Ep 135 – Skin Slugging and Skincare Fasting, Oh My!

Skin care slugging

First, we had glass skin, then we had glazed donut skin, and then we had skin slugging. We thought these were passing social media trends, until we heard “slug” as an actionable term in a professional setting. Now, we’re seeing the growing popularity of the skin-fasting trend, a polar-opposite approach. Tune in as Ella and Maggie discuss the differences, the similarities, and the professional potential of these social media-born practices.

ASCP Esty Talk with Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman

Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast hosted by Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.


About Ella Cressman:

Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, and absolute ingredient junkie! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.

She has spent many hours researching ingredients, understanding how and where they are sourced, as well as phytochemistry, histological access, and complementary compounds for intentional skin benefits. In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several skin care lines, including several successful CBD brands.

Connect with Ella Cressman:

Website: www.ellacress.com

Website: www.hhpcollective.com


About Maggie Staszcuk:

Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Advanced Modality Specialist. 

Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:

P 800.789.0411 EXT 1636

MStaszcuk@ascpskincare.com or AMI@ascpskincare.com


About our Sponsors

About DMK:

Founded by botanical visionary Danné Montague-King, DMK is the World Leader in Paramedical Skin Revision™. Our revolutionary concept of REMOVE. REBUILD. PROTECT. MAINTAIN.® aims to match an individual’s biochemistry with the appropriate skin therapy. DMK believes that the origin of most skin conditions is a result of disharmony within the skin. Using the principles of biochemistry, DMK has formulated a range of Enzymatic Treatments and Home Prescriptives that encourage the skin to return to its most balanced and healthy state. For skin care professionals whose business depends on generating long-lasting clinically-proven results, DMK’s education-first approach has become essential. Hundreds of salons, spas, and even industry experts have recognized the effectiveness of the DMK concept, witnessed by thousands of people worldwide whose lives have been changed forever.

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About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.

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0:00:00.5 Speaker 1: DMK is the world leader in paramedical skin revision education with certification programs designed to give licensed professionals a thorough understanding of the skin and an in-depth study of the DMK concept of remove, rebuild, protect, maintain, created by the botanical visionary Danné Montague-King, DMK offers skin revision training and education for all ages, skin conditions and ethnicities in more than 35 countries, harnessing the body's innate healing mechanisms to change the health of the skin. Learn more at DannéMKing.com, that's D-A-N-N-E-M-K-I-N-G.com... 


0:00:47.9 S1: You are listening to ASCP Esty Talk where we share insider tips, industry resources, and education for estheticians at every stage of the journey. Let's talk because ASCP knows it's all about you. 


0:01:04.0 Speaker 2: Hello and welcome to ASCP Esty Talk. I am your co-host Ella Cressman, licensed esthetician, certified organic skincare formulator and content contributor for Associated Skin Care Professionals. 


0:01:16.1 Speaker 3: And I am Maggie Staszcuk, licensed esthetician and ASCP's cosmetology education manager. 


0:01:22.9 S2: Maggie. 


0:01:24.2 S3: Ella. 


0:01:24.3 S2: First, I have to give a shoutout. 


0:01:28.2 S3: Yeah, do it. 


0:01:28.3 S2: Michelle at A Little Beyond Beauty Aesthetics, hey girl, thanks for listening. She actually tagged me on her Instagram story. And so I wanna say, hey, thanks, and we hope you enjoy this one. As you are on social media, you're probably well aware of these trends. Maggie, check this out, glass skin. That's the first for we had, right?  


0:01:49.2 S2: And the next one we had was glazed donut skin, and I've had that before, but not from my face, mostly just around my mouth, but that was from a real glazed donut, and then we have... Now we have skin slugging, and honestly, I thought these were just passing social media trends until I heard something the other day that baffled me. I heard slug as an actionable term in a professional setting. 


0:02:15.5 S3: Interesting. 


0:02:16.9 S2: Yeah, they were saying, oh, then you're gonna cleanse and you're gonna do this and then twice a week you're gonna slug and I was like "What?" So it just made its way from Hailey Bieber to our professional directions. So... Awesome, and then I recently read a fascinating article on skin fasting, and I know this is something we've kind of touched on before, but we have two trends on the opposite ends of the spectrum. We have do all this and put this occlusive stuff to make you look shiny and glassy and glazey and sluggy, and then this other one is like, "Hey, take a break and see what happens." So why don't we dive in and understand these terms a little bit better, what do you think?  


0:02:55.5 S3: Yeah, let's do it. 


0:02:58.2 S2: So literally, I did a Google search to find out 'cause I wanted to be concise, and Google's the authority, right? Google knows everything. 


