One of the most downloaded apps of late, TikTok, has all kinds of videos you can choose to view, from trending dance moves to recipes, and fashion and beauty hacks. What appears on your FYP (For You Page) is content that the app’s algorithm predicts you might like. For those on the lookout for beauty hacks and tips, the safety of some of these do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions and tips is debatable.
One of the popular beauty trends on TikTok, slugging, doesn’t really involve actual slugs. It is a K-beauty trend that got its name from coating your face with a thick layer of petroleum jelly, which is similar to the slick, slimy trails left behind by snails.
It’s essentially a moisturizing technique, which some claim gives skin that dewy, glass effect. It simply involves coating your face in petroleum jelly (or another similar ointment) overnight.
Products like Vaseline petroleum jelly have triple-purified petrolatum, an occlusive ingredient that forms a barrier over the skin, preventing water loss; it’s like using a souped-up hydrating sheet mask.
Dermatologist Nicole Yu says it’s a great option for dry skin, especially in winter climates. “I use Aquaphor when I get windburn,” Dr. Yu says. It’s also sometimes recommended for those prone to eczema.
Pros and cons
If your skin is on the dry side, your skin will most likely benefit from slugging, but if you have oily, acne-prone skin or rosacea, this is one hack you ought to steer clear of, she adds. “Take note that Korea has a temperate climate, and with our weather, it can potentially clog pores,” she says.
Since petroleum jelly doesn’t really add moisture but just locks it in, be sure your skin is completely clean, as you can also lock in dirt and oil. You will only need a small amount to coat your face. Also, use a pillowcase you don’t care much about, as the petroleum jelly will most likely stain your pillow.
Ultimately, what slugging and other beauty hacks have in common are easy, at-home tips to save on costs instead of professional treatments and consultations. Salons and clinics being closed or having limited operations during quarantine also increased the popularity of DIY beauty tips, not to mention that most opt to stay at home during the pandemic.
I urge you to exercise extreme caution when trying these tips seen online, especially from self-proclaimed experts, on TikTok or otherwise. Personally, I would skip this trend as I have sensitive skin prone to rosacea. My alternatives to this are those sleeping masks that you apply like a cream and leave on overnight (most Korean brands have versions of this) and, of course, nothing beats using a moisturizer and skin-care regimen prescribed by a professional.
Dr. Nicole Yu, Goldland Tower, Eisenhower St. Greenhills, San Juan City, tel. 87243876; 3/F, Mercury Drug, Glorietta 3, Makati City, tel. 88132429