It involves covering the entire face in a thick layer of occlusive moisturizer before bedtime
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: While snail mucus is a popular ingredient in Korean skincare, “slugging” has nothing to do with actual slugs.
And there’s no mucus involved, either. The K-beauty trend—now a viral TikTok hack—for dewy skin involves slathering your face with a heavy occlusive moisturizer like petroleum jelly at night before bed.
The method of hydration first gained popularity in Reddit’s Skincare Addiction forum, where the users claim that they wake up in the morning with remarkably softer and glowing skin after going to sleep with their faces greased up “slug style.”
But, what is the skincare benefits of slugging? “The balance of dead skin and lipids is crucial for your barrier because lipid acts as the glue that keeps the outermost layer of the skin intact,” cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Karishma Kagodu told publication Vogue in an interview. “So, a depleted lipid layer of your skin is fixed by the petroleum found in Vaseline.”
Before you incorporate slugging in your routine, remember that it won’t add moisture or hydration to the skin. Occlusive moisturizers like petroleum jelly is not absorbed into the deep skin layers. Instead, it acts as a surface barrier to keep dirt out and prevent the loss of moisture.