Skin slugging - The first thought that probably comes to mind is sagging skin but do not let that throw you in the wrong direction. Far from what it may seem, slugging is an extremely à la mode concept that has taken the internet by a storm! It aims to seal the skin with a thick, protective layer to combat dryness and leave you with flawless skin. It is not only restricted to the face, but can be used anywhere on our body such as our dry elbows, ankles or even lips.
What is skin slugging? What are its benefits?
Skin slugging is a skincare technique that uses a thick layer of an occlusive ingredient as a final step in your skin routine. This makes the skin look shiny and slimy like a slug, hence coining the term skin slugging. It forms a protective barrier on the skin in order to prevent water loss. With its intent to treat excessive dryness, it will certainly take you a step closer to achieving beautiful and radiant looking skin! Here are the main reason you must start slugging right away:
1. Locks in moisture
Slugging is a great way to trap in water and prevent Trans epidermal Water Loss that passively evaporates through the skin.
2. Protects the skin barrier
Our skin barrier is the outermost layer of our skin that acts as a natural defence against the outside world. The harmful UV rays of the sun, over exfoliation, ageing and other factors can break down the barrier. Slugging can help heal the damaged barrier by trapping in moisture that escapes through the broken wall.
To know more about your skin barrier, check out our article here.
3. Anti ageing
As we age our skin loses its capacity to retain moisture, produces natural oil to moisturise the skin and begins to thin. Slugging will help to plump the skin by retaining the water. Most products start to evaporate as soon as they are applied, especially for mature skin. Slugging helps these ingredients to penetrate deeper thus giving better results.
Fight ageing by using our foolproof favourites, click on the link here.
Who is it suitable for and who should avoid it? When should you slug?
While this is a dermatologically approved method, there are certain red flags in some areas. Holistically, this may be nirvana for some while a complete no-no for others. There are few crucial mitigators to keep in mind before jumping on. Taking the right measures will surely prove the benefits of this technique!
A) Slugging should be avoided by those with:
1. Oily or acne prone skin
Since this method is extremely occlusive it traps everything beneath it. This can include dead skin cells, sebum, bacteria and other elements dwelling on the surface of skin. This can clog pores and exacerbate acne.
2. Sensitive or sensitised skin
Those with genetically, hyperactive skin are known to have a sensitive skin type. They are more prone to react to new ingredients and techniques. On the other hand those with sensitised skin face a condition where the skin has been triggered or irritated. Experimenting with extreme approaches such as slugging could cause a reaction. If you are still adamant to try, perform a patch test on a small area to prevent adversites.
Learn all about sensitive and sensitised skin by clicking on the article here.
3. Excessive Sweating
Sweating is a natural process where our body releases a salty liquid to stay cool. Those who sweat profusely during the night should avoid slugging. Trapped sweat along with other products and dead cells can cause development of small red bumps called Miliaria.
4. Fungal or bacterial development
Using petroleum jelly as an ointment to soothe medical conditions caused by infections, fungus or bacteria can lead to severe backfire and should be avoided at all cost.
5. Warm or humid climates
When there are high moisture levels in the air, sweat cannot evaporate leaving our skin sticky attracting pollutants from the environment to settle on our skin. Slugging under these conditions can trap dirt and dust present in the environment resulting in a recipe for disaster.
B) Slugging is best suited for those with:
1. Dry skin
Slugging will help to hold moisture trapping in hydration. It is best to pair it with other hydrating or healing ingredients that include emollients and humectants such as Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera or moisturising creams.
Follow the perfect Clean Beauty guide for dry skin by clicking on the link given here.
C) The right time to slug would include:
Throughout the day our body is exposed to dirt, dust and environmental pollutants that can stick to our skin. Slugging during the day can clog the pores and lead to acne. On the other hand, the night takes us into reperative mode. Trapping in the right ingredients along with moisture can speed up the healing process and give better results.
Using internal heaters to keep us warm can dry out the skin. Slugging is a great way to prevent that chapped feeling we get with temperatures dropping during the winter.
3. Post treatment
Intense treatments such as microneedling or laser hair removal leave the skin feeling fragile and exposed. Nourishing it with soothing ingredients like Oils and Aloe Vera Gel along with occlusive ingredients help to heal the skin.
D) Frequency of use
Not more than once a week.
What are the steps to slug the correct way?
