“Slugging,” the infamous beauty hack that dermatologists actually appreciate

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It’s not often to find TikTok beauty tips to have an appeal with cosmetic dermatologists as well as aestheticians. No matter how absurd (#lubeprimer #snailfacial) or even dangerous (#diymoleremoval or filing teeth) The majority of TikTok “beauty hacks” are quickly discredited by dermatologists with the notable exemption that of “slugging.”

Slugging is an apt term that refers to the practice of applying your face with petroleum jelly, as the final step in your skin care routine. The process leaves your face looking as slimy as the mucus of a slug (hence its name).

A Rumor

As a rumor, it was originally as a trend that was initially a K-Beauty trend,”slugging” is believed to have first appeared within the United States in a 2014 post on the Reddit section. It didn’t become a phenomenon before Charlotte Palermino, a New York City-based licensed cosmetics professional and co-founder of the company that makes skin care Dieux and Dieux, first introduced the concept for the world via TikTok as well as Instagram users in September of 2020 and told them that it had resulted in her dry skin becoming “juicy.” As of press time the hashtag #slugging is currently having 235.5 millions views in TikTok.

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly, often referred to as petrolatum and was first offered through Vaseline It is a yellowish or white semisolid material made of an amalgamation of complex hydrocarbons that is made by the process of dewaxing oil from crude. According to Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, it is an occlusive ingredient: “It forms a seal over the stratum corneum (outer layer of skin or skin barrier) to protect the skin from the environment while preventing water loss.”

In forming this sealthat keeps bacteria and dirt out while allowing moisture to inThe petroleum jelly creates an ideal environment for your skin heal its own, Zeichner said. In addition, he as well as Palermino claimed, slugging doesn’t require a lot of petroleum jelly. You can apply a pea-sized portion to cover your entire face, instead of the one you see in the clip below (you do not intend to ruin the quality of your sheets).

Slugging is a brand new

Although slugging is a brand new name the practice using petroleum jelly to the skin as protection for the skin isn’t new. The 15th century was when from the Native American Seneca tribe, who worked in oil pits across northwestern Pennsylvania utilized petroleum jelly on both animal and human skin to help heal injuries, promote healing and ensure that the skin was damp. In the latter part of the 18th century American scientist Robert Chesebrough was exploring oilfields in this region of northwestern Pennsylvania and observed workers applying the residue of their drills with oil on their wounds. Chesebrough returned a sample to his Brooklyn lab, cleaned it, then tested on self-inflicted wounds. He then in 1870, he branded the “miracle jelly” as Vaseline.

Tiffany Clay

The moment Tiffany Clay, dermatologist from Atlanta, saw the slugging trend being advertised on Instagram and was intrigued, she said. “I laughed because I’ve been doing it my whole life.” Clay says she has “Black grandmothers who slathered Vaseline on my cousins and me when we got out of the bath.”

Today, Clay finds herself recommending petroleum jelly to her practice of dermatology “at least 10 times a day” – for dry skin and wound care, surgical post-operative care in addition to “especially for my eczema patients who have a compromised skin barrier and tend to be on the dry side.” The signs of a compromised skin barrier could be dryness, redness, peeling flaking, burning or the sensation of stinging..

Ranella Hirsch

Ranella Hirsch an dermatologist who is based out of Cambridge, Mass., is in agreement. “I tell parents to coat their kids with Vaseline when they first get out of the tub to seal in the moisture,” Hirsch stated. “We’ve been using that as standard practice because the petrolatum really functions as a top coat, trapping in the moisture and preventing transepidermal water loss.” Studies have shown that, in the same way that it reduces transepidermal fluid loss (TEWL) in the range of 100% the oil has anti-microbial properties . It also speeds up skin healing.

Palermino suggests making use of petroleum jelly as the form of a ” moisture sandwich” to hold in the maximum amount of water. “In aesthetician school, one of the first things you learn is you hydrate your skin, you moisturize your skin, and then you trap it all in with an occlusive.”

occlusive properties

However, due to its characteristic occlusive properties, Hirsch cautions against applying any active ingredients like the retinoids, exfoliants or topical vitamin C prior to applying the slugs, as you may cause damage to the skin. “You can take an ingredient that is fairly mild, and turn it into something very potent by sealing it with petrolatum.”

Although petroleum jelly is thought to be non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn’t block pores) due to its molecular size is too big to penetrate deeply into the pores, Hirsch advised that the practice isn’t suitable for all. “Generally generally speaking, I’m not a fan of it for those who have a tendency to get acne, milia, or oily. I’m just not convinced that occlusives make an ideal match for these conditions.” Hirsch recommends patch-testing first to identify these skin issues and also if you’re susceptible to reactions from allergies.

Susan Taylor

For skin that is extremely dry, Susan Taylor,a dermatologist from Philadelphia, and the founder of the Skin of Color Society warns that using petroleum jelly alone is not enough to moisturize the skin. “I have my patients put the petroleum jelly over a moisturizer that has humectant and emollient ingredients.” Taylor advises patients to apply petroleum jelly when the skin is damp in order to “trap in the moisture.”

The Food and Drug Administration regulates petrolatum as an over-the counter drug and has deemed it to be a reliable and safe skin protector in the range of between 30 and 100 percent. However, there are several concerns regarding petrolatum. One concern is contamination from the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are chemical compounds naturally occurring present in crude oil that have been identified as probable human carcinogens.

Petroleum jelly

A few of the experts I spoke with stated that, while the petroleum jelly that is not refined (which isn’t allowed to be used in the United States) can be infected with PAHs. However The petroleum jelly you find in the aisles of your local pharmacy has been very refined. “Petrolatum is essentially a waste product from the petroleum industry that goes through several rounds of refinement until all the impurities have been removed,” said Victoria Fu, a skin-care scientist, cosmetic formulation chemist, and the co-founder and founder of Chemist Confessions, a skin-care brand. “Petrolatum has been around for so long and scrutinized by regulators for so long that refined petrolatum has gone through the gamut of testing to ensure safety before it hits the shelves.”

Another issue raised by those who are against of slugging is the fact that petroleum jelly, which is an byproduct from crude oil isn’t an environmentally sustainable product. However, Anthony R. Kovscek is an Stanford University professor and senior researcher at Precourt Institute for Energy, said Precourt Institute for Energy, stated that stopping the sale of petroleum jelly will make little difference in reversing the climate’s warming. “Changing your driving and commuting behaviors, as well as driving the most fuel-efficient car you can afford is far more likely to have an effect on the fossil fuel industry than tamping down sales of Vaseline.”

Petroleum jelly

There are numerous other alternatives for petroleum jelly like mineral oils plants oils, animal waxes. Even though Hirsch and Zeichner advocate Waxelene but they also cautioned that other products than petroleum jelly may not be as occlusive and can be more costly and pose a risk of contamination.

“Plants are bio-accumulators so something like shea butter needs to be highly refined before it hits the market,” Palermino stated. She also concluded that this processing of refinement produces a significant carbon footprint.



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By arslan

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