6 reasons to try strategic slugging this season

Juicy skin is the universal winter goal

Editor / May 20 2024

Don’t let the uninviting name deter you - slugging is the moisture-intensive skin care trend you simply cannot afford to skip this winter. Well, not if you have a penchant for glossy skin, that is.

Hinging on the application of an ‘occlusive ointment’ (more on that in a minute), the technique basically aims to ensure your skin has the best possible chance at soaking up all the nourishing hydration you’re applying. And who wouldn’t want that?!

So if juicy, bouncy, fresh skin is your goal, even in the depths of winter, here are six reasons to try strategic slugging this season…

#1: It locks in moisture and limits product waste

You may be wondering: what’s all the slugging hype about, and how does it actually work? Slugging (AKA layering on an ‘occlusive’ product as the final step of your skin care routine after cleansing and moisturising) basically builds a barrier between your face and the elements. ‘Occlusives’ help prevent water loss in skin, so they ensure everything hydrating you’re applying is trapped with nowhere to go but into your complexion. This means your skin will be able to fully soak up and benefit from the ingredients in your favourite formulas. Which brings us to…

#2: It allows ingredients to do their best work

The stellar thing about slugging is that it maximises the abilities of all the ingredients you’re trapping inside that trusty occlusive layer. Load on a layer of the CeraVe Advanced Repair Balm ($17.99 at Chemist Warehouse), for example, and you’re treating your complexion to a hit of three ingredients your moisture levels will truly thank you for.

First up? The three essential ceramides that star in CeraVe’s fan-fave formulas. Ceramides are an essential part of the skin barrier (think of your skin barrier as a brick wall – ceramides make up part of the ‘cement’). They’re downright devoted to shielding the skin from dehydration and protecting against irritants, so their presence in the formula is a major win. Next in the mix is petrolatum, the occlusive ingredient that forms a protective barrier on top of the skin, and locks in all that wonderful moisture. And rounding out the trio is hyaluronic acid, the gold standard ingredient in the hydration game, and one with the goal of seriously topping up your skin’s dwindling moisture stocks. With that trifecta, you’ve got the exact moisturising ingredients your skin is thirsty for, and the barrier that makes sure they’ll get where they need to go.

#3: It can be tailored to your nightly needs

You can absolutely tailor your slugging strategy to suit your skin needs. Some nights you might want to go all in in the slugging stakes, layering several formulas onto skin before locking them in with your occlusive product, and some nights you may prefer a lighter layer of the Advanced Repair Balm, applied solo. Whichever way you go, be sure to apply onto freshly cleansed skin to avoid locking in any buildup. We want glowing skin, not clogged pores, after all! The Advanced Repair Balm is also non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores.

#4: It’s dermatologist-approved

Slugging is one of the few TikTok trends that dermatologists actually rate, as several derms have confirmed it’s a solid approach for those with dry skin. According to dermatologist Dr. Muneeb Shah, commonly known as ‘DermDoctor’ on TikTok, slugging can be an excellent way to lock in moisture and support a compromised skin barrier. “Cleanse, apply a gentle moisturiser, and use CeraVe’s Advanced Repair Balm right afterwards. That’s a perfect slugging routine for the night,” he says. Thankfully, that trusty trio of ingredients we mentioned (hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, and 3 essential ceramides) are all dermatologist-recommend. “It’s a really elegant formula for what it accomplishes. From a performance, texture and ingredient standpoint, it really stands out,” Dr. Shah says. In fact, the whole formula, along with the entire CeraVe range, is developed with dermatologists, so you know it’s a product you can put your trust in.

#5: It allows you to strategically target specific areas

Body slugging is also worth thinking about, as all the same skin benefits apply. However, considering the slugging trend stems from wanting to get the most out of your precious products, it can seem counterintuitive to slather your beloved skin care all over your body, and finish off a tube in one application. Our advice? Focus your body slugging efforts on particularly dry areas (think elbows, knees, and heels) to make sure your whole body is evenly moisturised (as these parched areas have some catching up to do).

#6: You’ll wake up with gloriously glossy skin

Like, literally. Commit to slugging a few nights a week and when you wake, you may just look like you’re genuinely glistening; think Edward Cullen sunning himself. And while the physical coating of gloss will be rinsed away in the shower (another cleanse post-slugging, please), the benefits of the moisture that has sunk in below won’t. Master the method of strategic slugging and you’ll be on your way to the glowiest, glossiest skin winter has seen yet.

Main image credit: @madelame

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Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.

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