Self care isn't exclusive to your face, or even your skin. Your nails and cuticles could also use some major TLC, and TikTok has an idea for how to do exactly that. Nail slugging, a method that helps moisturize your nail beds, is gaining some traction on the app—and for good reason. Similar to facial slugging, this technique involves applying an ingredient-rich and moisturizing ingredient to your skin and then sealing it in with an occlusive like Vaseline or Aquaphor.
"Slugging is an interesting new trend in cosmetology," Anastasia Totty, LeChat Nails educator, tells Byrdie. "Even though it has been used for many years in South Asian culture for healthy looking skin and hair results, it is relatively new to us. Thanks to social media more and more professionals tend to use it to get better results."
Social media also means that more and more people are experimenting with slugging, and they're looking for inventive ways to apply this technique to their other self care routines. Nail slugging is just the latest take on this trend.
Now, the #NailSlugging hashtag has 20.5 thousand views, and it seems like people are on board, but is the trend really good for your nails? Ahead, we asked a nail expert to share all the details on this trend—plus, a step-by-step guide to properly slugging your nails at home.
What Is Nail Slugging?
"Nail slugging is a way to deeply moisturize your cuticles and hands," Totty explains to us. "The results would be similar to paraffin wax treatment, and is extremely efficient if you have cracked skin or really dry cuticles."
Plus, according to Dr. Charles Puza, MD, a board-certified dermatologist who shared a video of this trend on TikTok, incorporating this technique can have several benefits beyond simply moisturizing dry skin.
According to his video, nail slugging can help improve overall nail health, resulting in stronger, less brittle nails. Another bonus? Per Puza, this technique can also help protect your cuticles and nails from water damage.
How To Nail Slug
It's pretty much agreed that this technique can be a great way to keep your nails, nail beds, and cuticles feeling their best. But how exactly do you slug your nails? To start off, try a moisturizing cuticle oil—specifically, look out for one with Vitamin E or jojoba oil as a base.
Totty says, "Cuticle oil, like my favorite LeChat CBD Cuticle Oil ($30)—which contains Vitamin E, full spectrum CBD, and jojoba and avocado oils—is made to penetrate into the nail plate which makes good for nail growth and healthy cuticles."
Next, it's time to layer up. "'Combining this with a hand lotion and Aquaphor over it will make the product work better," Totty adds. To keep the products in place and stop the residue from getting everywhere, she also suggests wearing cellophane gloves for 30-45 minutes post-slugging (but a pair of old socks will also work).
How often you slug your nails is up to you, but it could be smart to make it a regular part of your self care routine, whether you want to remedy dry cuticles and brittle nails or simply want to prevent any future damage. "It could be a great weekly routine, just like a nourishing hair mask or scalp treatment," Totty adds.