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Can Slugging Help Acne?

If you watch beauty TikTok videos, you’ve probably seen a lot about the benefits of slugging. Slugging has many skin care benefits, but can slugging help acne?

Can using Vaseline Petroleum Jelly for slugging help improve acne prone skin?

Or can slugging make acne worse, if you are already prone to breakouts? Keep on reading to find out the answer…

Can Slugging Help Acne?

What is Slugging?

If you’re new to the world of skincare, you might be wondering what slugging actually is, and if you might be wondering, should I try slugging myself?

Slugging is a term used to describe a skincare technique that involves applying an occlusive moisturizer, like petroleum jelly, to your face before bed.

The goal of slugging is to create a barrier on your skin that locks in moisture and prevents water loss.

An occlusive is a type of moisturizer that creates a physical barrier on your skin, preventing water from evaporating and keeping your skin hydrated.

Petroleum jelly, also known as petrolatum, is a popular thick occlusive ingredient used in many skincare products.

It is a byproduct of the oil refining process and is known for its ability to create a protective barrier on the skin, to give you healthy skin.

Slugging is often recommended for people with dry or dehydrated skin, as it can help to lock in moisture and prevent water loss, and improve skin barrier function.

However, it is important to note that slugging may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with oily or acne-prone skin.

While slugging can be a great way to hydrate your skin, it is important to use the right products and techniques to avoid clogging your pores.

Before slugging, make sure to cleanse your face thoroughly and apply any serums or treatments first.

You can also layer a humectant, like hyaluronic acid, under your occlusive moisturizer to help draw moisture into your skin.

Can Slugging Help Acne?

If you’re someone with acne-prone skin, you’ve probably tried a variety of products to help clear up your breakouts.

But have you ever considered the slugging trend to treat acne?

Slugging is a skincare trend that involves applying a thick layer of occlusive moisturizer, like Aquaphor or Vaseline, to your face before bed.

How Does Slugging Help Acne?

Slugging can help acne in a few ways. First, it can help prevent outside molecules, like dirt and bacteria, from entering the skin and causing irritation or breakouts.

This is especially important if you have sensitive skin or are prone to clogged pores.

Slugging can help hydrate the skin and improve the skin barrier, which can help prevent moisture loss and keep the skin hydrated.

This can be especially beneficial if you’re using acne-fighting products, like benzoyl peroxide or retinoids, which can be drying.

What Are the Benefits of Slugging for Acne?

What Are the Benefits of Slugging for Acne?

One of the biggest benefits of slugging for acne-prone skin is that it can help keep the skin hydrated without clogging pores.

This is because many occlusive moisturizers, like Aquaphor and Vaseline, are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores.

Slugging can help reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne breakouts, as well as improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.

Are There Any Alternatives to Slugging for Acne?

If you’re not a fan of slugging, there are other ways to keep your skin hydrated and prevent acne breakouts.

One alternative is to use a moisturizer that contains humectants, like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which can help draw moisture into the skin.

Look for moisturizers that also contain ceramides, which can help strengthen the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss.

Using a toner or exfoliant can help remove dirt and dead skin cells that can contribute to acne breakouts.

What Products Should You Use for Slugging?

The best products for slugging are occlusive moisturizers like Vaseline, Aquaphor Healing Ointment, or CeraVe Healing Ointment.

These products help to lock in moisture and prevent water loss, which can be especially helpful for those with dry or irritated skin.

It’s important to choose a non-comedogenic product that won’t clog pores and lead to blackheads or breakouts.

How Much Product Should You Use for Slugging?

How Often Should You Slug Your Face?

Slugging can be done every night as part of your skincare routine, but it’s important to listen to your skin and adjust accordingly.

If you notice any irritation or breakouts, it may be best to take a break or reduce the frequency of slugging.

How Much Product Should You Use for Slugging?

A small amount of product is all you need for slugging.

Too much product can lead to a greasy feeling and may clog pores. Start with a pea-sized amount and adjust as needed.

How to Wash Your Face After Slugging?

In the morning, gently cleanse your face with a mild cleanser to remove any remaining product.

Avoid using harsh scrubs or exfoliants, as they can further irritate the skin.

Follow up with your usual skincare routine, including sunscreen during the day.

Slugging can be a helpful addition to your skincare routine, but it’s important to use it correctly and listen to your skin’s needs.

If you have eczema or other skin conditions, it’s always best to check with a dermatologist before trying new products or routines.

Can Slugging Cause Acne?

While slugging can be helpful for some people with acne-prone skin, it’s not for everyone.

Some people may find that the occlusive nature of petroleum jelly or other heavy moisturizers can actually exacerbate their acne.

Especially if they are prone to clogged pores or if they are using products that are too heavy for their skin type.

If you notice that your skin is breaking out more after starting to slug, it may be worth considering other options.

How Does Slugging Work For Oily Skin?

What Are Some Other Skincare Products to Consider To Improve Acne?

If slugging isn’t working for you, there are plenty of other skincare products that can help with acne.

Look for products that contain niacinamide or ceramides, which can help strengthen the skin barrier and reduce transepidermal water loss.

A good serum or exfoliating treatment containing alpha-hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids can also help keep pores clear and prevent breakouts.

And don’t forget about the importance of sunscreen – protecting your skin from UV damage can help prevent acne scars and other types of skin damage.

What Are Some Natural Oils to Consider?

If you prefer to use natural skincare products, there are plenty of oils that can help soothe and hydrate acne-prone skin.

Aloe vera is a great option for reducing inflammation and redness, while coconut oil can help moisturize without clogging pores.

Tea tree oil is another popular choice for its antibacterial properties, which can help prevent infection in cystic acne.

How Does Slugging Work For Oily Skin?

Slugging is an effective technique for oily skin, as it helps regulate oil production by creating a protective barrier over the surface of your skin.

This barrier is created by slathering a layer of occlusives over your face at night.

Occlusives are humectant ingredients that trap moisture and keep water from evaporating from your skin—think Vaseline or natural oils like shea butter and coconut oil.

How Does Slugging Work For Dry Skin?

Slugging skincare is a great way to tackle dry skin, as it’ll provide the extra hydration needed for dry skin.

Slugging works by adding an oily layer of moisturizer such as Vaseline or Aquaphor that seals in sebum and natural oils produced by the skin.

This then acts like a barrier to keep moisture locked into the skin, while protecting it from environmental irritants.

The best part about slugging for treating dry skin is that it’s very easy to do – just take some petroleum-based product (such as Vaseline) on your fingertips and rub it gently all across your face before bedtime.

In doing so, you’ll help replenish lost moisture and leave your face feeling hydrated longer than with other products like lotions and creams.


When to See a Dermatologist?

If you’re struggling with acne and nothing seems to be working, it may be time to see a board-certified dermatologist.

They can help assess your skin and recommend a personalized treatment plan that may include prescription medications or in-office treatments like chemical peels or laser therapy.

They can also help you address any other skin concerns, like wrinkles or dryness, and recommend products that will keep your skin looking and feeling healthier overall.


Slugging can be a great skincare trend for people with dry or dehydrated skin, as it helps to lock in moisture and prevent water loss.

However, it may not be suitable for everyone – especially those with oily or acne-prone skin.

If you’re using products that are too heavy, they can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

To reduce the risk of irritation, make sure to use non-comedogenic products and wash your face in the morning.

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