5 min read

Face Slugging: All You Need to Know About This TikTok Trend

Cosmetic texture gel or Vaseline smudge on a pink background

We are sure many of you have already heard about "slugging," a viral TikTok trend with over 10K published videos that promise to help with skin moisture levels and the look and feel of your complexion overnight. Simply said, slugging is applying a thick layer of moisturizer, usually products like petroleum jelly or Vaseline, onto the skin's surface. But is slugging worth the hype? Does it clog the pores? Is it suitable for every skin type? Let's answer some frequently asked questions.  

What is Slugging?

The term "slugging" comes from the smooth, glossy appearance the skin takes on post-application, reminding of the trail left by a slug. The idea behind it is to apply occlusive ingredients (such as Vaseline or petroleum jelly) over other beneficial products (such as moisturizers), which then creates a barrier and acts as a shield for the skin. By sealing in moisture, it prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is the amount of water that passively evaporates through the skin and a common cause of dry and dehydrated skin 


While slugging is a rising trend, its origins can be traced back a few years ago, when skincare expert Charlotte Palermino shared her slugging skincare routine. Despite that, it's the social media, particularly TikTok, that has put slugging into the spotlight.  

Is Slugging Better Than Regular Moisturizers?

Well, both do the job of keeping your skin hydrated, but slugging adds an extra layer of protection and helps your skin hold onto moisture better. And if you're not into using Vaseline or petroleum jelly, no worries. You can use other moisturizers or hydrating face masks you already have. The important thing is to pick a formula with gentle, hydrating ingredients that'll keep your skin hydrated without causing irritation. It is even more important to have a good moisturizer under the layer of Vaseline petroleum jelly. 


FOREO SUPERCHARGED™ Ultra-Hydrating Sleeping Mask is an excellent example - it aligns with the concept of slugging by providing rich hydration overnight without clogging pores. Formulated with 99% natural origin ingredients, this nourishing leave-on treatment replenishes and rejuvenates the skin while you sleep, helping you wake up to a healthy and dewy complexion. It's an option to consider if you're looking to boost your skincare routine with gentle but effective hydration. A closeup of a pink cream in golden packaging on a peach-tones surface, sun glasses next to it.

Is Vaseline Good for Your Face?

A common question regarding slugging is: does Vaseline clog pores? Contrary to popular belief, a study shows that Vaseline won't clog your pores because its molecules are too big to penetrate the pores, which means Vaseline is a non-comedogenic product and a safe choice for slugging. In addition to the molecular size of Vaseline, it also has inert nature: as a highly refined derivative of crude oil, it lacks water and typically does not contain any additional ingredients that could potentially irritate the skin. This makes it an excellent option for sensitive skin or those prone to allergies. Moreover, Vaseline's occlusive properties can be particularly good for you if you have a compromised skin barrier due to environmental factors like wind or cold weather. So yes, you can feel comfortable leaving Vaseline on your face overnight.   

Do Dermatologists Recommend Slugging?

They sure do. Dermatologists often recommend using thick moisturizers like petroleum jelly or any hydrating face mask you already have for people with really dry or damaged skin. The key is to focus on hydration and stick to gentle formulas that will work to hydrate and calm your skin. As said, they will form a protective barrier, which will help to lock in moisture and make other skincare products work better.   

@dr.mamina FYI: Even though this doesn’t clog pores, it can exacerbate acne if you are acne-prone. Otherwise great for other skin types! #dermatologist #skincare #learnontiktok #slugging #moisturize ♬ original sound - Dr. Mamina Turegano, MD

Is It Beneficial for All Skin Types?

While slugging can benefit some skin types, it may not be suitable for everyone. Petrolatum—the primary ingredient in products used for slugging— is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores and is classified as a skin protectant by the FDA. However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it's advisable to avoid using petrolatum-based products like petroleum jelly on your face if you have acne-prone skin, as they may cause breakouts for some people. On the contrary, slugging is particularly beneficial for those with dry, flaky skin or skin prone to cracking. If you're uncertain about whether slugging is suitable for your skin type, seeking advice from a dermatologist is always recommended.  

How to Slug Your Face?

Slugging is usually the last step in your nighttime skincare routine. 

Step 1: Cleanse

As every night, start your nighttime skincare routine with a double cleanse using Swedish Cleansing Routine by FOREO. While slugging is non-comedogenic, applying an occlusive over clogged pores or retained makeup can cause breakouts.  To make sure your skin is super clean, apply LUNA™ Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Balm to dissolve any makeupsunscreen, and impurities accumulated throughout the day. Massage the balm onto dry skin, then rinse off with water or wipe away with a damp cloth. Follow up with LUNA™ Micro-Foam Cleanser 2.0 and LUNA™ 4 facial cleansing device to deeply cleanse pores and remove any remaining residue. Double cleansing ensures that your skin is completely clean, providing a fresh canvas for your skincare products.

Step 2: Moisturize

Hydrate your skin by applying a moisturizer to deeply nourish the skin and provide the wanted hydration. SUPERCHARGED™ HA+PGA Triple-Action Intense Moisturizer is excellent for deep hydration and skin-strengthening. It is important to mention that you should avoid slugging over active ingredients like Retinol, Vitamin C, and exfoliants!

FOREO SUPERCHARGED Moistruizer product

Step 3: Sealing the Goods

The key to slugging is sealing in all the moisture with an occlusive. Whether it's a pea-sized amount of petroleum jelly, a thick moisturizer, or an overnight mask, such as SUPERCHARGED™ Ultra-Hydrating Sleeping Mask, this step ensures maximum hydration and promises skin rejuvenation while you sleep. 

Be careful not to apply it over and around the eyes because it can cause Milia - small, firm white papules.   

@dermdoctor Slugging with Vaseline 101 @Vaseline Brand #dermdoctor #slugging #dermatologist #vaseline #vaselinepartner ♬ Shallow Water - Chris Alan Lee

How Do You Sleep While Slugging?

Many people have concerns about the logistics of sleeping while slugging: Will the product transfer onto the pillowcase and leave it all greasy? To avoid this, it's generally advised to do the slugging routine about two hours before bedtime. It allows the product enough time to absorb into the skin, reducing the risk of it rubbing off onto the bedding. Implementing slugging into your skincare routine is relatively straightforward. Reserved for the evening hours, slugging involves applying a pea-amount layer of petroleum jelly on the cleansed and moisturized skin, focusing on areas prone to dryness. 


While some enjoy slugging each night, others incorporate it as their skin needs it - depending on their skin's hydration levels and environmental factors. So, there is a one-size-fits-all answer on how often you should slug your face.   Closeup of a finger of a young woman with substance like petroleum jelly on it. Blurred face in the background.Don't forget your skin concerns when thinking about slugging. For those with acne-prone or oily skin, slugging may not be the best option as it could potentially cause breakouts. People with certain skin conditions, such as eczema or rosacea, should consult a dermatologist before incorporating slugging into their skincare. 


In conclusion, slugging might emerge as more than just a passing trend. It is a dermatologically backed approach to skincare that prioritizes hydration and skin barrier protection. As with any skincare practice, the key lies in understanding your skin's needs and building your routine around them.

Leave a comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.