Slugging, a skincare technique that involves using a heavy occlusive like petroleum jelly to lock in moisture, has become a popular trend. It boosts water retention, restores the skin barrier, and leaves the skin looking supple and plump. Legacy brands and even a dedicated slugging line have been introduced to cater to this trend. However, using too much occlusive can have negative effects on the skin.
Is there such thing as too much slugging?
While slugging can be beneficial in trapping moisture deep into the skin, board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner warns against overuse. He explains that relying too much on occlusives can potentially make the skin ‘lazy’ and cause it to stop producing its own lipids. This can result in drier skin as the skin becomes complacent. Similar to the cycle seen with lip balm ‘addiction,’ where excessive use leads to dry and chapped lips, chronic slugging can be harmful.
However, dermatologist Ranella Hirsch suggests that regular slugging can be beneficial for those with very dry skin. The key is to listen to your skin and adjust your routine accordingly.
How much moisture is too much?
There is no definitive answer to this question as skincare needs vary from person to person. If your skin feels dry, stiff, and tight on non-slugging nights, it may be a sign that you are overdoing it. Other indicators of excessive slugging include dullness, congestion, and acne-prone skin. In such cases, it is important to give your skin a break from occlusives and use lightweight serums and moisturizers instead.
It is worth noting that there haven’t been any studies conducted to definitively prove the negative effects of slugging. Dermatologists suggest considering other factors that may contribute to skin issues rather than solely blaming excessive use of occlusives. Ultimately, it is important to find a balance that works for your skin.
In conclusion, slugging can be a beneficial skincare technique, but using it excessively may have drawbacks. It is recommended to pay attention to your skin’s needs and adjust your routine accordingly.