What is “Slugging”? The K-Beauty Hack to Make Your Skincare Work Better Overnight

Amazing results slugging with Laneige Water Sleeping Mask EX on dry skin

If you suffer from dry or flaky skin, have damaged your protective hydration barrier after years of over exfoliation, or you just want to lock in your multi-step skincare routine every night, you may be interested in “slugging.” Slugging, though it sounds yucky & slimy, is actually a very good thing when it comes to skincare!  

Slugging is a Korean beauty hack that helps lock in your skincare treatments and protect your skin overnight through a thick occlusive layer of a hydrating product. If you’re curious about the process of slugging, here’s what you need to know. 

Thick occlusive cream for slugging - the K beauty hack to make your skincare work better overnight. 

What is Slugging?

When you first hear about the process of slugging skincare, it makes sense to have questions. This skincare process has gone totally viral online, especially on Reddit forums. Like many popular skincare hacks, slugging originally comes from Korean skincare gurus. Slugging is a process intended to repair your skin’s moisture barrier and to hydrate your skin overnight.  It is also used to help “lock in” all of your previous skincare steps, including serums and your normal moisturiser. “Slugging” gets its name from the slick, occlusive, slug-like layer you spread across your skin as part of the process. This layer helps prevent trans-epidermal water loss as you sleep. The result is shiny, slick skin that stays that way overnight. In the morning, your skin will be supple, smooth, protected, and moisturised.  

 dr Jart tigergrass (cicapair) sleeping mask

How to Slug

In order to get all the benefits of slugging, it’s important to know how to do so properly! To get the “slug” appearance and all its positive effects, it’s customary to use a petroleum-based product, like Vaseline, although you can use other occlusive hydrating products that are formulated for dry skin, like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask another K-beauty favourite. First, start with your normal skincare steps, including double cleansing, serums, and moisturisers. Then, in order to complete the slugging process, you will need to seal in all of your previous skincare steps with your favourite occlusive moisturising product, be it cream or gel. Take a liberal amount and spread it thickly across your face, effectively locking in all your skin treatments. For especially thirsty skin, this can be performed year-round, but many enjoy the slugging skincare process for dry winter skin.  

 Laneige Water Sleeping Mask - pretty image of 3 jars

Best Products for Slugging

While the common suggested products for slugging are petroleum jellies, Vasoline, and Aquafor, there are other options that work well, too!  Alternatives are especially important if you prefer a vegan product, as Aquafor contains lanolin, which is an animal product. The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is one product that is especially nice for slugging because it is gentle, occlusive, and hydrating, but it is not as thick on the skin like petroleum jelly, and therefore is great for acne-prone skin. This is a wonderful product for slugging because it still gives the skin that “slimy” slug look, but it won’t clog or irritate pores. My dry, flaky skin loves the Laneige Sleeping Mask and I saw results in just one week! Laneige is a Korean skincare brand, which makes it great for slugging, a Korean skincare practice.

Another popular Korean skincare product that is great for slugging is the Dr. Jart Cicapair Sleepair Ampoule-In Mask, which is a thicker and more occlusive cream product that is still gentle on the skin. My daughter has seen positive results with this product, and a reduction in her dark spots and scarring. Plus, she still gets the juicy, slick, slug-like texture from using this sleeping mask. Sleeping masks in general are a good choice for slugging skincare because they are richly hydrating and intended to be used overnight on the skin, just like the slugging skincare practice. 

 Dr Jart Tigergrass - slugging results

If you’re struggling with dry winter skin or you find that your skin is flaky and dry throughout the whole years, slugging could be a great fit for you. While it may take some getting used to, the process of slugging your face before bed can be a rewarding and luxurious experience. You can help get the most out of your other skincare steps, seal in your products, moisturise your skin, and wake up with a suppler, more glowy complexion. When it comes to nighttime skin care, a slug-like appearance isn’t a bad thing! 



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