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The Hidden Dangers of Slugging and What You Should Use Instead

"Slugging" is not a new technique or trend; it has been around for decades, probably as long as Vaseline has been around; the term "slugging," however, is pretty new and catchy. Vaseline or any other Petroleum jelly based product is an occlusive ingredient; occlusive ingredients tend to be heavier and create a barrier on top of the skin to protect, acting as a barrier to keep everything out and lock moisture in. 

Slugging with Vaseline seemed like a no-brainer decades ago; however, besides trapping moisture into your skin, it doesn't have any other benefits to your skin; nowadays, we have so many other occlusive ingredients that will prevent TEWL while improving your skin barrier, hydrating and giving your skin many other excellent benefits.

Although slugging can help with TEWL (transepidermal water loss), and many people swear by it, it is essential to discuss certain factors that haven't been mentioned so far.

"Slugging, the popular practice of applying Vaseline as a moisturizer, has been around for decades. This technique is designed to create an occlusive barrier on the skin to lock in moisture. While this may have been an effective way to protect the skin in the past, there are now hidden dangers associated with using Vaseline as a skincare product."

How is Petroleum Jelly Made?

Petroleum jelly is made from the waxy petroleum material that forms on oil rigs and distilling it. The lighter and thinner oil-based products make up petroleum jelly, also known as white petrolatum or simply as petrolatum, which then goes through a robust refinement process.

"Vaseline can actually clog pores and cause breakouts due to its heavy texture and waxy consistency. Additionally, it can irritate sensitive skin and aggravate existing conditions like rosacea or eczema. As a result, slugging should be avoided completely and replaced with more modern products that provide all of the benefits without any of these risks."

What is slugging?

Slugging, also known as the "slug life" or "slimy skin routine," is a skincare trend that involves applying a layer of petroleum jelly or a similar occlusive moisturizer to the face before going to bed. The idea behind slugging is that it creates an impermeable barrier on the skin to lock in moisture and prevent water loss. However, there are several reasons why slugging is not suitable for your skin.

Why is slugging not good for your skin?

The first thing I want to go over is how using petroleum jelly or other thick occlusive moisturizers on the skin can lead to clogged pores. These products are not breathable, which means they can trap bacteria, dirt, and oil on the skin. This can lead to breakouts and other skin problems, such as blackheads, whiteheads, milia, and acne. 

The second thing I want to mention is that using on top of certain active ingredients, for example, retinol and AHA acids, can exacerbate the ingredient and increase penetration, potentially leading to irritation.
Now, let's talk about the main factor of slugging no one is talking about it: slugging can interfere with the skin's natural processes. Did you know that?

The skin has mechanisms for regulating moisture and maintaining a healthy balance. When you apply a thick occlusive ingredient like Petroleum jelly, you are essentially putting a layer of plastic wrap on your face, which can prevent the skin from functioning properly and breathing. This can lead to dry, flaky skin, as well as other problems. Using thick occlusive ingredients can cause the skin to become dependent on them. Over time, the skin may become less able to retain moisture on its own, which can lead to long-term damage. 

In conclusion, slugging might not be the best alternative for your skin. While it may provide temporary relief from dryness, it can lead to clogged pores, interfere with the skin's natural processes, and cause long-term damage. Instead of slugging, it is better to use a moisturizer that is designed for your skin type and provides hydration without clogging pores. It is also important to follow a consistent skincare routine that includes cleansing, exfoliating, and protecting the skin from environmental damage.

So, what can you use instead?

Opt for occlusive ingredients that will work on several aspects of your skin while preventing TEWL. One of the most effective occlusive ingredients is ceramides. Ceramides are lipids (fats) that are found naturally in the skin. They help to maintain the skin's barrier function and prevent water loss. 

Using a moisturizer containing ceramides can help replenish the skin's natural lipid levels and improve its ability to retain moisture. It does so much more for your skin than Petroleum jelly will ever do.

Another effective occlusive ingredient is squalane. 

Squalane is a natural oil that is derived from plants, such as olives and sugarcane. It is similar to the oil that is produced by the skin, which makes it easily absorbed and

non-irritating. Squalane can help to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and improve the skin's moisture levels.

Another option is niacinamide. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that has many benefits for the skin. In addition to its moisturizing properties, niacinamide can also help to improve the skin's elasticity, reduce inflammation, and even out the skin tone. 

Peptides are also really good in attracting and retaining moisture into the skin, working to rebuild and repair damaged cells and signaling skin to produce collagen, slowing the aging process.

In conclusion, using an occlusive moisturizer is an integral part of a healthy skincare routine. Instead of slugging, which can cause harm to the skin, it is better to use skincare ingredients that are effective at locking in moisture without clogging pores or interfering with the skin's natural processes.

Bare skin cleanser contains ceramides, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and snow mushrooms to not only boost your skin hydration but prevent TEWL and repair your skin barrier so that it has the ability to hold moisture on its own.


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