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If you’re a skincare fan or just love to scroll TikTok, chances are you’ve heard of slugging. The technique has been around for years and involves applying an occlusive moisturizer to create a barrier on your skin to trap hydration. If it works for your face, it makes sense it would help hydrate other areas, right? Say hello to nail slugging, the latest viral TikTok trend. Unlike vabbing, this one might actually work.
Of course, using ultra-hydrating products and gloves on your hands isn’t new. But like many TikTok trends, it’s being repackaged into something easier with a cute name. It all started when dermatologist @drcharlesmd1 took to TikTok to show how he slugs his own nails. “We all know acrylates [nail product ingredients] can damage nails,” he says. “Slugging the nail cuticle can strengthen nails and protect them from water damage.”
Dr. Puza looks like he’s using petroleum jelly to slug his nails, telling his 1 million followers: “It should be done daily.” TikTokers jumped on the trend. Senior Beauty Editor of Refinery29 UK @jacquelinekilikita made a video showing how she helps heal her dry, picked cuticles. She applies cuticle oil onto her nails and then the occlusive moisturizer on top. In this case, she uses Vaseline ($11.88 for a pack of 3 at Amazon
). “The difference is wild,” she says. “I’ve been doing this to my nails for over a week and my nails are in much better shape.”
Nail expert @lovefreshpaint agrees. “If your cuticles are especially dry, try this for a few weeks,” she says, applying CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner ($8.50 at Ulta Beauty) with Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Baby ($9.11 at Amazon
) on top. “I do this every night before bed,” she adds.
In each case, the hydrating nail and cuticle oil is trapped onto the skin by the occlusive product (like Aquaphor or Vaseline), helping the hydrator sink into the skin and hydrate that much better. The best part? You can try it with just a few affordable products, many of which you might already have at home. That’s the kind of beauty trend we can get behind.