Slugging 101: What, Why and How to Slug

Slugging 101: What, Why and How to Slug

Author: AJ Addae Photography: MULTI ArchivesDate:

We're sure you’ve heard of slugging by now, and its many benefits for the skin. If you haven’t yet caught wind of the diasporic practice, slugging, to put it simply, is placing a generous layer of petroleum jelly on the skin in efforts to lock in hydration for longer periods of time after cleansing. While it sounds scary for folks - especially the acne-prone crowd - it’s actually the perfect way to harness the power of moisturization. As a chemist, I like to actually think of slugging as a “DIY Moisturizer” that can be manipulated in many different ways that works best for you. 

So while we’re sure you already know about why to slug, let’s talk about how to slug, and how to do it in different ways.


“Simple slugging” is what I like to call the universal, standardized method of slugging as we know it. This is simply putting a generous layer of petroleum jelly, Aquahor, or cold cream on your face after cleansing. The key thing to remember here is to cleanse thoroughly before doing this method, because slugging can trap in moisture, and unfortunately left over dirt as well.


“Smart slugging” is when you slug with a thick, occlusive product with added active ingredients or other benefits. For example, you can smart slug with shea butter, Aquaphor, or with a nice, occlusive moisturizer like the Topicals Like Butter Mask.

The key thing to remember here is to always follow the products’ usage rate instructions. More product doesn’t always mean better results.


The “DIY Moisturizer” is exactly what the name implies - a DIY moisturizer. Your average commercial moisturizer usually has an oil phase component and a water phase component - therefore this method is inspired by just that:

- Cleanse the face for at least 60 seconds.

- Apply a layer of vegetable glycerin to the face.

- Apply a layer of Vaseline on top of the thin layer.

This is a great way to add a powerful humectant to nourish and hydrate the skin’s barrier, and an effective occlusive to condition and lock in hydration.

The main take away from all of this is to find the slugging method that works best for you and your skin’s needs. Furthermore, your favorite slugging method may change based on your skin’s needs at the time. Therefore, it’s important to listen to your skin, take note of any changes that may happen (such as acne, congestion, breakouts, etc.), and maybe even do a patch test of your slugging materials on a small section of your face for 48 hours to see if your skin tolerates this well. 

Feel free to browse through our Multidex for more information on the skin barrier, breakouts, dryness, and inflammation, and check out our TikTok (@mydailymulti) for more tips on different ways to slug!

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