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Nail Slugging 101: Here’s What You Need to Know About TikTok’s Latest Manicure Trend

two hands with a small jar of white lotion

TikTok is known for boosting some unusual trends (Pink Sauce, anyone?), but it can also be the perfect place to find new ideas to upgrade your beauty routine with hacks you may not have thought of on your own. Enter the latest TikTok trend for nails: nail slugging.

Similar to skincare slugging (AKA the practice of using lots of moisturizer to lock moisture into your skin barrier at bedtime), nail slugging is all about bringing mega moisture to your nailbeds for a healthier-looking mani. Want to try the trend? Here’s what you need to know about nail slugging.

Related: I tried TikTok sleep hacks – this is how it went.

What is nail slugging and why should we try it?

What’s driving the trend towards slugging our nails? We can thank skin-care expert Dr. Charles MD and his recent TikTok that was reported on in The Sun, which opens with the apropos question: “You’ve heard of slugging your skin, but what about your nails?”

While many of us love to express ourselves through nail art and trendy manicures, we also know that many of the products that we use on our nails (such as acrylates) can be harsh and can damage our nails. Adding to this, few of us take the time to really care for and repair our nails and nail cuticles. One solution? As Dr. Charles explains, “Slugging the nail cuticle can strengthen nails and protect them from water damage.”

See also: How to get Hailey Bieber’s glazed-doughnut nails this summer.

A person wearing a green T-shirt applies lotion to hands

What are the benefits of nail slugging?

According to Dr. Charles’ TikTok, the benefits of nail slugging include stronger nails, less brittle nails and protection from water damage.

Refinery29 writer Jacqueline Kilikita recently documented her experience with nail slugging, and confirmed the benefits, writing: “nail slugging is legit. Almost like magic, my dry cuticles disappeared immediately and the splits in my nails were much less noticeable.”

You may also like: Get summer gorgeous: here are our favourite beauty drops this August.


How can you slug your nails?

Ready to soothe your dry, brittle nails with some slugging sessions? While there are many different products that you can use for nail slugging, the basic routine is to apply an occlusive ingredient like Vaseline or petroleum jelly around your nails and cuticles daily (in his nail slugging TikTok, for example, Dr. Charles applies what looks like petroleum jelly around his cuticles to slug his nails). For added moisture, you can massage in a cuticle oil before slathering on the thicker occlusive. If you’re slugging your nails at night, you may want to wear gloves on your hands while you sleep.

Similarly, as outlined in Glamour UK, TikTok user @lovesfreshpaint offered a detailed nail slugging routine.

“If your cuticles are especially dry, try this for a few weeks, I do this every night before bed,” she writes in the clip, which shows a person applying CND cuticle oil to the nails and cuticles, and then adding Eucerin Aquaphor skin balm (here’s a similar option) on top.

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