TikTok may owe its rapid rise in popularity to all those viral dance videos, but the app has since evolved to become the home of the beauty hacks. From curling your hair using a radiator to shaving your brows in accordance to the culturally hideous fox-eye trend, the app is loaded with visually striking 60-second beauty tutorials, often starring a user scoring 100 for enthusiasm, but 0 for qualification.
Taking advice on crafting the perfect smoky eye from a TikTok user may of course be harmless enough, but when it comes to skincare it always pays to listen to the experts. And one such born on TikTok craze that has those experts internally screaming is slugging.
The latest skin hack slugging is just as silly as it sounds
Not quite as revolting as it sounds, slugging involves coating the skin in a thick, occlusive layer of petroleum jelly, creating a slimy sheen that explains the name.
The thinking behind slugging is that by applying a wholly occlusive barrier to the skin, and letting it sit overnight, the process of trans-epidermal-water-loss (or TEWL) will be inhibited. Simply speaking, moisture won’t be able to evaporate from the skin, meaning you’ll wake up with a juicy complexion.
Slugging is indeed rarely advised by the experts – but perhaps not for the reason you may think. Petroleum jelly itself is a non-comedogenic ingredient, meaning it wont sink into your pores and lead to hellish breakouts. What it does do, however, is stop the skin from releasing excess oils and bacteria, which is how those breakouts develop.
As facial expert Ada Ooi adds, another issue with slugging is that petroleum jelly lacks actual water, meaning your skin isn’t receiving the extra hydration it wants and will receive from a good old moisturizer.
While a Vaseline-like ointment creates a ‘duvet’ which may help to avoid water loss by suffocating the skin with its thick and occlusive texture, one of the most important components that ‘slugging’ is missing is water content. Ooi recommends leaving the Vaseline alone and instead prioritizing moisturizers that work to boost hydration. “Injecting water content will not only hydrate the skin, it will also help balance sebum levels.Ada Ooi – Facial Expert
If it’s next-level hydration you’re after, the below four moisturizers contain optimal levels of humectants, emollients and occlusive. The three key elements of hydration and will leave you radiant, not slimy.