Sunday, 27 December 2020

Skincare trends: What’s ’slugging’ and should you do it?

**********This post doesn't contain any gifted items. Gifted mentions may be present. All links used are affiliate.********** 


The not so new skincare trend is having a return to the limelight thanks to the new release from Cerave and that video from James Welsch. But what the hell is ‘slugging’ and should you do it? I’ve tried ‘slugging’ for just over a month, here are my thoughts.


Let’s set one thing straight, if you’ve been worried about catching actual slugs and utilising them for the good of your skin, you can breathe now - no slug mucus is necessary, nor have any slugs been hurt in the process of writing this article.


Slugging is essentially a very simple moisturising technique that utilises occlusive ingredients to lock in the moisture. I’ve never been a huge fan of occlusives, I was terrified of the potentially blocked pores, pimples, or maybe even the end of the world if I’m allowed to be a little dramatic.


Occlusive ingredients such as petrolatum, mineral oils, lanolin, silicones such as dimethicone and Cyclomethicone, paraffin and beeswax were never at the top of my moisturising choices. For one, they are super cheap and can be in fact quite comedogenic and that’s not a quality that tends to inspire me when it comes to skincare. Not all occlusives are that bad of course, and a lot of us can tolerate them fine. My favourites are for sure the fatty alcohols (non-drying) like lanolin alcohol and cetyl alcohol, or a fabulous oil that everyone should have in their routine - squalane. 


Occlusives are the top choice if TEWL (transepidermal water loss) is something you’d like to prevent as much as possible (and you should!). Occlusive agents can physically prevent the water loss which can be quite beneficial to those with dry skin and dehydrated skin conditions. Don’t forget you can be dehydrated even if you’re oily, so looking into ways to slow down TEWL is the first step to take if your skin’s moisture (lipid) barrier appears to be damaged. The lipid barrier is responsible for locking in moisture so keeping it healthy is my go-to to ensure TEWL isn’t screwing up my face any more than absolutely necessary but it is a natural process at the end of the day.



Slugging is super simple and going back to basics can be fantastic if you’re struggling with drier skin in winter or have overdone it with acids and retinoids (again!). While I’m not advocating you start coating your face in Vaseline (ewwwww!) overnight so one can compare you to a slug, but there are other products that contain occlusive ingredients that can be used instead and with greater benefits to your skin. Have you ever tried Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream? It’s basically slugging but posh. Click here for posh on budget. I personally dislike the scent and even more so hate spending a lot of money on very basic ingredients, but with a launch of Cerave Healing Ointment, I don’t have to sacrifice my sensitive nose or my wallet anymore. 


Cerave Healing Ointment comes in two sizes, I have 144g tubes but you can also get 340g jar which I’ll opt for next as squeezing this rich moisturiser from a tube is pretty dang hard - not for a normal person but maybe not great for those of us living with chronic pain or any condition that weakens their arms. Sadly it’s not widely available in the UK yet, but if you don’t mind waiting for delivery, you can grab it at iHerb here for only £12. It’s currently out of stock but you can sign up to notifications so you’ll be the first to know when it’s back in stock. 


Why Cerave over Elizabeth Arden you may ask? If we put the price difference aside which is a pretty obvious reason, I simply really enjoy the basic ingredient list of the Cerave Healing Ointment. When it comes to occlusives, they come not in pairs but in a huge group here. Sure, it’s mostly petrolatum (46.5%), and it also has mineral oil, paraffin, dimethicone, cholesterol and ozokerite (Earth wax) but what really excites me is the brand’s love (which mimics my own!) for ceramides which also come in plenty here (ceramides 1,,3, 6-II complex) and phytosphingosine which both excel at repairing skin’s moisture barrier, preventing irritation and keeping it healthy and less prone to damage. There are also standards like hyaluronic acid (always a plus) and vitamin E to round it all up. Basic, sure, but also effective. The cream, if you can call it that, has a very rich texture, but spreads easily when in contact with the warmth of your skin. It takes a little more time to sink in that I'm used to and mostly sits on top but that is what’s supposed to do when it comes to slugging technique at least. And most importantly it’s not just Vaseline nor a very overpriced yet so similar, but worse, in my opinion, 8 Hour Cream (ingredients list: Petrolatum (56.8%), Lanolin, Mineral Oil, Tocopherol, BHT, Salicylic Acid, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Castor), Vegetable Oil, Zea Mays Oil (Corn), Fragrance, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Propylparaben, Iron Oxides).


I would never recommend skipping any skincare steps when it comes to slugging. In fact, I truly believe a hefty and well-chosen skincare routine is a must if you are to benefit from slugging. So don't forget to double cleanse, tone, add a fabulous serum and moisturiser and/or a few drops of oil before you coat your face in the Cerave Healing Ointment. It’s gentle, it won’t anger irritated skin, and has virtually no scent. Perfect if you’ve been a little sensitised lately, and works just as well as the last step on a Retinol night.


My experience with slugging wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, on day 3 or 4 I was almost done with it. I didn’t really notice results until a week or so in, but the true benefits came about week 3, where I suddenly noticed that I’m not getting irritated at all during the day and my rosacea flare-ups which are often bad with stressed and dehydrated skin weren’t a thing for a week. All the articles praise slugging for that influencer filtered glass skin but I must admit, I don’t see it. My usual routine gives me a juicy skin anyway so that wasn’t what I was after. The less attractive (read: instant) benefits of slugging such as improved hydration, less irritated skin and the less damaged skin barrier are what really turned me into slugging and I don’t have any plans to stop. At least not in autumn/winter, where I need all the help I can get! 



Slugging is for you if you love that glazed doughnut look at night after all your magic potions have been applied and you lay down like in a coffin not to touch your pillow for an hour or so until it’s mostly sunk in and I’m sorry but what respecting skincare fantastic doesn’t?! Do you have dry or dehydrated skin and nothing quite gives you that glass skin effect? Do you feel like you need to seal all those beautifully sourced ingredients that are making you glowing and youthful so they are given the chance to truly work overnight? If you answered yes, slugging may be something to research and give a go.


Buy Cerave Healing Ointment for only £12.00 via iHerb.



Thank You For Reading.

With love,






Full disclaimer:

In line with an updated CMA/ASA Non-broadcast Code, if gifted products are present, the disclaimer at the top of the post will be specific if all or some products have been sent for review consideration. In the instance there's a need to differentiate between PR and non PR, all products marked with * have been gifted to Beauty Drama Queen for review consideration, therefore are considered sponsored and displayed as a form of an unpaid advertisement.

All articles sponsored by a brand, a retailer or via a PR agency where specific product placement has been paid for on top of product gifting will be clearly branded as AD.

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Products unmarked have been purchased by Beauty Drama Queen, gifted by family and friends or won in a giveaway and therefore not in the scope of the legislation.


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