Our Ultimate Guide to the Slugging K-Beauty Trend & Must-Have Products

What is Slugging Skincare And What Does It Mean?

What is slugging skincare? Made popular on social media via the K-beauty community, slugging is a simple technique "of slathering on a heavy-duty occlusive like petroleum jelly as the last step of a nighttime routine", explains Dr. Alexis Parcells, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon. The shiny, slimy film created kinda resembles a slug, hence the name slugging!

How Does Slugging Work?

The idea is that leaving this protective layer on your skin overnight locks in the moisture from the other skincare products you applied, preventing water loss from the skin by creating a barrier, leaving your skin feeling hydrated and healthy in the morning.

An occlusive is a moisturising agent that creates a physical barrier on your skin to seal in hydration and prevent water loss. “We use occlusives, or Vaseline, for wound healing after surgeries,” says Dr. Mudgil. “I’ll put it over stitches because it keeps the wound moist and helps it heal faster.”

What Are The Best Products To Use For Slugging?

Slugging may be one of the latest trends, but here's the thing, it's not for everyone or every skin type! If you're prone to naturally oily or acne prone skin, you may want to consider swapping a petroleum based product (an occlusive) for an overnight sleeping mask.

“For acne-prone folks, I’d say stay away,” says Dr. Mudgil. “Vaseline is so occlusive that it won’t let your skin oils escape, which can irritate the hair follicle and stimulate acne.”

An overnight mask offers a less thick alternative for those who aren't too keen with the greasy/ slimy feeling associated with using a petroleum based product. Here are some popular alternatives for slugging skincare products below.

LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask 70ml

Using the SLEEP-TOX technology, the LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask is an overnight cream that purifies skin during sleep, keeping it in optimum condition. It's been developed to rejuvenate and normalise skin that is often fatigued and sensitised by stress during the day. This helps the skin to achieve a well-rested appearance the next morning. It's specially formulated to help skin retain moisture throughout the night and scented allowing you to relax. It's also packed with skin-soothing agents that are gentle on sleeping skin, helping it recover overnight. The ultra-mild, safe formula can be worn overnight. 

Suitable for all skin types.

Read more about the LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask 70ml here.

laneige sleeping mask

COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Mask 60ml

Enriched with more than 68% of Rice Extract, the COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Mask provides intensive nourishment and deep moisturisation to help the skin appear clearer, softer and more even.

It's fragrance-free and formulated with 2% Niacinamide (also known as Vitamin B3), a very effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits for ageing skin, and skin that needs brightening. Among these benefits is the ability to visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness, and a weakened skin surface. It also contains Sunflower seed oil which deeply hydrates the skin and does all the hard work while you are sleeping (The best type of work!). Great for all skin types, especially sensitive, dry and dull skin. 

Read more about the COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Mask here.

cosrx rice sleeping mask

COSRX Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask 60ml

Enriched with more than 87% of Propolis Extract and natural beeswax, this COSRX Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask provides intensive hydration with refreshing moisture.

It's made with a whopping 87% of Propolis Extract, which has naturally occurring Antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral properties. It's also known to effectively smooth and soften the skin. Since Propolis has such powerful healing properties, it works quickly to regenerate skin to help make skin texture smooth and supple, making it great for acne or ageing skin! This sleeping mask is also formulated with Beeswax, which carries antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that are essential in fighting flaky, dry skin and bacterial infections. It forms a protective barrier by sealing moisture in the skin without smothering and clogging up the pores. 

Find out more about the COSRX Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask here.

cosrx overnight honey sleeping mask

INNISFREE Capsule Recipe Pack Green Tea 10ml

The INNISFREE Capsule Recipe Pack Green Tea is a sleeping pack with green tea extract that fills the skin with moisture (refrigeration required). It's formulated with double squeezed fresh green tea leaves and provides deeply moisturising benefits to the skin. This overnight mask is perfect for all skin types.

Read more about the INNISFREE Capsule Recipe Pack Green Tea here.

Innisfree capsule mask pack green tea


These skincare steps should be done about 30 minutes before bed to allow the products to fully absorb into the skin. If you're applying thick layers, don't forget to protect your pillow case by laying a towel down first, and keep your tied back as it can get messy! Whether you're going to use the less heavy sleeping masks or the original petroleum jelly method, slugging is definitely worth a try. Just remember to choose the products based on your own skin type, not just the hype!



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