Beauty hacks test: Is ‘slugging’ the secret to perfect skin?

The hack
Korean-inspired skincare trend slugging involves applying a thick layer of something like Vaseline over your usual products or on its own, usually at night.

The promise
The idea is to prevent moisture loss. It sounds simple but slugging (due to its resemblance to a slug’s trail) has divided opinion. Some call it a cost-effective hack, others fear it could cause acne.

The test
Most slugging-friendly products are made from cosmetic-grade petroleum jelly. I rate Epaderm (£13), Vaseline (£1.50) and Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm (£9; it also contains glycerine and lanolin). I cleansed my skin twice, applied moisturising serum to my face, neck and upper chest and then, after a few minutes, added a pea-sized amount of Vaseline to each area.

There are rules: skin must be cleaned properly to avoid trapping dirt under the barrier, which could cause irritation or acne. And it’s best done at night – I slugged my face in the daytime and it felt very greasy. I’d also avoid slugging using anything with active ingredients (such as acids or retinols) which can irritate – in fact, layering too many products beneath your “slug” could cause a reaction. (Ask an expert if you have sensitive skin.)

The verdict
I went to bed with high hopes and in the morning my skin did feel softer. My facial eczema was a little less itchy too. It’s just the name I’m sorry about.