I didn’t choose the Sluglife, the Sluglife chose me

jodie / 31st August 2014

If you’ve ever frequented r/Skincareaddiction on Reddit, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Those who live the “Sluglife” are the ones who coat their faces with Vaseline before bed. Yes, this sounds crazy and unnatural and goes against everything you’ve ever thought about skincare (hello blocked pores, oily skin that can’t breathe, amirite?) but I’ve tried it and want to explain why it’s actually a great idea, especially for those with dry and/or sensitive skin:

1. It keeps skin hydrated

Vaseline is an occlusive, which means it forms a hydrophobic layer on your skin, preventing moisture loss. So the point of coating your skin in Vaseline before bed isn’t so that it absorbs into your skin; it’s to lock in whatever moisture is there, preventing your skin drying out. It acts as a barrier: if you apply your moisturiser, then apply a cost of Vaseline over the top of it before you go to sleep, the Vaseline will prevent you from losing that moisture while you sleep. You’ll wake up with beautiful, plump, hydrated skin.

2. It doesn’t block pores

Vaseline is actually classed as non-comodogenic, meaning it doesn’t block pores. The molecules in Vaseline are too big to block them, so you don’t need to worry about the Vaseline somehow infiltrating your pores, setting up camp there, and creating an abundance of blackheads and cystic acne. Unless your pores are vaginally sized. In that case, forget the Vaseline and get that shit seen to right away.

3. Skin doesn’t need to “breathe”

Here’s a lesson in basic anatomy: your skin doesn’t have lungs. Because of this, it doesn’t need to “breathe”. What I mean is, the top layer of your skin is technically dead, but the bottom layers of your skin get nutrients from your blood supply – so what you eat and drink is important. So your pores and stuff don’t need to “breathe” oxygen. You also don’t need to “detoxify” or whatever through your pores- that’s what your kidneys are for. Yes, you so need to remove makeup, dirt, and other crap that builds up during the day; but you don’t need to worry about using a heavy, occlusive moisturiser like Vaseline because it feels like your skin “can’t breathe”. If your skin needs the hydration, use it.

4. Petroleum jelly isn’t the bad guy

It has no fragrance or other irritating ingredients, so it’s not going to upset your skin; it locks in moisture, and many dermatologists, doctors and pharmacists recommend it for skin conditions. Many people believe it’s bad for you or causes cancer because “chemicals”…but everything is chemicals! There are no conclusive reports that petroleum jelly causes cancer, and although it is a byproduct of the oil industry, it’s not particularly bad for the environment; if you’re going to bash Vaseline for being “bad for the environment”, you may as well do the same for, like, 80% of the products you own.

A few years ago, I went to a pharmacist in Boots and asked him to recommend a moisturiser that wouldn’t upset my eczema prone skin, and he recommended Vaseline. I thought he was being ridiculous because Vaseline is all gross and yucky and obvs not that good cause it has like 1 ingredient, omg.

Oh, how I wish I’d listened to him then, instead of waiting until now to act upon the suggestions from a bunch of strangers on the internet, whose advice is apparently more sound than that of a medical professional. Maybe if I’d listened to him then, my skin would have recovered from the nasty flare-up I had at the time a lot sooner. 

After the first time I tried Vaseline as an overnight moisturiser, I woke up with amazingly hydrated, dewy, healthy looking skin. I’m not urging you to try it right this second, I’m just suggesting that it might be worth considering something you might have perhaps overlooked before. Think about it #Sluglife.