Beauty

hero

Photo courtesy of Nikki Cruz

A Clean Twist on Slugging Your Skin

There’s a skin-routine hack on TikTok that we love in theory—the idea is an extra, occlusive layer that goes on last in a skin-care routine, sealing in all the benefits and delivering additional moisture at the same time. It’s called slugging, and it can be a great technique, particularly when done with a few clean beauty tweaks.

The viral trend involves slathering skin with petroleum jelly as a final step in a nighttime skin-care routine. But while petroleum jelly is moisturizing, it can be supremely pore clogging. It’s also a by-product of crude oil production (it collects on oil rig machinery), and unrefined petroleum jelly can contain potentially dangerous contaminants, including a group of carcinogens called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, according to the Environmental Working Group.

The goop version of slugging starts with rich balms or oils rather than petroleum jelly. An advantage they have over petroleum jelly (beyond being clean and petrochemical-free) is that they deliver skin-boosting nutrients—from bakuchiol and other antioxidants to nourishing botanicals—to help smooth skin texture, firm, and increase glow.

The Best Balms, Creams, and Oils for Slugging

Slather these on just before bed over all the other nighttime skin essentials you swear by. If you have very dry skin, you might do this daily, or if you’re oily or acne prone or even have pretty normal skin, maybe keep it to every few nights.
The most important part: Listen to your skin!

  1. Super thick

    Surya Balancing Collagen Cream, goop, $185
    Surya Balancing
    Collagen Cream
    goop, $185
    SHOP NOW
  2. Light and silky

    
            Furtuna Skin Due Alberi Biphase Moisturizing Oil, goop, $225
    Furtuna Skin Due Alberi Biphase
    Moisturizing Oil
    goop, $225
    SHOP NOW
  3. Made with sea buckthorn, carrot, and tomato-seed oil

    OKOKO Sublime Balm, goop, $83
    Okoko Sublime Balm goop, $83
    SHOP NOW
  4. Rich—yet okay
    for oily skin

    Tamara Dutta Rosehip Smoothie Balm, goop, $150
    Tamara Dutta Rosehip Smoothie Balm goop, $150
    SHOP NOW
  5. Ultrasoothing

    de Mamiel Skin Recovery Blend, goop, $168
    de Mamiel Skin Recovery Blend goop, $168
    SHOP NOW
  6. Targets wrinkles
    and firmness

    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Nourishing Face Cream, goop, $98/$86 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One
    Nourishing Face Cream
    goop, $98/$86 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  1. Plumps and smooths

    The Organic Pharmacy Rose Diamond Face Cream, goop, $418
    The Organic Pharmacy Rose Diamond Face Cream goop, $418
    SHOP NOW
  2. Moisturizing oil

    Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil, goop, $72
    Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil goop, $72
    SHOP NOW

Supercharge “the Slug” with an Exfoliation Night

For the dewiest and most luminous-looking skin, exfoliate (a lot) before you slug. If you can, start the night before with a 15 percent glycolic acid overnight peel pad. You’ll notice the glow right away the next morning, but the morning after that—post–ultramoisturizing slugging step—you just will not believe your skin.

Start by cleansing away makeup and dirt—but let your skin dry fully before the exfoliating step.

  1. Cleanse first.

    MACRENE Actives High Performance Cleanser, goop, $95
    MACRENE actives High Performance Cleanser goop, $95
    SHOP NOW
  2. Then swipe.

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Acid Overnight Glow Peel, goop, $125/$112 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Acid
    Overnight Glow Peel
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  3. And if your skin’s too sensitive for a peel, exfoliate with Microderm—gentler but absolutely effective—the night before.

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator, goop, $125/$112 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator goop, $125/$112 with subscription
    SHOP NOW

Slugging Night

After a night of exfoliation, you’re ready for the ultimate hydration. If you’ve got a good routine already, simply top it off with one of the great balms or creams above. Or customize the routine below.

1. Cleanse

Get your skin ready for the layers of hydration.

  1. Exfoliating

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Cloudberry Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser, $28/$25 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Cloudberry
    Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser
    goop, $28/$25 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  2. Moisturizing

    Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser, goop, $86
    Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser goop, $86
    SHOP NOW

2. Tone

Clear away any remaining dead skin cells, dirt, or makeup, and deposit a first layer of nutrients and hydration.

  1. Gently exfoliating for every skin type

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Flower Acids Resurfacing Toner, goop, $45/$40 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Flower Acids Resurfacing Toner goop, $45/$40 with subscription
    SHOP NOW

3. Treat

Apply a layer of serum or oil, depending on your skin; it will really sink in after all your exfoliating.

  1. Pure moisture

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, goop, $300
    Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum goop, $300
    SHOP NOW
  2. For firmer skin and fewer visible wrinkles

    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil, goop, $98/$89 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One
    Super Nutrient Face Oil
    goop, $98/$89 with subscription
    SHOP NOW
  3. To restore skin

    Augustinus Bader The Serum, goop, $375
    Augustinus Bader The Serum goop, $375
    SHOP NOW

4. Add more moisture (only if you need it)

If you (and your skin) really love layering, you can add a moisturizer here.

  1. Squalane + hyaluronic acid

    Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer, goop, $60
    Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer goop, $60
    SHOP NOW
  2. Peptides + bakuchiol

    Beautycounter Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream, goop, $98
    Beautycounter Countertime Tetrapeptide
    Supreme Cream
    goop, $98
    SHOP NOW
  3. Vitamin C + kakadu plum

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion, goop, $58/$52 with subscription
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion goop, $58/$52 with subscription
    SHOP NOW

5. Top it off with the slug

Once everything has sunk in properly, seal it all in with a balm, oil,
or cream from the list at the top of this article.