Nail Slugging Will Transform Your Hands. Here's Why.
Nail slugging is the hottest new beauty trend blowing up on TikTok. It’s essentially the same thing as skincare slugging, except it’s focused on the nails and cuticles. According to dermatologists, this skincare technique can be highly beneficial for nail health, helping to reverse the effects of acrylics, press ons, and nail polish.
Here’s everything you need to know about nail slugging, from what it is to how to do it at home and the best products to do it with.
WHAT IS NAIL SLUGGING?
Nail slugging is a spin-off of the South Korean-based skincare technique that’s been hugely popular in recent years. The technique involves coating your nail bed in cuticle oil and then slugging with an occlusive such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline). The end result? Stronger, smoother, and healthier nails and cuticles.
Besides being dermatologist-approved (“derm doc” Charles Puza, M.D. recommended the technique in a video shared in March 2022), it’s a quick and easy way to transform peeling, brittle nails and dry cuticles.
Doing this on the regular will promote stronger, healthier nails and enable you to continue with your favorite gel manicures without them taking as much of a toll on your nails and cuticles.
NAIL SLUGGING BENEFITS
Everyone can benefit from slugging their nails. Especially those who live for nail art and acrylics, it’s important to adopt a nail care routine full of nourishing products to hydrate and strengthen the nails.
Even if you’re not into fancy manicures and false nails, a nail slugging routine can still be helpful in restoring strong, shiny nails. Every day, your hands experience a lot of wear and tear from regular handwashing, household chores, and harsh temperatures. Thus, they deserve a little TLC every now and then.
"Slugging the nail cuticles can strengthen the nails and protect them from water damage," explains skin care expert Charles Puza, M.D., in a TikTok video.
Best of all, this TikTok trend is by no means high-maintenance. You can do it just before going to bed and let all those products work their magic while you snooze. It couldn’t be easier!
HOW TO SLUG NAILS
Want to try nail slugging at home? Here’s how to slug your nails for your smoothest, strongest, and shiniest digits!
Step #1: Wash + Dry Your Hands
First off, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water so you’re starting with clean hands. It’s best to nail slug at night just before going to bed so that you can let everything sink into the skin without interruption. After washing your hands well, pat them dry with a clean towel.
Step #2: Apply Cuticle Oil
Next, apply a few drops of cuticle oil or cuticle conditioner to your nail bed and cuticles. Look for a formula made with hydrating vitamin E, jojoba oil, or hyaluronic acid, as these will help to moisturize and strengthen your nails while leaving them noticeably softer. If you’re experiencing dryness around the nail, you can also apply a couple of drops of oil to those dry areas too. Let the oil soak into your skin for a minute or two before applying anything else.
Step #3: Apply a Balm or Hand Cream
Finally, apply an occlusive to seal all that moisture in. You can use a balm, hand cream, healing ointment, or lotion — anything that’s occlusive so that it locks in all those actives ingredients and keeps nails and skin hydrated for as long as possible. Common occlusive ingredients to look out for in nail products and skincare products include petrolatum, silicones, waxes, most oils and butters. Some good suggestions include Vaseline and Eucerin Aquaphor balm.
Step #4: Let Everything Sink in as You Sleep
Nail slugging is best done in the evening before climbing under the covers. In the daytime, you jeopardize the effects of nail slugging through hand washing and household chores. By applying your oils and balms in the evening, you can let everything sink in as you sleep. By the next morning, your nails will look significantly stronger and shinier.
BEST NAIL SLUGGING PRODUCTS
You don’t need to use actual nail or hand products to slug your nails. You can use some of the products from your skincare routine, or simply purchase products that double up for both the face and body, like these ones below.
A silky serum powered by hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, and vitamin B5, Hydrate Serum serves both as a treatment for dry skin and a remedy for weak, brittle nails. It also offers relief for those with sensitive skin by bolstering skin barrier function. You can apply this lightweight formula to your nails and hands in replacement of cuticle oil for intense nourishment and hydration. In fact, you can apply it anywhere that’s dull, dry for day-long dewiness.
Hydrate Body Butter
Hydrate Body Butter is a deeply conditioning moisturizer that blends the healing properties of coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter to help with dryness and discoloration. While it’s made for the body, you can also use it to repair and restore your healthiest nails. If you’re someone who likes keeping up with nail trends, reverse the damaging effects of gels and acrylics by slathering your digits in this restorative body butter. In spite of its intense hydrating properties, it won’t leave behind greasy residue, meaning you can look forward to strong nails and soft hands without feeling sticky.
Nail slugging is the latest beauty trend that’s all over social media. Unlike a lot of TikTok beauty trends, nail slugging does have its fair share of benefits. Even board-certified dermatologists swear by this technique for strengthening the nails and reversing damage caused by acrylics, press ons, and daily hand washing.
Whereas skin slugging has a few unpleasant side effects (clogged pores, breakouts), nail slugging can benefit everyone and doesn’t have any undesirable side effects. If you haven’t tried nail slugging yet, we urge you to give it a try and see what you think.