What is lip slugging?

Raise your hand if your lips are being personally victimised by this bleak, cold weather. Well, if you’ve got your hand raised, then lip slugging might just be for you. And join the queue, because there are clearly a lot of us out there going through it – dry lips can leave our skin irritated, infuriating, and a little insecure. But according to TikTok, you really don’t have to live with sand paper for lips, or grout for a pout. 

Enter yet another lip hack – but don’t roll your eyes just yet, because lip slugging has over 600m views on TikTok and, most importantly, is dermatologist approved. 

You might remember when skin slugging first took over the Skin-tok. That was all people could talk about. The art is simple: “Slugging is the process of using a petroleum-based product on your skin to prevent dryness, protect your moisture barrier and boost the glow,” explains @skincarebyhyram

Petroleum jelly has a bit of a bad rep but it works hard to seal moisture on skin that was once dry and dehydrated and it’s also non-comedogenic i.e. it doesn’t clog pores, so it’s a win-win. Boarded Derm and trained Mohs Surgeon Dr. L. J Maxfield also says: “Petroleum prevents 99% of epidermal water loss. This is a really perfect balance because that 1% that it leaves behind is acually great for wound healing.” 

Lip slugging is simply the art of slugging but on the lips only.

What is lip slugging?

This lip conditioning treatment works perfectly to soothe cracked, dry or tight lips, by layering a mix of thin and thick products and letting it work hard overnight, to allow time for the moisture to get locked in and for the skin barrier to be repaired.

Dr. Shah otherwise known as @dermdoctor adds: “The reason why we told people to slug in the first place is restore and irritated skin barrier that has been either been damed by the wind or the sun or has dry skin conditions. So I prefer to just take a very hydrating moisturiser and then slug over the top of that.”

  1. Apply a thin, gentle and hydrating moisturising cream
  2. Layer in a thick cream, or balmy product to seal moisture and hydration like
  3. Leave it on overnight

TikTok content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

What do I need?

Try these for light moisturising:

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro™ Moisturiser

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

La Roche-Posay Effaclar MAT+ Moisturiser Oily Skin

Augustinus Bader The Lip Balm

Try these balmy creams:

Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly

Weleda Skin Food Lip Balm

Soho Skin Lip Balm

CeraVe Healing Ointment

Are there any adverse risks?

Although skin that is flaky, dry, or even stripped from hydration that will in incidentally  compromised moisture barrier would really benefit from slugging, consider your skin type, and the area around your lips. If you have oily skin, lip slugging can be okay, as long as you don’t congest the area around it. But sure to avoid comedogenic lip products that leak around the lips and may cause clogging around the lip line.