Before you apply any occlusive cleanse out any left over makeup, dead skin cells, or dirt that can clog your pores leading to bacteria development. We recommend using the Shankara Deep Cleanse Facial Ubtan that functions as a 3 in 1 cleaner, mask and exfoliator to leave your skin deeply cleansed. Alternatively you could try the Tvam Charcoal And Green Tea Face Wash with antibacterial properties.
Find the right cleanser for your skin type by clicking here.
2. Use hydrating ingredients
It is important to note that the occlusive layer is only going to lock in hydration not draw it in. Therefore, using hydrating ingredients will draw moisture to the skin.
A) Aloe Vera
With 99.5% water content Aloe Vera contains antioxidants, enzymes and anti-inflammatory properties that can intensely rejuvenate your skin. Just Herbs Aloe Vera Facial Massage Gel restores the natural moisturising factor by delivering Vitamins and moisture to the deepest layers. Learn all about the benefits of Aloe Vera by reading our article here.
B) Hyaluronic Acid
It is a naturally occurring molecule that binds water and collagen that plumps your shin and prevents water from evaporating. It provides significant, long-lasting hydration at a cellular level. Using the right moisturiser such as the Neemli Hyaluronic & Oat Amino Acid Moisturiser with its lightweight texture and fast-absorbing formula, can make your skin feel well balanced and hydrated. Deep dive into Hyaluronic Acid and check out our link given here.
The consistency of a cream works perfectly for slugging as they are not as heavy as butters or oils and can be gently rubbed into the skin. Aminu Earnest Hydrating Cream | Extreme Hydration is powered by molecular film technology that can effectively transport more water by weight to the deep layers of skin.
3. Use an occlusive slugging ingredient
A) For the lips
1. Lip butter
Just as our face, our lips too need pampering. The skin is much thinner and it does not have oil glands to naturally moisturise. Slug your lips by using Oleum Citrus Orange Lip Butter which is made with harvested Beeswax, Butters and Oils that repairs your lips from within unlike their Petroleum based alternatives that would let the skin fall prey to recurring dryness. Find out all about lip care by reading our article here.
B) For the face
This is a naturally occurring lipid that is present in 50% of our body used to hold the skin cells together and prevent water loss. Dr Sheth's Cica and Ceramide Overnight Repair Serum contains Ceramides that accelerates the healing process, repairs the skin barrier and banishes dry, tight skin.
2. Jojoba Oil
With its numerous healing properties, Jojoba oil helps to treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis. SKÖG Jojoba Oil is a multi use cold pressed oil that is rich in Vitamins and Minerals including Antioxidants, Vitamin E, A and D. A great alternative to other occlusives that just sit on the skin and seal water in.
3. Argan Oil
It is a combination of Oleic Acid that is used to help actives penetrate deep into the skin and Linoleic Acid that traps moisture in skin using ceramide synthesis. It also contains Vitamin E and has anti-inflammatory properties. Etsley Skin Repair Serum With Silver Flakes and Argan Oil is a unique blend used to boost cell reproduction, unclog pores, and reduce irritations.
4. Olive Oil
It is filled with antioxidants that can help fight free radicals and defenced skin against external damage. It is mildly comedogenic so recommended to use only by those with extremely dry skin. Dr. Sheth’s Pure Olive Squalane is a single ingredient product that works to balance sebum and hydrate skin. The Olive squalane replenishes oxidized material on the skin allowing your skin to glow.
The most commonly used ingredient for slugging is Petroleum Jelly. Its main function is to lock in moisture. It can be paired with other ingredients for added benefits but on its own, it performs just one function.
C) For the Body
1. Body lotion
A body lotion is a lightweight moisturiser that hydrates the skin. Slugging does not only stop at the face, it can be done all throughout the body especially for dry ankles and elbows. We recommended Soulflower Herbal Bamboo Aloe Vera Body Lotion with Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid to give your skin a glossy look.
Confused between body lotion, cream or oil, click here to find out which is right for you.
- Do not apply comedogenic ingredients before you slug as it could clog your pores.
- Avoid using Actives such as Chemical exfoliators or Retinoids right before, as the slugging layer could aggressively strengthen its performance and lock it in. This could make your skin irritable and trigger a reaction.
Though this trend has recently gained popularity, it is fair to say that skin slugging has existed ever since the invention of occlusive ingredients. And if you have not tried it yet, this might be just what you need!
- Howrah Lookhmanji