0:03:04.9 S3: Yeah, absolutely. 


0:03:06.7 S2: So glass skin is when your skin is at its very healthiest explains, Alicia Yoon, founder of Peach & Lily. So this is something to keep in mind. These trends, where are they coming from? Who's driving them? Because Peach & Lily is a company, so this glass skin is intended to be poreless, luminous, and translucent, and in order to have that, so many things have to happen, you have to be hydrated, you have to be healthy, your skin has to be healthy in all aspects. It has to be functioning correctly, which I think is pretty cool, so when I hear this, it makes me think of, oh, you have pretty translucent skin, so they're just trading out one adjective for another. Not like Twilight though, translucent like a vampire. 




0:03:56.9 S3: That's my boyfriend. 


0:03:57.3 S2: I was like woah Twilight, that's another term I haven't heard. 


0:04:02.0 S3: Yeah, Twilight skin. 


0:04:03.2 S2: That's like I haven't seen the sun. 


0:04:04.4 S3: Got it, got it. Okay. Not 'Twilight' the book/movie... 


0:04:09.0 S2: No, that's the one. 


0:04:10.9 S3: That's the one. 


0:04:12.0 S2: Like I've never seen the sun. ____ But yeah, exactly. They're treating it out. They're modernizing verbs. 


0:04:20.1 S3: Trading and swapping. 


0:04:20.2 S2: Yeah, okay. Now, slugging is a trend which includes coating your face in what started as petroleum or Vaseline to give you that slug look and it's meant to prevent trans-epidermal water loss or tool, and so that is locking... The theory is you put all this good stuff on and then you lock it in with this occlusive barrier, and for that, then it allows those good things to penetrate a little deeper. This is really good for dry skin types, and I think it was Hailey Bieber that started this one, and then we have fasting. Fasting can rejuvenate your skin and prevent acne, black heads, and skin eruption. So this theory... Did you ever read that book, 'The New Science of Skin' by Dr. James Hamblin. 


0:05:02.0 S3: I didn't, but I think that we talked about this when we did our podcast about skin fasting. 


0:05:09.7 S2: Yes, and so check out our podcast on skin fasting, but basically what it is, is a thought process to restore, allow the skin to function as it's supposed to, like don't interrupt the process basically. It's a detox, and this one article was really funny, it was explaining, this girl was saying how she tried it and her journey, and the first two days were the hardest for her, 'cause she was like, I just want some chapstick 'cause she wanted to cheat, she said, if I put it on my boyfriend and I kiss him, technically I'm still fasting, but at least my lips won't be so dry, but there was a normalization period that she went through a really hard transition, and then at the end of her week, she said that it was... Her skin was good, had normalized. And I know you mentioned before that you skin fast often. 


0:06:00.2 S3: Not to the extreme like this girl was doing, more so out of laziness. 


0:06:06.5 S2: I think... 


0:06:06.6 S3: Just being real... Real facts. 


0:06:08.4 S2: I do the same when I'm on vacation, especially beach vacation, maybe not a fast, maybe more like a diet... 


0:06:20.0 S3: Yeah, yeah. I like that. 


0:06:20.7 S2: We're like ____ down... 


0:06:21.5 S3: I like that, a diet. Yes. 


0:06:21.8 S2: Sunscreen and cleanser. It's pretty much what I take when I go on beach vacations, it's super simple. But let's take a look. So we have this, let's put all this stuff on our face and occlude it to... Don't put anything on your face. Woah. Right? What are your thoughts?  


0:06:40.2 S2: So let's start with the whole glass skin and slugging thing, I have a hard time wanting to buy into that, just the whole idea of occluding my skin with Vaseline really just sounds disgusting, and I feel like I would walk away from that with just a ton of breakouts. 


0:06:58.5 S3: I feel like I just can't imagine what my pillow would look like, 'cause I think you're doing it at night. 


0:07:03.4 S2: True. Yeah, it's the same thing. Yeah, that would be really gross on the pillow. 


0:07:09.0 S3: What my eyebrows would look like too because it would be a mess. 


0:07:13.2 S2: Yeah, yeah. 


0:07:13.7 S3: And my hair would look like... To be quite honest, because I'm a mover... 


0:07:16.2 S2: Right. The skin fasting thing, I can get behind that a little bit more because I can follow this concept that the more we're piling on the skin, the more the skin decides it can shut down because we're doing the work for it. So if we stop using those products, it's forcing the skin to turn on, activate, produce its own natural moisture factors because we aren't supplying it with serums and creams and whatever else, but I would assume too there is that period of purging and you're gonna feel dry almost like you're having bad detox period, right, like a puddle that's dried up and then it looks like all cracky. 


