How To Make Slugging Even More Effective, From Experts

And, look, we’re all about sealing the skin barrier before bed, considering the skin is more permeable at night and extra vulnerable to water loss. If you have dry skin, it’s an A+ technique for intense barrier repair—just take a look at the many, many glowing results. Technically, we are pro-slugging here at mbg: Just know that you don’t have to use a petroleum-derived product to achieve the same, glowy results. In fact, balms that swap the petrolatum for other occlusives can make your slugging routine even more effective. 

Petrolatum, by definition, is a gelled mineral oil, which garners some hot debate: Some deem it unsafe for skin; others say it’s totally fine. That’s because while mineral oil is petrochemical derived, you can find purified, cosmetic-grade options that are theoretically safe to apply on the skin (as opposed to technical-grade options, which are typically used to lubricate car engines). However, even cosmetic-grade options are not so environmentally friendly, which is enough of a reason to avoid its use: “Mineral oil is petrochemical derived, meaning it’s environmentally irresponsible to use mineral oil when there are vegetable and fruit oils, like coconut oil, that are more sustainable,” says clean cosmetic chemist Krupa Koestline about the ingredient

Not to mention, those vegetable and fruit oils work quite well. Take Peach & Lily’s Rescue Balm, for example—which calls on sunflower seed oil, castor oil, and plant-based waxes to achieve a thicker consistency. Plus, it includes ceramides and panthenol to help strengthen the lipid barrier, as opposed to just sitting on top of it. “It’s occlusive, but it’s not as heavy-duty as Vaseline,” Alicia Yoon, celebrity esthetician and founder of Peach & Lily tells mbg. “It’s my modified version of slugging: Over my moisturizer, I melt it into my hands, then slowly roll my palms over my face, just pressing it into my skin.” After two or three days with this slugging routine, her skin is left smooth and supple, with zero traces of winter chap. Pipette’s Baby Balm is another personal favorite, which includes squalane, jojoba esters, and berry wax for a richly hydrating jelly texture, sans mineral oil. 

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