Gwyneth Paltrow (Photo : Getty Images/Dia Dipasupil)
Gwyneth Paltrow attends as Swarovski celebrates SKIMS Collaboration and unveils it's NYC flagship store on November 07, 2023 in New York City.

Trends come and go, but one that has caught the attention of beauty enthusiasts and Hollywood stars like Gwyneth Paltrow is "slugging." 

The viral skincare trend, popularized on TikTok, involves sealing the skin with occlusives, which are oils and waxes, overnight. According to Glamour, the name "slugging" aptly describes the glossy aftermath reminiscent of a slug's trail.

While Paltrow is renowned for embracing unconventional wellness trends, she remained cautiously neutral about slugging.

In a recent interview with Page Six, the actress expressed her reservations, describing herself as "Switzerland in slugging."

Paltrow said the practice looked "sticky" but assured enthusiasts, "If you're into it, it can't hurt you."

How slugging works

Slugging is a skincare ritual that entails applying a thick layer of an occlusive product, typically petroleum jelly, to create a protective barrier on the skin. This process aims to prevent water loss during the night and seal in the benefits of hydrating skincare products like sheet masks and moisturizers.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein attested to the efficacy of slugging, especially for addressing dryness and eczema. According to Glamour, Dr. Whitney Bowe, another board-certified dermatologist Glamour spoke to, also emphasized its benefits for super dry skin, stating that the occlusive layer of petrolatum helps heal damaged skin barriers and prevents water loss.

Here's a breakdown of the steps of a slugging skincare routine, as reported by CNN.

1. Cleanse and tone

The slugging skincare routine begins with the basics. Start by thoroughly cleansing your face to remove makeup and impurities. Opt for a gentle cleanser to avoid drying out your skin. If you use a toner, make sure it's alcohol-free to maintain skin hydration.

2. Apply serum

To maximize hydration and moisturization, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Mark recommended using a lightweight hyaluronic acid serum, according to CNN. Hyaluronic acid's impressive water-binding capacity ensures optimal absorption of subsequent skincare products.

3. Moisturize

While not mandatory before slugging, moisturizing can enhance your skincare routine. In an interview with CNN, Dr. Hadley King suggested a moisturizer containing humectants, emollients, and occlusives to maintain skin moisture. Apply facial oil after moisturizing, as it complements the slugging process by smoothing the skin and providing additional occlusive benefits.

4. Slugging 

The highlight of the routine is, of course, slugging. Always make it the final step in your skincare routine. After moisturizing, apply a thin layer of your chosen occlusive, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to create a protective barrier. Let the occlusive work its magic overnight, sealing in the benefits of your skincare products.

Benefits of slugging with petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly, commonly found in products like Aquaphor, CeraVe Balm, and Vaseline, serves as an effective occlusive agent. Dermatologists Glamour spoke to, including Dr. Marchbein and Dr. Bowe, recommended slugging for its ability to trap moisture, making it particularly beneficial for treating conditions like eczema.

Bowe noted that slugging with petroleum jelly is excellent for preventing water loss and aiding in the healing of damaged skin barriers. The practice is versatile, suitable for various body parts from lips to eyelids and even ankles.

Whether you're a skincare novice or a seasoned enthusiast, the world of beauty always has something new to offer, and "slugging" might just be the next big thing in your nighttime routine.