Slugging, the Tuel Way

Chances are, if you’ve been on IG or TikTok in the past year looking for skincare hacks to try—there’s no doubt you’ve come across the beauty term “slugging.” While hardly a new concept, this skincare trend has resurfaced in popularity in recent winter months for its assistance in locking in hydration. Layering and leaving on popular heavy products such as moisture creams and petrolatum-based products are par for the course. While social media may have given a new life (and name) to this old trend, our pros at Tuel say that there’s a way to do it without compromising your skin barrier. Let’s take a look at how to execute this dry skin hack, the Tuel way. 


Racking up more than 800 million views on TikTok using the hashtag #slugging, the beauty trend lends its name to the slimy mess it can make, reminiscent of a slug trail. Slugging is the process of applying an occlusive product in the last step of your night routine—typically overnight, onto your the skin. Occlusives are oils, waxes or butters that form a physical layer on your skin to help seal in hydration (water), protect it and aid in healing the skin barrier. Often, dermatologists recommend applying a thick layer of an occlusive agent like petrolatum (a.k.a. petroleum jelly) as a sealing agent to prevent water loss and dehydration of the skin. Theoretically, sealing in keeps your skin hydrated, which in turn creates a more refreshed, youthful appearance. Slugging can also work to make your other skincare products more effective. Applying serums and creams beneath the occlusive barrier theoretically assists these skincare products to penetrate more deeply. Although the name “slugging” is new, the practice is far from contemporary. Korean, Afro-Caribbean and European beauty practices have used variations slugging for generations.


While immensely popular, the trend has been met with reservations from skinthusiats on TikTok and Instagram, many of whom speculated that it would either be extremely uncomfortable, or it would block their pores and be especially troublesome for acne-prone skin. This is for good reason. Petroleum jelly in particular is highly associated with the practice, and our Tuel pros have a word or two to say about it. Although petroleum jelly is considered non-comedogenic, we generally don't recommend using it for slugging, especially if your skin type is combination/oily, or if you are prone to acne or milia. Oftentimes, you’ll create the opposite effect of thriving skin by trapping in the dirt and oils that fuel breakouts to begin with if you have not properly prepared your skin. Petroleum jelly can actually inhibit the body’s ability to dispel toxins from the skin. Individuals with active acne breakouts should avoid this technique, and opt instead for treatment with ingredients aimed at fighting and healing acne, such as salicylic acid and mushroom blends.

Additionally, being a byproduct of crude oil, petroleum jelly is not eco-friendly. Just think about the devastation of oil spills in the ocean! Not to mention, studies have shown petroleum jelly contains carcinogens, which is a substance, organism or agent capable of causing cancer. petroleum jelly impurities are found in oil, coal and tar deposits. Because of this, petroleum jelly can actually age you, especially considering that it doesn’t hydrate or provide nutrients to aid the skin.

Alternatively, our pros suggest a layering method using plant-based occlusives and emollients with rich, skin-loving ingredients such as essential oils or nourishing moisture creams. 


Here is our skincare routine formulated to target dryness, congestion and acne while still enjoying the deep hydration, moisture, and repairing benefits of slugging. And as always, remember to use products according to your skin type. Wake up in the morning to soft and nourished skin with these steps:

  1. Start with a thorough double cleanse using Tuel’s Cleansing Duos. Begin with the oil cleanser and massage over dry uncleansed skin to melt and lift makeup from the pores. Next, take the herbal toner to marry with your previous layer. Emulsify with lukewarm water, and wash away any excess dirt that may be remaining in the pores.
  2. Apply your spot treatment to any blemishes that might be present. 
  3. Add in your hydrating and repairing serums. By containing botanicals, antioxidants and particularly hyaluronic acid, these kinds of serums will help reduce inflammation and improve the health of your skin barrier. 
  4. Apply your eye care.
  5. Seal in the previous steps with an essential oil. Tuel's Essential Oil Blends are naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, so they naturally help clear acne and balance oil production.
  6. Lastly apply a moderate to generous amount of a  thick moisture cream, which is essentially your main component in the slugging process. For this step, use a cream that has an oil or butter based formula to act as your sealing agent. Make sure the cream is an appropriate formulation for your skin type.  
7. Leave overnight, and rise in the morning.