My Vaseline-Free Slugging Routine: Featuring Go-To’s New Much Plumper Skin Serum

Ruby Feneley tries Go To, Much Plumper Skin Serum
Supplied: Ruby Feneley

Zoë Foster Blake‘s Aussie skincare brand Go-To has launched its first-ever hyaluronic serum, Much Plumper Skin ($48). I was impressed by their mask launch earlier this year so I obviously jumped at the chance to try the serum ahead of the launch. My trial prompted a whole train of thought around something we don’t usually associate with serums – slugging.

Has everybody heard of slugging by now? I thought so. On the off chance that you lost your phone last year and haven’t, slugging is the K-Beauty technique that involves applying a thick, occlusive layer of moisture to the skin before you go to sleep. It’s an eye-catching trend because it often uses products like Vaseline, Nivea or Petroleum Jelly that we don’t often see celebrated in skincare. Is it a good trend? Sometimes!

Slugging is really just a term for something that can be a good idea for almost anyone at some point in their skincare journey. If your skin barrier is disturbed, it’s a great way to protect your skin with a simple product that’s unlikely to aggravate it.

However, it’s not a good idea for everyone. Particularly for someone like me who is prone to milia, heat rashes and other skin disorders triggered by very heavy skin products.

But – I’ve also got dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that can occur in any skin type. With winter officially here and heaters cranking in the office and at home, I thought it was an optimal time to unpack my petroleum-free dehydrated skin routine.

Dehydrated Skin-Explainer:

What is dehydrated skin? Dehydrated skin is skin that lacks water, not oil. The tricky thing is, it can feel the same. Dehydrated skin can feel tight, flaky and red. But it can also be really oily. Dehydration not only tricks you into thinking you’re dry – it tricks your skin, which produces more oil as a response. When you’re dehydrated, you’re likely to be shiny and breaking out.

Slugging with Go-To, “Much Plumper Skin” Serum:

Go-To, Much Plumper Skin Serum ($48)
Go-To’s Much Plumper Skin Serum ($48) has the perfect consistency for petroleum-free slugging.

Firstly, there are a lot of hyaluronic acids on the market, and not all of them are created equal.

When looking for a hyaluronic acid serum, you should be checking what other ingredients it’s complemented by. Hyaluronic acid on its own is not an “active” ingredient, so you shouldn’t be paying top dollar for a “straight” hyaluronic. The molecular weight of the hyaluronic acids included is also essential to check. Hyaluronic acids that contain one, high molecular weight compound will sit on top of your skin, making it feel good, but not penetrating the lower levels, giving you that plumped up look. Hyaluronic acid serums that contain multiple weights go deeper into your complexion, plumping and hydrating at multiple levels. The final high molecular weight hyaluronic compound provides a moisture seal on top. Much Plumper Skin, also contains peptides and panthenol (Vitamin B5).

Peptides are fantastic ingredients in skincare as they encourage your complexion to create more collagen. I like to think of them as motivational speakers for sluggish complexions.

Go To also throw in panthenol or vitamin B5. Vitamin B3, or niacinamide, gets a lot of press, but B5 is a seriously slept on ingredient – only now getting the recognition it deserves. This year it’s starred in two of my favourite launches, and I refer to it as an antihistamine for irritated skin

The formula also contains aloe vera, a popular accompaniment in hyaluronic acid serums. Aloe vera gives Much Plumper Skin its slightly sticky feel – this disappears quickly but is actually one of the reasons I love it for my reverse slugging skincare system.

Where Go-To, Much Plumper Skin Fits in My Vaseline-Free Slugging Routine:

Vaseline Free Slugging Routine: Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, Drunk Elphant Sake Mist, Go-To Much Plumper Skin Serum, Gallinee Face Oil, Emma Lewisham, Supernatural 72-Hour Hydration
Vaseline Free Slugging Routine: Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, ($105) Drunk Elephant, Sweet Biome Fermented Sake Spray, ($63) Go-To Much Plumper Skin Serum, ($48) Gallinée, Face Oil, ($63) Emma Lewisham, Supernatural 72-Hour Crème, ($135)

Over years of dealing with skin that becomes easily dehydrated, I’ve developed a morning and night system for TRAPPING in moisture. A serum-like Go To’s Much Plumper Skin is essential to the process. We’ll start with night.

At night time, I double cleanse, tone, and LED mask (LEDs are most effective on bare skin). I then go in with my “active” serum. Depending on my skin, it might be a skin-soothing serum-like TBH, Rebound Serum ($68) or Skinceuticals, Phyto Corrective Gel ($105) I use those serums in between more active night products I’m usually trialling, like the Trinny London, Overnight Sensation Retinal Serum ($130).

I wait for this serum to totally absorb, then give my complexion a spritz with a facial mist. I then apply my juicy humectant, which in this case is Go-To’s Much Plumper Skin. I follow IMMEDIATELY, with another spritz of mist. Because hyaluronic acid works by binding moisture to the skin, using it in a very dry environment can make hyaluronic acid less effective. It’s important to remember it doesn’t contain water on its own.

A hyaluronic acid won’t be that effective in a heated environment or with a dehumidifier running. But by spritzing your face with any kind of water (I like to use pumped-up facial sprays), hyaluronic acid will suck it all up. Because of the aloe, glycerin and higher weight hyaluronic acid, “Much Plumper” creates the kind of “seal” you need to lock in your other skincare without the hair destroying grease.

For me – I’m also pretty dry. I follow immediately with a facial oil to lock in the second layer of face spray – but if you’re oily, you can follow with your lightweight night moisturiser. No super-emollient barrier cream is required.

What About My Morning Routine, You Ask?

The best thing about Vaseline-free slugging? You can do it during the day. I cleanse once, tone and wait for my skin to completely dry down. Then I apply my Vitamin C serum – currently, it’s my beloved Skinceuticals, CE Ferulic Serum ($233).

It’s essential to use Vitamin C on dry skin, as water can make the already unstable active less effective. For this reason, I skip the first facial mist session I would usually include at night.

Once my Vit C has dried down, I press “Much Plumper Skin” on top. Then – facial mist and oil or moisturiser. I leave a generous amount of time before applying sunscreen after my skincare routine. If I’ve used a facial oil, I press a tissue over to ensure any excess is absorbed – sunscreen can be rendered ineffective by oils so it’s important to leave time between applications.

I do my hair or eye makeup at this time because efficiency in my mornings is vital. Then, sunscreen is applied, and I am out the door with hydrated skin that lasts all day.

Go-To, Much Plumper Skin Serum ($48) can be purchased via the Go-To website or in-store and online at MECCA.

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