this at night as it detoxifies and repairs itself. Long term daily application of these occlusive formulas will likely lead to congestion, blackheads, milia formation and breakouts as skin can’t effectively excrete waste and pores become clogged.
There’s also some evidence to show that regular use of petroleum based occlusives makes your skin ‘lazy’. Due to the artificial layer on the skins surface, the skin can stop producing its own lipids, this in turn makes the skin drier. This is often seen with lip balm ‘addiction’. When you stop applying petroleum-based lip balms, lips are extremely dry and chapped, creating a viscous cycle.
There are circumstances where application of this type of occlusive would be beneficial to the skin, but this would be when skin is extremely damaged or ‘open’, for example with eczema. This would be a temporary measure though to help prevent penetration of substances or irritants.
Slugging the Dermalogica way for healthy skin
For ‘slugging’, we would rather advise using products that contain plant or vegetable based occlusives that not only help ‘seal in’ actives but that effectively moisturise and protect skin’s moisture barrier. Natural plant butters and waxes such as Squalane, Shea Butter, Mango Seed and Jojoba melt into the skin to replace lost barrier lipids and offer additional conditioning benefits as they’re rich in antioxidant vitamins and essential fatty acids. Use Melting Moisture Masque for slugging the Dermalogica way. This balm to oil masque contains a unique MeltingPoint complex that allows the plant waxes and butters to melt into the skin and leaves a hydrating layer that can be left on the skin. Apply this as your last step before bed for a heathy way to ‘slug’.