I smeared Vaseline over my skin for ‘slugging’ trend – I was a sweaty mess & freaked my husband out, but did it work?

Fabulous Beauty Panellist Keshia East tries out ‘slugging’…TikTok’s weirdest skincare trend.

Here's how Keshia got on over a week of trying it out.

THE THEORY

Originating in South Korea, slugging involves coating your face in Vaseline before bed to create a mucus-covered, slug-like film that locks in moisture. The following morning, you are meant to have a smoother complexion.

The technique, which has been popularised by fan videos on TikTok, is said to  heal dry, parched skin, and it is claimed that it won’t cause nasty breakouts. 

EXPERT VIEW

 DR IFEOMA EJIKEME, founder of the Adonia Medical Clinic in Maida Vale, West London, says: “Slugging essentially adds an agent over your moisturiser  to prevent free water loss and to help moisturise. 

“It’s only really suitable and beneficial for very dry skin. In oily or acne-prone skin, the layer of Vaseline may block the pores and increase the risk of breakouts.”

HOW TO DO IT

 ONCE you have finished your usual night-time routine, tie your hair up and apply a layer of Vaseline all over your face. 

Apply to drier areas only and avoid oily or acne-prone skin.

Do it for as long as you need or until your skin feels hydrated.

Start by sleeping in  the treatment every night for quick results, then do it as and when your skin feels dry. If this is most of the time, do it more regularly.

MY EXPERIENCE

SOMETIMES my skin can be quite dry, other days super oily. 

As a result, I have a varied but strict routine, making sure to cleanse and moisturise every night along with all the serums, acids and SPFs in between.

When I saw TikTokers coating their face in Vaseline to get glowing skin, I was sceptical. The greasy, thick formula seems like a recipe for break-outs — and it would probably ruin my pillow cases. 

But my job as a beauty blogger is to try out the trends, so as slugging had received rave reviews, I decided  to face up to the challenge. 

As it’s a lot heavier than my night serum, I started the first night with just a pea-size amount, applied everywhere.

It looked pretty crazy, like I’d just finished a 10K run — only without the redness. My husband even asked if I was sweating when he saw me, so I probably wouldn’t recommend putting this on when you have company. 

I went to sleep with a loaded, shiny face, certain I would wake up looking like an oily mess — but instead I looked as though I’d just come from a luxurious facial.

My sebum levels were controlled and my skin looked dewy and fresh. I was actually shocked.

Dryness around my nose, mouth and chin had disappeared too. That  takes a lot longer with my usual moisturisers. 

On the evening of day two, I boarded a flight to Ghana. 

The dry cabin air always leaves my skin thirsty and tight, so I normally pack face masks to give my skin a hydration boost. This time, I opted for Vaseline instead. 

Although the slug-like texture looked and felt weird, the effects were much more evident. The morning after my flight, my skin felt SO soft.

By day four I was seeing an unexpected plumpness. My cheeks were glowing, and looked fuller and my skin overall felt firmer.

With a smooth base, my make-up glided on effortlessly too.  I didn’t need to use my primer to even out my complexion.

After a very good start, it was only a matter of time before I was faced with a drawback — and that was a spot on my cheek.

This could be due to the weather in Ghana being warm — but if you have oily or acne-prone skin, I wouldn’t risk putting Vaseline over it every night. 

I avoided the area of my spot to prevent further breakouts erupting. 

Despite a hiccup, by day six I had fully converted to adding slugging into my routine — just maybe not every night and only when my skin felt parched.  I have never seen my skin look so dewy without layers of tinted moisturisers and highlighter.

My make-up was sitting perfectly too, with a £1.50 pot of Vaseline proving to be a better base than my £20 primer. 

VERDICT

AFTER seven days of slugging, my skin looks as though it has just come from a retreat full of face yoga and facials. My skin is constantly radiant  and looks firmer. My cheeks and chin, which often tend to be drier, are now smooth and plump-looking.  But putting a layer of Vaseline over your face at night in the heat of the summer can be a bit uncomfortable, as it can feel sticky. 

So I will probably be saving this as a key skincare step for my winter bedtime routine when my skin is drier from the heating and cold weather. Vaseline will quench its thirst.

It’s certainly a must-have in my suitcase now, too.

But I will probably give it a miss for date night.

  • Keshia is a beauty blogger and sister of singer Fleur East. As a member of the Fabulous Beauty Panel, she will be giving advice and trying products and trends over the coming months. 

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