Face Slugging Trend: Why it is Here to Stay

Have you heard of slugging skin? Face slugging is taking Tik Tok by storm, but it is actually an ancient practice used in Asia and Africa. Let’s dive deep into this K Sahai approved skincare trend that's taking the world by storm - face slugging.

What is skin slugging? 

Slugging prevents trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) which is a fancy way of saying it seals your skin so water does not escape.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with skin slugging, it's a technique where apply an occlusive product like Lanolin, Cocoa Butter or Jojoba Oil if going natural or petroleum jelly or Vaseline if not and slather it all over your skin like a glazed donut, then you leave it on for hours - best overnight. 

Yes, you read that correctly. People are slugging skin with Petroleum Jelly - The same stuff you use to lubricate your car's engine is being used to give you the skin of your dreams. Don’t worry there are more natural options available with plant oils! 

What Oils are best for face slugging? 

While Tik Tok will tell you to use Petroleum Jelly or Vaseline, we use science and mother nature to give you better, more effective options. The Journal of Cosmetic Science compared the effects of different types of oils on TEWL and skin hydration. The study found that oils like argan oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil were effective at reducing TEWL and improving skin hydration, while other oils like mineral oil and petrolatum were not as effective. As always, mother nature knows best! 

Clinical studies suggest that oils can be effective at reducing TEWL and improving skin hydration, making them a good choice for face slugging or as part of a regular skincare routine. However, it's important to note that different oils may work better for different skin types, so it's important to experiment and find the right oil for your skin. Take our skin quiz to see what oils are best for your skin. Let us know in the notes you want it for face slugging.

Some general recommendations include: 

Squalene Oil: a lightweight, non-greasy oil that's derived from plant sources like olives and sugarcane. It's highly moisturizing and can help to soothe dry, irritated skin. Squalane oil is also non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores and cause breakouts. It's a great option for people with oily or acne-prone skin who want to try slugging.

Rosehip Oil: is another popular oil that can be used for slugging. It's rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which help to hydrate and nourish your skin. Rosehip oil is also known for its ability to reduce the appearance of scars and hyperpigmentation. If you're looking to brighten and even out your skin tone, rosehip oil could be a great option for slugging.

Jojoba Oil: is a lightweight, non-greasy oil that's similar in composition to the natural oils that our skin produces. It's highly moisturizing and can help to balance your skin's oil production. Jojoba oil is also non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores. 

Argan Oil: is a rich, nourishing oil that's derived from the kernels of the argan tree. It's high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which help to hydrate and protect your skin. Argan oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe and calm irritated skin. If you're looking for an oil that's deeply hydrating and has anti-inflammatory properties, argan oil could be a great option for slugging.

What to look for in slugging products?

When it comes to using oils for slugging, it's important to choose a high-quality, pure oil that's free from additives and fragrances. The best natural occlusive oils contain higher proportions of oleic acid. 

Side Note: Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid.

You should also do a patch test first to make sure that the oil doesn't irritate your skin.

Does face slugging work for everyone?

Now, I know what you're thinking, "Won't that clog my pores and make me break out?" But fear not, my friends, because slugging actually works wonders for your skin. The occlusive oil creates a barrier that locks in moisture, leaving your skin feeling soft, supple, and hydrated. It's like putting your face in a cocoon of moisture. However, if you have oily skin or are naturally prone to breakouts, then use rosehip oil and patch test to ensure it suits your skin. 

What are the benefits of face slugging?

Slugging is great to hydrate, protect and repair your skin barrier to seal in moisture. As a fun side effect, your skin will look more plump and youthful. It is especially effective if you have eczema, irritation or very dry skin.  

Also, compared to traditional spa treatments, this one is easy and affordable. So, not only will you have flawless skin, but you'll also have money left over to treat yourself to a fancy latte.

  1. Hydrates skin: As mentioned earlier, face slugging helps to lock in moisture and prevent water loss from your skin. This can lead to softer, smoother, and more hydrated skin.
  2. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: Face slugging can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. That's right, you can say goodbye to those pesky crow's feet and hello to youthful-looking skin. It’s like an overnight mask of hydration.
  3. Soothes dry, flaky skin: If you're someone who struggles with dry, flaky skin, slugging could be a game-changer. The oil creates a barrier on your skin, which prevents water loss and keeps your skin hydrated. 

Warning It can also be messy and transfer onto your pillowcase, so it’s not a bad idea to lay a towel down on your pillow. 

What ingredients to avoid when slugging? 

You want to avoid any product with active ingredients that include: alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or retinoids because they will trap them under the skin and make them much stronger than safely intended by the manufacturer. 

How to slug properly?

Now, I must warn you, skin slugging is not for the faint of heart. The thought of smearing thick gooey oil all over your face and leaving it can be a bit daunting. But trust me, once you try it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Keep it simple. Clean your face so you do not accidentally trap in any makeup or dirt. Apply a generous amount of your occlusive oil. Don’t forget about your neck…could be your face one day! 

What products to use under slugging - and what order?

In my experience, it is best to keep it simple with cleanser and your occlusive oil of choice but you can also layer in your moisturizer if you want. Your occlusive product of choice goes on last. 

  1. Cleanse
  2. Exfoliate (optional)
  3. Moisturizer (optional)
  4. Occlusive Oil 

What about the Science of Skin Slugging?

Let's dive deeper into the world of skin slugging and explore the science behind it because that is what we are all about at K Sahai.

Our skin has three layers: the epidermis (outer layer), the dermis (middle layer), and the subcutaneous layer (innermost layer). The epidermis is made up of several layers of cells, with the outermost layer being the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is responsible for protecting our skin from environmental factors like UV radiation, pollution, and bacteria. It also helps to regulate water loss from our skin. When the stratum corneum is healthy, it acts as a barrier that prevents water from evaporating too quickly. This keeps our skin hydrated and healthy. However, when the stratum corneum is damaged or compromised, water can evaporate from our skin at a faster rate, leading to dryness, flakiness, and even cracking. This is where slugging comes in. Because of all the chemicals (make up, air pollution, etc) our skin is constantly exposed to, we need to give our stratum corneum support to do its job. 

By applying a layer of thick oil to your face, you're essentially creating a new barrier on top of your skin, which helps to prevent water loss and lock in moisture.

So, there you have it! By creating a barrier on your skin, you can help to lock in moisture, soothe dry, flaky patches, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you're looking for an easy and effective way to hydrate and nourish your skin, slugging might be worth a try.

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