Slugging: Everything You Need to Know on This Trending Skin Care Technique

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It is common for facial care routines to include products that promise to improve the complexion without waiting long to show results. This is the case with slugging, a technique that proposes to polish the face with petroleum jelly.

This substance, as the University Clinic of Navarra points out, is a formula in the form of paste, cream or ointment with emollient, lubricating and protective properties for the skin. This composition is derived from the refining of saturated hydrocarbons.

Since it is useful for treating irritations, scabs and excoriations, Vaseline has gained a place in the beauty world. On social media, some content creators suggest applying the ingredient to the face to give it a “porcelain” look. But you have to be careful with this trick. So want to learn more about this slugging technique? Read on!

What Is Slugging?

Slugging is part of K-Beauty, a Korean beauty identification term. It consists of spreading a layer of petroleum jelly on the face to soften and brighten it.

The popularity of the method is due to the flattering comments on social networks, where they assure that the complexion changes overnight.

However, convincing evidence is needed to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. Dermatological opinions refer to it cautiously, as petrolatum works as a remedy in some skin conditions, but facial skin is very delicate.

In addition, most of the videos posted on TikTok do not correspond to medical professionals, but to users who have tried the product and recommend it for removing blackheads and smoothing.

Although in some cases the results are positive, professionals warn that kerosene gels should not be applied daily. These mixtures tend to interfere with the functionality of the glands that produce the skin’s lipids.

Vaseline cannot be applied to the skin daily because its hydrocarbon derivatives can cause side effects.

Is Slugging Suitable for All Skin Types?

During periods of low temperatures or on a very windy, cold day, a little Vaseline can be helpful, provided the face does not have the following characteristics:

  • Predisposition to acne: Oily skin would be aggravated by the film-forming characteristic of the ointment, capable of affecting the work of the sebaceous glands.
  • Infections: There is a possibility that the ointment may interfere with the healing of an open wound, although the emollient has always been marketed as a protector for minor cuts and burns.
  • Oily skin: Dermas with this singularity already have the appropriate or excessive lipid layer and do not need an additional layer.

Advantages and Risks of Slugging

It is crucial to know the advantages and disadvantages of the K-Beauty tip. By respecting the steps and the condition of the skin, you will obtain adequate results.


Among the advantages, we can mention the following:

  • It promotes the penetration of ingredients: Vaseline is occlusive. For this reason, the slug entrusts the last step of skin care routines to petrolatum. This acts as a night mask that seals in the previously applied active ingredients. The idea is that the substances penetrate better.
  • Maintains trans-epidermal water: even though it is a thin layer, the consistency of the product preserves the moisture of the skin. This is one of the premises of the process.
  • Helps the skin barrier: those who use this method seek to improve the skin’s protective barrier, as it is believed to prevent the passage of environmental dirt to the facial tissues.


On the other hand, the risks to consider of Vaseline on the skin are as follows:

  • May lead to breakouts: If your face is experiencing breakouts from pimples, blackheads, and blemishes, petroleum jelly can make the situation worse. Similarly, petroleum jelly encourages the diligent absorption of comedogenic oils, which are not suitable for oily skin.
  • Conflict of active ingredients: Many skin beautifying cosmetics have powerful active ingredients, such as retinoids. Because of the wrapping nature of petroleum jelly, this class of ingredients is trapped and the risk of harming sensitive skin with irritation, hyperpigmentation and pimples increases.
  • Possible delay in disinfection: Vaseline should be withheld until areas with dermatitis or infections, whether fungal or bacterial, have healed. Depending on the severity, the process would be delayed by clogging of the pores. In these cases, the application area should be thoroughly cleaned and treated with a topical steroid prescribed by the dermatologist.


Although this technique has certain natural affinities with the skin, the correct thing is to consult and respect the dermatological observations regarding what you will use as a facial beautifier. What’s your thoughts on the slugging method? Let us know in the comments below.

Slugging: Everything You Need to Know on This Trending Skin Care Technique

One thought on “Slugging: Everything You Need to Know on This Trending Skin Care Technique

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