I first heard about skin slugging on TikTok, and thought it was another fad that might make someone break out (which is true, depending on what product you use). As I was researching, I came across a video highlighting that some people were using Vaseline, while others were using Aquaphor. Vaseline is oil-based (and therefore more likely to clog pores), while Aquaphor is water-based … so I figured I would try it out using Aquaphor to see how it worked firsthand.
The first night I tried skin slugging, I was slightly broken out and on the drier side. I started with a nourishing anti-aging peptide serum, a hyaluronic serum, benzoyl peroxide for the breakouts, and a moisturizer with peptides and ceramides. Then I sealed it all in with Aquaphor. When I woke up the next morning, everything was flat and smooth. My skin was better than back to normal—the breakouts were gone, my skin was perfectly dewy, and the dryness was as if it never existed.
Here’s why: when you seal everything in with the Aquaphor, you’re helping your actives work more effectively (and therefore, they’re stronger). So, if you pair slugging with the proper products 2-3 times a week, it can dramatically improve your skin and your skin concerns. It’s a great way to give your skin a break and allow your barrier to repair and rebuild itself. That way, you can continue to use your other active ingredients without stressing the skin and causing issues like redness, inflammation, and dry patches.
My skin is more acne-prone, so my skin-slugging routine typically goes like this: I’ll use a nourishing anti-aging peptide serum, then add a zinc serum (which is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial), a benzoyl peroxide lotion (which kills acne-causing bacteria to help clear current—and prevent future—breakouts), and a hydrating moisturizer. Then I’ll seal everything in with Aquaphor as my last step. I do this 2-3 times a week.
You can tailor it to whatever your main concerns are with your skin. If I want to focus on anti-aging, I might alternate that benzoyl peroxide lotion with a retinol. If I want to focus on correcting pigment, I might alternate that with a brightening cream. It’s also good to try if you feel like your skin has plateaued a bit, and your products aren’t working as well as they once were. Try sealing everything in a couple times a week and see how your skin looks and feels the days following. This is the perfect way to make them work more effectively. Plus, the Aquaphor is also sealing in all that moisture so you look so dewy and hydrated.
It’s important to stress that slugging will make all of your products stronger—so only slug on top of topicals you feel your skin can handle at a higher strength. Always incorporate ceramides and peptides into your slugging routine.
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Sharlena Hassani is a licensed aesthetician in Beverly Hills who spreads knowledge about skincare so her clients can achieve and maintain healthy, clear, and youthful skin. After years of trying to gain control over her own acne and pigmentation, spending thousands on every product imaginable, and going to multiple skincare specialists, she took matters into her own hands, and her passion for skincare started! She has worked under doctors and dermatologists and completed skincare certification training. She studied ingredients and cosmetic chemistry to figure out the connection between specific substances and how the skin functions on a day-to-day basis. Doing so allowed her to not only finally have control over her skin, but also to know what it takes to maintain clear, youthful, and glowing skin for each unique skin type.
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