Nail slugging: Know more about this TikTok trend – The Indian Express

There are many trends that emerge from TikTok every now and then — some are outright bizarre and others make peculiar health claims. There are also skincare, makeup and beauty trends seen on the video-sharing app used by millions around the world. One such trend that has been doing the rounds for a few months now is that of ‘nail slugging’.
Nail slugging, unlike its name, does not actually involve slugs, but it is a beauty hack that has been dominating the space lately.
A post shared by Polished Nail Bar?? Top Nail Bars in CLT Metro & RDU (@polished_nail_bar)
According to a 2022 Allure report, much like ‘slugging’ the face by layering a “thick, balm-like product such as petroleum jelly over your skincare products at night for an extra layer of hydration and to seal all your products in”, nail slugging involves making brittle nails stronger by using layers of oils and balms at night.
There are many #nailslugging videos on TikTok and on other social media platforms, wherein people who are looking to grow stronger, healthier and shinier nails lather their nails and cuticles with many moisturising products such as oils and petroleum jelly to lock the moisture and to do away with dullness; they claim it to be a method that is even approved by dermatologists.
This sounds disgusting but like. Truly is just like same as on your face…. (Aka adding lots of thick ass cream to your face before bed lol) like… Nail slugging sounds so gross pls stop Lol
— ????Kat???? (@solidhaku23) December 25, 2022
According to, nail slugging is a two-part process that involves applying a cuticle oil first on the nails and then “sealing it” with an occlusive substance like petroleum jelly or even hand cream.
It is better suited as a night-time routine when the hands are at rest and creams and oils will be able to work their magic on the nails. Also, petroleum jelly can make the hands greasy, which is why people prefer to do nail slugging at night as opposed to in the daytime. It is, however, recommended to use a little bit of the jelly to avoid greasiness and stickiness.
To understand more about it, reached out to Dr Neha Sharma, dermatologist and founder of Estique Clinic, Gurugram, who said that the cuticles become dry and dehydrated due to excessive water exposure while hand-washing, swimming, doing dishes, gardening, or due to over-processing of nails with gel, dip polishes, nail stickers.
“Cuticles are the most important seal protecting our nails. It keeps water, moisture and microorganisms out. When this seal is removed or gets dry and dehydrated, it loses its protective capacity. Then, water and moisture is able to enter the nail unit causing all sorts of problems including chronic paronychia, which is redness and swelling at the skin behind the cuticle,” said the doctor.
She added that the process of nail slugging first includes exfoliation. “Then apply a humectant-based moisturiser. You can also apply oil. Finally, seal this moisture with an occlusive ointment like petroleum jelly. This final layer locks in moisture and prevents transepidermal water loss — the process of water evaporating from the skin’s surface due to the external environment.”
The expert concluded by saying that healthy and hydrated cuticles are the key to overall nail health. “Nail slugging helps you grow stronger and healthier nails while preventing cracked, dry and brittle nails.”
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