Fashion dictionary


[ sluhg-ing ]

What is slugging?

Slugging is a slang term for a skin care technique that involves applying an occlusive moisturizer to one’s face, typically before sleep, primarily as a way to prevent moisture loss.

In skin care, the term occlusive describes moisturizers that block openings in dry skin to prevent moisture loss. Examples of occlusive moisturizers include products that use petroleum jelly (also known as petrolatum) as a main ingredient, such as Vaseline and Aquaphor.

According to many dermatologists, slugging can have multiple benefits to skin, such as preventing dehydration and skin conditions such as eczema. However, slugging is usually not recommended for people who have naturally oily or acne-prone skin.

Example: Slugging has really transformed my skin—almost overnight!

Related words

bakuchiol, maskne

Where does slugging come from?

young Black woman smiling in the mirror, green filter.

Though the origin is not certain, the term slugging is often said to have originated as a reference to slugs (the animal) due to the slimy appearance that results from applying a thick layer of moisturizer to one’s face.

Moisturizing techniques like the one known as slugging have a long history of use among Black people and other communities of color. Different people may refer to this technique by different names.

The term slugging has been used since at least the mid-2010s. Mentions of the term and practice can be found on the forum website Reddit as early as 2014.

Mainstream awareness of the term and practice increased in the early 2020s due in part to the popularity of Korean beauty (K-beauty) trends and TikTok and other social media content feature slugging and other such trends.

Examples of slugging

My skin is suffering I'm bringing out the vaseline it's time to start slugging ladies
@dysautoanumia, March 9, 2022
If you have skin that tends to be dry, you may benefit from slugging daily. Those that have oily skin, however, should consider slugging less or not at all, Dr. Parcells says, as slugging might make any active breakouts or oil-prone skin even worse.
Nerisha Penrose, Elle, February 28, 2022

Who uses slugging?

The moisturizing technique known as slugging has a long history of use among Black people, in Korean skin care, and in other communities of color. Both the practice and the term have gained more widespread use, especially as a result of attention on social media.


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This is not meant to be a formal definition of slugging like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of slugging that will help our users expand their word mastery.