I … am a skincare junkie.
I love it.
I spend an inordinate amount of time searching about skincare, looking up trends, perusing beauty stores online, and generally obsessing over ways to stop the clock and bring out my clearest, brightest skin.
In fact, I’m wearing a sheet mask as a type this, and I just spent waaaay too much money on a special light-up doodad that’s supposed to give me the perfect “at-home spa experience” (shhhh … don’t tell my husband.)
And don’t even get me started on r/skincareaddiction #IYKYK
Over the last 25+ years, my routine has consisted of the bare minimum all the way to the 10-step Korean skincare system and everything in between.
I’ve used only all-natural, organic products. I’ve used high-end dermatology brands and drug store basics. I’ve sworn by mugwort soap I ordered directly from a company in Japan.
And, I’ve also had to throw out every product I’ve ever used after my skin went haywire with my second pregnancy.
This brings me to the title of this article — The Slug Life.
You see, I’ve embraced and abandoned innumerable skin care products and routines over the years, but only one thing hasn’t changed for the past four years … my whole-hearted embracing of “slugging.”
And no, it has nothing to do with that most heinous shell-less gastropod (although I have heard wonderful things about snail mucin aka mucus … yes … that mucus).
No, slugging is the skincare slang for finishing your nighttime routine with an occlusive substance, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to lock in the treatment and moisture.
It is so simple, and yet it works wonders.
For most of my life, I lived under the false delusion that I had oily, acne-prone skin.
Turns out, it was desperately thirsty and sensitive … and still acne-prone. Then, with the pregnancy of my second child, I developed eczema on my face and hands. Thanks, kids!
My skin, in short, is a nightmare.
So, during a late-night, pregnancy-fueled, bit of desperation, I stumbled upon the concept of “slugging” on some skincare forum and thought I didn’t have anything else to lose.
I read dozens of reviews and recommendations from people who mentioned they had skin like mine and then decided to order a tube of the most recommended product—La Roche Posay Cicaplast Balm b5. When the small, unassuming white tube arrived in my mailbox I didn’t know what to think, but several hundred people on the internet couldn’t be wrong, could they? *Nervous laughter*
That night, after cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, I spread a thick layer of opaque white goop on my face, laughed at how ridiculous I looked (my kids call this my ghost-face), and then went to bed.
The next morning was a miracle. Sort of.
My complexion wasn’t magically fixed, but I woke up with my face feeling moisturized and not dry for the first time in forever. My eczema patches were much less irritated and noticeable, and I had no new breakouts (which was my biggest fear.)
I haven’t looked back since.
The trick is to remember that the “slug” layer isn’t there to provide moisture, your serums or moisturizer needs to the that. The top occlusive is there to keep that moisture sealed in and act as a barrier while you sleep.
So, if you have skin like mine and haven’t tried it yet, or if you feel like your night routine could use a little extra boost, I highly suggest slathering your face in the occlusive of your choice and joining me in That Slug Life.
Had you heard about “slugging” before this article? Are you a pro? Tell me about what you use or your favorite skincare products!