Nail Slugging

Nail Slugging

Posted by Stacey Goldstein on

The right way to embrace the latest TikTok nail trend



If you’re on #nailtok, you’ve likely seen many videos about nail slugging on your FYP. This trend, an evolution of the popular Korean skin slugging, is an effective way to hydrate and revive dry or damaged nails. Many of the TikTok videos, however, have skipped a crucial step. Read on for the right way to get the most out of nail slugging!


What is Skin Slugging?

Skin slugging, a Korean skincare trend that became popular on TikTok in 2022, involves a three-step skincare routine and is often done as an overnight treatment: 

  1. Exfoliate the skin.
  2. Hydrate with a moisturizing cream, serum or lotion.
  3. Apply an occlusive, such as petroleum jelly, to seal in the hydration.

What is Nail Slugging?

When skin slugging was adapted for nails, the important exfoliating step was often (erroneously) removed and just included moisturizer and occlusion. Much like with the skin, however, the most effective way to hydrate the nail and cuticle is to start with exfoliation. The nail slugging process should look like this:

  1. Gently exfoliate with an AHA-based product.
  2. Apply a hydrating/strengthening oil or gel.
  3. Add occlusive ointment all over the nail bed and cuticle.

The Dr. Dana Nail Renewal System is perfect for Steps 1 and 2 in nail slugging! It begins with a gentle exfoliation via Glycolic Acid to remove damaged nail cells and is followed by a hydrating and strengthening oil. This is the ideal method for delivering nail- and cuticle-loving ingredients and will help transform dry, damaged or brittle nails into healthy, smooth, shiny nails.


What are the benefits of nail slugging?

The main benefit of nail slugging is hydration, for both the nail and the cuticle, and should be considered by anyone with dry, brittle nails or damaged cuticles. As the nail’s natural protective seal, the cuticle is the key to a healthy, beautiful nail. It is like the grout in your shower between the tiles - it keeps moisture and organisms out of the nail unit.  When that seal is removed (such as during an aggressive manicure) or becomes dry and dehydrated (culprits include excessive water exposure from handwashing and dishes, nail gels/dips, and harsh polish remover), it becomes compromised–picture old, dry grout–and water and moisture is able to enter the nail unit. This can cause all sorts of problems, including chronic paronychia (redness and swelling at the skin behind the cuticle).  If the cuticle compromise persists chronically, the nail will eventually grow irregularly (white patches, bumps, thickening, discoloration). Healing the cuticle will help prevent infection and assist in healthy nail growth, and nail slugging is a great way to start the healing process

As you can see, restorative treatments that hydrate the cuticle, such as slugging on top of the Dr. Dana Nail Renewal System, help maintain the health of your nail.


What makes nail slugging better than just using cuticle oil?

Applying an occlusive layer after using the cuticle oil or moisturizer seals in the products so they will penetrate deeper. It also provides a protective barrier to help prevent moisture loss


How often should I be slugging my nails?

Nail slugging will be effective if done one or two times a week. It can be done as often as every night, but the exfoliation step should only be performed once a week. The oil should be applied under the occlusive every time you are slugging. 



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