Derm DMs: What Is Slugging and Should You Try It?

November 16, 2021
Genesis Rivas
By: Genesis Rivas | by L'Oréal
Derm DMs: What Is Slugging and Should You Try It?

Slugging is a Korean beauty skincare trend that entails coating your skin with petroleum jelly in the hopes of combating noticeable dryness. While the practice has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram, some people may try to avoid petroleum jelly because they fear it can clog pores. So, what’s the truth? To find out if slugging is helpful or best avoided, we spoke with board-certified dermatologist and expert, Dr. Hadley King.

Can Petroleum Jelly Clog Pores? 

Contrary to popular belief, petrolatum (also known as petroleum jelly) is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores, says Dr. King. But petrolatum is categorized as an occlusive moisturizing agent, which means it doesn’t hydrate the skin on its own, but it does help lock in moisture that’s already there. 

Who Might Benefit from Slugging? 

For people with dry skin, particularly those who live in a dry environment, applying an occlusive, like petrolatum, can be very helpful in keeping moisture from escaping the skin, says Dr. King. If this sounds like you, and you want to give slugging a try. One of our favorite moisturizers formulated with petroleum jelly is the CeraVe Healing Ointment, which restores the skin’s barrier while relieving chafed, chapped or cracked skin.

cerave healing ointment

If you have oily skin, however, petroleum jelly and slugging may exacerbate breakouts, and you may not like the thick texture of the products it’s typically found in. “Even though it's non comedogenic, as an occlusive, it can trap oils or other comedogenic ingredients in the skin and could potentially contribute to breakouts,” says Dr. King. 


Design: Hannah Packer

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