Nail Slugging Is The TikTok Trend That Derms Say Really Works

Similar to skin slugging, this trend helps hydrate brittle nails and dried out cuticles.
Nourish and strengthen your nails and cuticles with <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Vaseline-Blueseal-Petroleum-Jelly-Original/dp/B019MXNCFU?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Vaseline" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Vaseline-Blueseal-Petroleum-Jelly-Original/dp/B019MXNCFU?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">Vaseline</a>, a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Elon-Lanolin-Conditioner-Healthy-Nails/dp/B0011WHFL8?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="lanolin nail conditioning treatment" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Elon-Lanolin-Conditioner-Healthy-Nails/dp/B0011WHFL8?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">lanolin nail conditioning treatment</a> and a pair of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Eurow-Premium-Cosmetic-Moisturizing-Natural/dp/B01FL8O51U?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="cotton overnight gloves" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/Eurow-Premium-Cosmetic-Moisturizing-Natural/dp/B01FL8O51U?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=6328d7e7e4b0ed991abc2041%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">cotton overnight gloves</a>.
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Nourish and strengthen your nails and cuticles with Vaseline, a lanolin nail conditioning treatment and a pair of cotton overnight gloves.

“Slugging,” a moisture-loss prevention technique that slid its way into many a skin care routine, has now migrated to other places of the body in need of extra hydration: the nails. (Like many beauty trends these days, we can thank TikTok for this latest iteration of slugging.)

More and more people have noticed that drier weather conditions or damage left by acrylics have begun to wreak havoc on their nail beds and cuticles. Trendy as it may be, Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami, Florida, said that the act of slugging is here to stay.

“It aids in growing healthier nails during these [colder] seasons by preventing dry, brittle and splitting nails, thus, preventing the bacteria and germs to enter into the matrix area where nails are formed and may cause inflammation or infections,” Chacon told HuffPost.

For those of you that have never slugged anything before, Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Modern Dermatology, explained that it’s the nighttime process of layering nourishing and ingredient-rich oils or treatments on your nails and surrounding areas before following up with a hand cream and finally, a rich occlusive layer. Arguably one of the most important aspects of slugging, this thicker layer is typically a petroleum jelly that works to seal everything in, prevent transepidermal water loss and promote better product absorption.

“Slugging really only seals in whatever you’ve applied beneath it, so it’s important to seek out high quality ingredients in your cuticle oil, serum [and] hand cream for this to really be an effective strategy,” Robinson said.

If you have nails that are thin and peeling or cuticles that are raw and painfully dry, then it might be worth your while to keep scrolling to see the steps and products that Chacon, Robinson and other dermatologists recommend so you and your nails can live their best slug life.

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1
Violet Grey
An anti-inflammatory vitamin E hand scrub
After you have washed your hands with a moisturizing hand soap to eliminate any germs, Chacon said you should gently exfoliate your hands and the skin around your nails. "[This will] remove dead skin cells and any stubborn residue, creating a clean canvas for the products to come," she said.

Susanne Kaufman's plant-based hand scrub is Chacon's exfoliator of choice because "it has hydrating oils to keep hands supple." This state-of-the art peel is packed with anti-inflammatory vitamin E, nourishing oils and butters, and unique biodegradable exfoliating beads that dissolve into skin when the formula reaches the optimal temperature.
2
A lanolin-rich nail conditioning treatment
Dr. Amanda Zubek, a board-certified dermatologist with Yale Medicine, told HuffPost that although any conditioning treatment intended for the nails and cuticles will do, she particularly likes the lanolin-containing formula of this one from Elon.

Lanolin, which helps prevent moisture loss due to its high fat content, can help prevent nails from cracking and splitting, while the addition of beeswax works to thicken and strengthen cuticle fibers. This combination can help promote healthier and smoother nail regrowth.
3
A nail strengthening treatment
Another effective nail and cuticle treatment option comes at Robinson’s recommendation: The Isdin Si-Nails conditioner, which aids in nail growth by using ingredients like silanediol and pistacia lentiscus to promote essential minerals and components inside the nail that are essential for strength and health. The formula also contains the all-star ingredient hyaluronic acid, a humectant that can aid in cuticle hydration.
4
Ulta
A nourishing cuticle oil with anti-fungal properties
When it comes to saturating those dry and flaky cuticles with oil, Chacon recommends this botanical infusion of apricot, sweet almond and jojoba oils, all conveniently dispersed by a roller ball applicator. In addition to providing intensive nourishment, these oils are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
5
A ceramide intensive hand cream
Zubek suggests opting for a hand cream that contains ceramides, the building blocks needed for a healthy skin barrier. She likes CeraVe's therapeutic hand cream, which, like all of this trusted brand's products, contains three essential ceramides along with calming niacinamide, hydrating hyaluronic acid and protective dimethicone.
6
An all-purpose beauty staple
Now for the "slug" part of the operation: the thick occlusive layer. Vaseline, a tried and true skin protectant staple, made it on all of our dermatologists' lists.

"Apply to the hands and rub it into the cuticles, nails and in between fingers," Chacon said. "This seals in moisture and prevents transepidermal water loss the process of water evaporating from the skin’s surface due to the external environment."
7
Two pairs of cotton overnight gloves that help facilitate absorption
Chacon, Robinson and Zubeck all agreed that it's useful to wear cotton gloves over your freshly slugged hands and nails in order to avoid a mess on your sheets and to maximize penetration of the products you just applied.

These two pairs of gloves are breathable, comfortable to wear and machine-washable.

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