Ask an Esthetician – Does Slugging Really Work?

Curious about slugging? The trending beauty hack seen all over TikTok and Instagram has us wondering . . . what’s the hype?

It isn’t a new concept. Traditionally, slugging refers to using an occlusive petroleum-based product (usually Vaseline) at the end of your skincare routine overnight and applying it thick enough to help keep your skin looking hydrated and glowing in the winter months. The word “slugging” describes the slimy, shiny way your skin appears after applying the product. While glowing results may be the goal, petroleum and paraffin products aren’t necessarily the best ingredients you want sitting on your skin, and here’s why. 

Paraffin (which is derived from petroleum) can be found in cosmetics and skincare; it’s used as a moisturizing agent in beauty products. It’s much cheaper to source paraffin than natural oils, so a lot of conventional brands will use it in their formulations. Because it’s derived from petroleum, it can contain dangerous carcinogens that could potentially cause cancer. To give you an idea of how dangerous paraffin is, many parts of the world use paraffin oil as fuel to burn lamps – why would you want this anywhere near your skin? In addition, using petroleum-based products, in the long run, can cause skin irritation like contact dermatitis. When our skin gets used to having petroleum jelly as a barrier, it becomes reliant on it for hydration and stops producing sebum (your natural barrier). Using petroleum jelly itself isn’t hydrating, it simply keeps the moisture in your skin from evaporating, and if you don’t use it with hydrating products, you’re more likely drying yourself out in the process. 

Seal in the good stuff instead//

How to slug the Botnia way (with plant-based skincare!): 
-After cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, layer on a good amount of Soothing Repair Mask all over your face and decolléte. 
-While it’s still wet, use a hydrosol to bring in that additional moisture into the mask. (We love using our seasonal Rose Geranium Hydrosol!) 
-Allow the mask to dry. It’ll be a little sticky, but dry to the touch.
-Then head to bed. Sweet dreams!
– In the morning, wash the mask off with water. Follow up with your normal morning routine.

The difference in slugging with Botnia is HUGE! While the trending way is oil-based, our way is water-based. Our version of slugging is actually hydrating while using a petroleum-based product is occlusive and trapping things on the surface of the skin. It’ll make you look shiny as a slug, but it’s not necessarily hydrating. 

When you use Botnia’s Soothing Repair Mask to slug, you’re getting all the hydrating and plumping effects from hyaluronic acid and rose geranium hydrosol (a humectant that brings water to the skin). Hyaluronic acid will hold the moisture in your skin overnight, giving you plump, dewy skin. We add arnica and goldenseal extracts to help heal and soothe your skin. These botanicals also fight bacteria and fungi too! Can Vaseline do that? 

While Vaseline might be a natural product, using it daily can have a detrimental impact on your overall health. We highly suggest making the switch to an organic water-based product that’ll truly hydrate AND nourish your skin while you sleep. Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried slugging and how it works for you!


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