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Slug your Body to Moisturize It

Living in the desert means dry skin, there’s no way around it. And despite your best efforts at keeping up with it, there never seems to be a remedy.

A new K-beauty trend, body slugging, may be the answer to hydrated glowing skin. Slugging is simply covering your face with petroleum jelly after moisturizing in your night-time routine.

Hence the name “slugging” since you are now a slimy slug.

Body slugging refers to taking this further and covering your entire body before bed with an occlusive such as Vaseline and Aquafor that create a physical barrier on top of the skin to keep skin moist and hydrated.

Before it was called slugging, dermatologists were advising patients with dry skin and eczema to use petroleum jelly, especially over their bodies. By creating a seal, water loss is minimal and the skin’s lipid barrier has time to repair itself.

The steps are simple.

Before applying the occlusive, apply your normal moisturizer. It’s essential to cleanse the skin before applying any products, so take a quick shower and apply moisturizer as soon as you are done.

Next, leave the moisturizer on for a few minutes to allow it to absorb into the skin. Now seal with the occlusive. Then wipe off gently, leaving a thin layer. Although some leave a heavy layer on overnight, some experts advise against this because it seals the skin for too long.

Bear in mind that this will soak into your pajamas or bed linens, so you’ll need to clean your clothes and bedding afterward.

Fortunately, suffering through stickiness isn’t the only way to get the slugging effect. There is a spray-on version of a good occlusive, Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray. Even though it’s thinner and dispenses as a mist, it’s still an effective topcoat. Plus, it’s a bit easier to apply.

Cetaphil Healing Ointment also is a bit thinner and easier to spread.

If you want some extra moisture but don’t want to get all slugged up, look for products that contain ingredients like ceramides, glycerin or shea butter. Moisturizers with ingredients like lactic acid exfoliate the skin while also hydrating, especially if you tend to be on the drier side.

Also, if you have acne-prone skin, slugging probably isn’t for you because it can cause outbreaks. And slugging, body or face, isn’t an everyday ritual. You’ll block your pores and your skin won’t be able to breath. Once or twice a week should do it.

Finally, don’t apply petroleum jelly after using retinol and AHA, especially if you have sensitive skin. Slugging can cause them to over-absorb and lead to skin irritation.

It’s best to use hyaluronic acid serum or your favorite mild moisturizer before slugging, allowing it to do its magic while you sleep.

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