We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.
When it comes to beauty and beauty trends, Koreans have a much more holistic approach to taking care of the skin as a part of their overall wellbeing. Peach & Lily founder, Alicia Yoon, told The Zoe Report, "Korean skin care is a wellness practice, and considers how skin is related to the whole body as well as considering how the skin works as an ecosystem." Korean beauty introduced us to the hydrating benefits of snail mucin — what is accumulated after they crawl over a mesh material, per Allure. Now, we have slugging, which is incredibly popular on TikTok, and no, you don't need to find yourself a slug from your backyard. If you're wondering what is slugging, Rebecca Marcus, a board-certified dermatologist, told Pure Wow, "Slugging is just a trendy term to describe the age-old practice of occluding the skin to allow for maximum absorption of products applied to the skin, while preventing water evaporation to increase hydration."
According to Byrdie, the term "slugging" was first mentioned in a 2014 Reddit post, and K-pop celebs have been practicing it for years. It is not a new trend, per se. Robyn Autry, a sociology professor at Wesleyan University, who teaches about racial identity and Blackness, even shared how she grew up with her mother "slathering" Vaseline on her as a child, per The New York Times. Slugging with Vaseline helps prevent 99% transepidermal water loss by protecting your skin barrier. If you are not a fan of Vaseline, you can try slugging with these moisturizers.
Glossier is known for making high-quality products for healthy skin, and it is no surprise that their Glossier After Baume is equally good and an excellent choice for slugging. Hypebae recommends this rich balm for anyone with dry skin who doesn't want to "have the greasy feel of Vaseline." It deeply moisturizes without clogging your pores and is infused with "plant-based hydrators," making it a vegan choice as well.
According to Glossier, the After Baume also helps heal your skin from harsh seasonal weather like cold air in the winter and the "harsh sun" in the summer. This cream is also perfect if you spent a long day wearing your mask or are someone who likes to over-exfoliate. If you suffer from eczema as well, the After Baume has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance and can keep your skin moisturized for 24 hours. Need we say more?
The idea of greasing up your face might not seem as appealing for those with oily or acne-prone skin. So for those people, Cosmopolitan recommends Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream. According to Missha, this super-hydrating cream is made with 70% snail slime that has the power to repair damaged skin and improve the skin barrier. At the same time, this snail cream can brighten your skin and provide anti-aging benefits.
They boast an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars in their reviews as well, with one reviewer saying, "The Super Aqua Snail Cream is literally the answer to all of my dreams because it hydrates without breaking me out or making my skin oily. I have used this cream for years and I don't plan on stopping."
If you struggle with extremely dry skin, you need to try Elle's recommendation for slugging: Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer. It has ceramides to restore and moisturize severely dry skin and can "visibly plump skin" and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
According to Farmacy, the Honey Halo is infused with buckwheat honey with propolis and royal jelly blend, and is meant to help soothe your skin with antioxidants. It is recommended that you try slugging at least 30 minutes before bed, so the ingredients in your skincare products get the time to be fully absorbed and don't mess up your pillow.
An interesting fact on where the name comes from: Board-certified dermatologist and KP Away founder Dr. Anar Mikailov told Insider, "The name 'slugging' comes from the shell-less mollusc slug, which produces a slime-like layer of water, salt, and mucus that resembles petroleum jelly." Insider's pick for the best moisturizer for slugging is the beloved Aquaphor Healing Ointment because it still lets your skin breathe while creating a protective barrier over it, unlike Vaseline.
According to Aquaphor, it has hydrating ingredients like panthenol and glycerin, so it is more than just an occlusive. Not only is it great for everyone to use, but the Aquaphor Healing Ointment is also a great go-to for irritated skin, like chapped lips and minor cuts and burns. When used for slugging, though, this multi-purpose ointment gives you the softest skin.
Board-certified dermatologist Shari Marchbein highly recommends moisturizing to prevent dry skin and is an advocate for slugging. In fact, Dr. Marchbein told Glamour, "And one of my favorite ways [to combat dry skin] is slugging, which is a moisturizing technique." She also added that she has been practicing slugging for years.
When a dermatologist trusts the process, it gives more validity to the slugging beauty trend because it is more than just a TikTok fad. Glamour's pick for slugging is Dove DermaSeries Expert Balm because it combines petroleum with other silicones to give it a "lighter, less oily texture." This rich balm has great reviews on Influenster too, with one reviewer saying, "Honestly, when it comes to dry skin Dove is the answer. It really can lock in moisture and it doesn't coat your skin in a bunch of oily substances. It smells amazing too."