CeraVe Skin Smarts Skincare Tips Advice What Is Slugging


Slugging involves applying an occlusive ointment, such as CeraVe Healing Ointment, as the final step in your nighttime moisturizing routine. This technique aims to reveal a "glass skin" effect, characterized by a plump and hydrated appearance. To help you determine if slugging is right for you and to ensure you do it correctly, we will provide you with all the essential information about this trending skincare practice, along with an easy-to-follow slugging guide.

Key Facts about Slugging in Skincare

  • Slugging is a well-known moisturizing technique that entails generously applying an occlusive product to your face as the last step in your evening skincare routine.
  • The name "slugging" originates from the glossy sheen it imparts to the skin, resembling that of a slug, after the application of the chosen slugging product.
  • Typically, slugging involves using a petrolatum-based occlusive, such as CeraVe Healing Ointment.
  • Occlusives used in slugging create a physical barrier on the skin, sealing in moisture and preventing transepidermal water loss. The ultimate goal is to achieve fresh-looking, plump, and hydrated skin.
  • Slugging is generally recommended for individuals with dry skin. However, it may not be suitable for those with acne-prone skin or individuals prone to blemishes. If you have any concerns about whether slugging is suitable for you, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist.


Understanding Slugging Skincare

The slugging skincare trend involves applying an occlusive, such as petrolatum (also known as petroleum jelly), to your face as the final step in your evening moisturizing routine. While the term "slugging" is often associated with K-beauty skincare trends, its roots can be traced back decades, originating from the Black community. The name "slugging" is derived from the shiny sheen it imparts to the face, reminiscent of a slug. The primary objective of face slugging is to promote a dewy, fresh, and youthful appearance, with skin that appears plump and well-hydrated.

By incorporating slugging into your skincare routine using CeraVe Healing Ointment, you can experience the potential benefits of this trending technique.


How Slugging Works in Skincare ?

Slugging involves the use of occlusives, such as petrolatum, which are moisturizers composed of oils and waxes. These occlusives create a protective barrier on your skin, sealing in moisture and preventing water loss. Research shows that petrolatum-based moisturizers, like CeraVe Healing Ointment, are highly effective, reducing water loss through the epidermis by nearly 99%. This impermeable wall created by occlusives supports skin barrier repair and prevents moisture from evaporating while you sleep.

The theory behind slugging is that applying an occlusive before bed not only locks in moisture but also enhances the potency of other skincare products applied earlier. By using an occlusive in slugging, you can maximize the benefits of your skincare routine.

Can All Skin Types Try Slugging?

While petrolatum is non-comedogenic and suitable for various uses, including soothing dry skin on the eyelids and lips, slugging may not be suitable for all skin types. The American Academy of Dermatology advises against using petrolatum-based products on the face if you have blemish-prone skin, as they may trigger breakouts. However, slugging can be particularly beneficial for dry, flaky, or easily cracked skin. To determine if slugging is right for your skin type, it is recommended to consult with a board-certified dermatologist for personalized advice.

When Should I Use Face Slugging?

Incorporating face slugging into your skincare routine is simple. Apply your chosen slugging product as the final step in your nighttime routine, after cleansing, toning, applying eye cream, serum, and moisturizer. It is important to use gentle, hydrating products before slugging, such as those containing hyaluronic acid or ceramides. Avoid using formulas with active ingredients, like retinol or hydroxy acids, before slugging to prevent potential irritation or unwanted side effects from sealing in these actives overnight.

By understanding how slugging works and following the proper usage guidelines, you can experience the benefits of this skincare technique and achieve healthier, more hydrated skin.


How Often Should You Use the Slugging Skincare Method?

The frequency of using the slugging skincare method depends on your skin type and concerns. For most skin types, it is not necessary or recommended to completely seal your skin barrier every night. It is advisable to alternate slugging days with "non-slug" days. However, during extremely dry and cold winter months, you may consider slugging daily to combat moisture loss. It is important to understand your skin type and listen to its needs. If you are unsure, consult with a board-certified dermatologist for personalized advice.

Introducing Body Slugging

The benefits of slugging can extend beyond the face. You can apply the same concept to your body to lock in moisture, especially on dry areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees. To achieve deeply hydrated skin on your body, follow the same steps as face slugging, but apply a petrolatum-based product after your regular body moisturizer post-shower.

Other areas where "body slugging" is popular include the neck, chest, and cuticles. For intensely dry feet in winter, apply ointment after moisturizing and wear soft socks to bed for the ultimate "foot slug" experience.

Slugging with CeraVe Healing Ointment

CeraVe Healing Ointment is an excellent choice for your slugging routine. It contains essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid in a moisturizing base to protect, soothe, and hydrate dry skin. This non-comedogenic ointment locks in moisture without clogging pores. It is lightweight, intensely hydrating, suitable for all skin types, and free of fragrance, dyes, and lanolin to minimize the risk of irritation.

To begin your slugging routine with CeraVe Healing Ointment, apply a small amount to your fingertips and then evenly distribute it on your skin, focusing on dry areas. This ointment can be applied before bed, enhancing your skin's natural moisture barrier function for up to eight hours. It provides hydration that lasts up to 24 hours.

Slugging Tip: To avoid any messiness, tie your hair back or use a sleep headband while slugging. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes before going to bed to prevent staining or making a mess of your pillowcase, especially if it is silk or satin.




    1. Harwood A, Nassereddin A, Krishnamurthy K. Moisturizers. [Updated 2021 Jun 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.
    2. 5 Ways to Use Petroleum Jelly for Skin Care.” American Academy of Dermatology Association, Everyday Care, 2022.

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