Dec. 6, 2022 – They have been round for some time and present no indicators of going away: Movies on TikTok of individuals, usually teenagers, slathering their face with petroleum jelly and claiming that it is reworked their pores and skin, cured their pimples, or given them a tremendous “glow up.”
Movies on the favored social media platform mentioning petrolatum elevated 46% and Instagram movies by 93% from 2021 to 2022, reported Gabriel Santos Malave, of the Icahn Faculty of Medication at Mount Sinai, New York, and William D. James, MD, a professor of dermatology on the College of Pennsylvania, in a just lately revealed research within the journal Cutis.
The authors mentioned that Vaseline maker Unilever reviews that mentions of the product elevated by 327% on social media in 2022, primarily due to “slugging,” which includes smearing petroleum jelly on the face after a moisturizer is placed on.
In a typical demonstration, a dermatologist in the UK confirmed how she makes use of slugging in her routine in a TikTok video that is had greater than 1 million views.
In contrast tomanyTikTokdevelopments, slugging will not be completely dangerous, say dermatologists.
“I believe it is a good way to maintain your pores and skin protected and moisturized, particularly in these dry, chilly winter months,” dermatologist Mamina Turegano, MD, mentioned in a video posted in February. That TikTok video has had greater than 6 million views.
Turegano, who’s in non-public observe within the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, LA, says she determined to publish about slugging after she’d observed the subject was trending. Additionally, she had tried the method herself when she lived in Washington, DC, greater than a decade in the past.
On the time, she says, she was conscious that “placing petroleum jelly in your face was not a traditional factor.” However, given its historical past of being utilized in dermatology, she gave it a try to discovered that it labored effectively for her dry pores and skin.
Turegano is one amongst many dermatologists who’ve joined TikTok to dispel myths, educate, and inform. It is essential for them to be there “to interact and empower the general public to turn into a greater client of data on the market and take possession of their pores and skin well being,” says Jean McGee, MD, PhD, a dermatologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Heart in Boston, and an assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical Faculty.
McGee and colleagues studied TikTok content material on slugging and located that by far, movies that had been created by well being care suppliers had been extra academic. Dermatologists who posted had been extra prone to focus on the dangers and advantages, whereas “influencers” not often posted in regards to the dangers, based on the research revealed in Clinics in Dermatology.
Slugging is mostly protected and efficient for many who have a compromised pores and skin barrier or “for many who have delicate pores and skin and might’t tolerate different merchandise however want some type of moisturization,” mentioned Turegano.
“Its oil-based nature permits it to seal water within the pores and skin by making a hydrophobic barrier that decreases transepidermal water loss,” Malave and James wrote in Cutis. They word that petrolatum reduces that water loss by 98%, in contrast with solely 20% to 30% for different oil-based moisturizers.
Dermatologists have usually really useful a “seal and entice” plan for dry pores and skin or eczema. It includes a brief, lukewarm bathe, adopted by moisturizing with a petrolatum-based ointment straight away, says McGee.
This might be protected for the face, however “different variables have to be thought-about,” together with use of different topical medicines and different skincare practices, she says.
The idea of double-layering a moisturizer and an occlusive agent could be useful however extra sometimes for the arms and toes, the place the pores and skin could be severely dry and cracked, says Adam Friedman, MD, a professor and chair of dermatology on the George Washington Faculty of Medication and Well being Sciences in Washington, DC. “I might not suggest that on the face,” he says.
He and different dermatologists warn there may be the potential for slugging – given petroleum jelly’s blocking capacity – to boost the motion of any topical steroid, retinol, or exfoliating agent.
Muneeb Shah, DO, who practices in Mooresville, NC, is likely one of the hottest dermatologists on TikTok and has greater than 17 million followers. He additionally warned in a February video about potential downsides. “Watch out after utilizing retinol or exfoliating acids as a result of it could truly irritate your pores and skin extra,” he says within the video.
“Slugging is superior for some individuals however not for others, and never for each night time,” Whitney Bowe, MD, says on a TikTok video she posted in July. She really useful it for eczema or actually dry pores and skin. Bowe, who practices with Superior Dermatology in New York Metropolis, suggested these with acne-prone pores and skin to “skip this development.”
On a webpage geared toward most people, the American Academy of Dermatology additionally cautioned: “Keep away from placing petroleum jelly in your face in case you are acne-prone, as this will likely trigger breakouts in some individuals.”
Zits Treatment or Pore Clogger?
And but, loads of TikTok customers declare that it has improved their pimples.
One such consumer posted a before-and-after video purporting to point out that slugging had nearly gotten rid of her pimples and prior scarring. Not surprisingly, it has been considered some 9 million occasions and bought 1.5 million “likes.”
Friedman notes that it is theoretically potential – however not going – that slugging might enhance pimples, provided that pimples principally is a illness of barrier disruption. “The concept right here is you have got disrupted pores and skin barrier all through the face no matter whether or not you have got a pimple in that spot or not, so you should restore it,” he mentioned. “That is the place I believe slugging is considerably heading in the right direction, as a result of by placing an occlusive agent on the pores and skin, you’re restoring the barrier aspect,” he mentioned.
Nonetheless, making use of a thick, greasy ointment on the face might block pores and trigger a backup of oil and lifeless pores and skin cells, and it might entice micro organism, he mentioned. “Pores and skin barrier safety and restore is central to pimples administration, however you should do it in a protected manner,” he mentioned. He famous that which means making use of an oil-free moisturizer to damp pores and skin.
Turegano mentioned she has seen slugging enhance pimples, nevertheless it’s laborious to say which individuals with acne-prone pores and skin can be one of the best candidates. Those that have used harsh merchandise to deal with pimples after which had their pimples worsen might probably profit, she mentioned.
Even so, she mentioned, “I might be very cautious in anybody with pimples.”