Slugging is a viral trend making waves on TikTok where you coat your face with Vaseline and supposedly wake up ‘reborn’. People with dry skin are doing it to prevent water loss and lock in moisture. However, what are the risks and is there a safe approach? We take a deep dive.
The potential risks of ‘slugging’
The biggest risk of under-eye slugging is that it could induce or exacerbate milia, especially in those who are already prone to milia. Milia are tiny white bumps that can develop around the eye area which most commonly occur because of an accumulation of dead skin cells and oils in the area. It is really important that anyone with milia is careful with any eye area products. Eye creams, serums, and balms can all contribute to milia, and slugging, which uses more than one product is even more risky.
How to get ‘slugging’ right
The three keys to getting under eye slugging right are firstly, to make sure you are a good candidate for it (for example, you have no history of milia around the eyes and your eye skin is not prone to sensitivity or breakouts like rashes). It's probably also better avoided if you have oily skin.
Secondly, you should pick products that work well together and that you have used before. You should absolutely have used all the products individually for at least 2 weeks before combining them - slugging can make any of the actives in the products used even more potent since they're being locked onto the skin by an occlusive top layer.
Finally, you have to be much pickier with the occlusive product you choose - you really shouldn't use Vaseline or any petroleum product or wax product around the eye area - this is the biggest difference between slugging and under-eye slugging.
Stick with a very lightweight occlusive that is designed specifically for the eye area so that it has taken into account the nature of the skin and the fact that it is used closer to the eye (for example, it should contain fewer eye irritants like fragrance is designed for the eye area itself).