Nail Slugging: Benefits, Expert Tips, And How It Works

2022-10-09 14:47:57 By : Ms. judy zhu

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Is this the secret to your healthiest nails?

TikTok users have recently discovered that your hair and skin aren't the only parts of the body that need moisture to thrive. Nail slugging is one of the latest beauty practices to go viral on the app, and as you can probably guess, it's a lot like skin slugging, a trend that involves applying a heavy moisturiser—like Vaseline—to the skin to lock in hydration. The result: stronger, healthier nails.

Meet Our Experts: Dana Stern, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Anastasia Totty, LeChat Nails educator

'Nail slugging is the "nail version of skin slugging,: where petroleum jelly or any occlusive thick ointment is applied to the nail and cuticle for an extended period in an effort to combat damaged over-processed or dry, brittle nails,' board-certified dermatologist Dana Stern, MD, tells WH. According to Dr. Stern, your cuticles can absorb thick ointments better than they can creams, and keeping them hydrated is the key to having healthy nails as they serve as each nail's 'natural protective barrier.'

Been doing this for years, didn’t know it had a name 😅 #nailcare #slugging #nailinspo #fypシ #foryou #CloroxMistChallenge #nails

In short, slugging your cuticles keeps them from becoming overly dry—and since we use our hands for just about everything, there are a number of ways that can happen.

'Cuticles become dry and dehydrated due to excessive water exposure—think: hand washing, swimming, dishes, gardening, etc.—or over-processed nails from gel and dip polishes, nail stickers, and lots of exposure to polish remover,' Dr. Stern says.

Dr. Stern compares the cuticle to the grout in your shower: 'It keeps water, moisture and organisms out,' she says. 'When that seal is removed or becomes dry, and dehydrated, it becomes compromised—picture old, dry grout—and 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.'

The process itself is pretty simple. 'The best way to hydrate a nail and cuticle is to first exfoliate, just as you would the skin, followed by applying a product that has real nail and cuticle-hydrating and strengthening benefits,"'Dr. Stern says.

You can follow your exfoliation with any cuticle oil—LeChat Nails educator, Anastasia Totty, recommends one with vitamin E, which is great for moisturising and softening the skin and treating inflammation. Avocado and jojoba oils would also be great options.

After applying oil around your cuticles and gently rubbing it in, you can follow it with a heavier moisturiser like Vaseline. Slugging can be done once a week or as often as necessary.