0:08:00.3 S3: Yeah. 


0:08:00.4 S2: It's what I would imagine that is... It's like trying to reset itself. 


0:08:02.0 S3: Right. 


0:08:02.7 S2: But the skin is a factory, if you wanna look at it that way. It starts here and it has something to produce, and that is keratinocytes. And then they fall off. Right, I like to compare them in the basal layer, they're like a big fat Costco grape, and then as the progression of desquamation happens, they go from a Costco grape to a sprouts grape or a grocery store where maybe it doesn't have as long of a self-life, then they go to a big old juicy raisin, to a crunchy, crunchy cereal raisin and then grape nuts and then corn flakes, and then they fall off. And so that process is their cell turnover, if we did nothing... 


0:08:42.5 S3: Yeah. 


0:08:43.8 S2: If we did nothing, then that would naturally slow. 


0:08:45.3 S3: Yeah. 


0:08:47.9 S2: So we do try to manipulate that cadence, but also in there, that machine, we have to make sure we're taking care of the parts in there so that the machine is working properly, and so what we're looking at... I think what's happened with all of these trends is that the intention is to encourage skin house, make sure this factory or the machines and the factory are all running at their optimal abilities, so that you do have this fresh face, but I was thinking about a parallel here to trends, when you have a trend, a lot of trends start out well intended, but then they go so extra... And I thought about in the early 2000s, there was a show called My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, and it was in Britain too. And just take a ride with me here, and then it was the perception that tan was healthy, and then here we had these people who were so bronzed out because they took this trend of being healthy tan to being completely a different color from make-up, or we look at what Yulia who's been a past guest on here described as the 2016 eyebrow, where the trend was to have these natural eyebrows, but then you saw some people who took that to the next level. You know what I mean?  


0:10:05.3 S3: Right. 


0:10:09.3 S2: Like those big, nice and shaped, but still thick and unnatural looking, started taking something that looked natural to unnatural, and that's what I think of here with slugging. I don't know that it would be not an intention of resetting the factory, but I think there's the opportunity to completely take it to the next level. And I think that's the scary part. 


0:10:32.5 S3: Yeah. 


0:10:32.5 S2: So if you're using skin care that has components that supplement what we have, that enhance the body's natural ability, the natural ability to slough, the natural ability to provide anti-oxidants, 'cause the body provides our own antioxidants when we add it because we're supplementing it. The body's ability to bounce back from damage or protect itself from damage, the body does that. The skin does that. So if we're using a skin care that supports that, and then we're locking it in, great, but if we're using a bunch of crap and then locking it in... Yeah, I think too. Yeah, you're gonna wake up with pimples and black heads, just like you said. 


0:11:18.8 S3: There's definitely... I think a balance between the fasting and the slugging and exactly what you're saying, locking in those good ingredients, not using the crappy products, but also still supporting the skin's natural ability to create new cells, slough the old ones. 


0:11:38.3 S2: So if we're using skin fasting to detox, how much toxin are we doing? Right?  


0:11:45.8 S3: Right. 


0:11:46.8 S2: How much toxin are we doing? And otherwise, the skin is like our waste removal process is how we get rid of a lot of things, and I think our body lotion, we have to take a good look at our body... Listen, let me get up on the soapbox, if we're looking at this and we're looking at slugging, you have this in body lotion too, that's not new. 


0:12:07.3 S3: Yeah, right. 


0:12:09.3 S2: These oils and these butters that make you have what I call Real Housewife for union legs, they're super shiny and gorgeous, but is that occluding or preventing your natural skin beauty. And what... At what percentage of your body are you doing that? So are you allowing it to detox for real? Because our skin is a detox organ. 


0:12:28.8 S3: Right. Well, in that same vein, those products themselves could be full of toxins. 


0:12:35.1 S2: Yeah, for sure, but not on the commercial. 




0:12:39.9 S3: Not on the commercial. 


0:12:40.9 S2: Have you noticed commercials shifting too? Everybody's talking about skin health. I saw this commercial for AmLactin and I like AmLactin a lot, but AmLactin's doing it, CeraVe's doing it. All these companies are saying, "Skin health, skin health," a lot of companies because that's what the consumer is demanding. In fact, there was just recently... July 2022, there was a Forbes article... There was an article in Forbes magazine that talked about the influence of COVID on buying habits, particularly in the beauty industry, and how they're moving away from... Anyways, listen to this, the natural market, and they want the healthy market instead. So looking at healthy bodies and everything, but in beauty, like skin health, hair health, all the healthy parts of it. 


0:13:27.1 S2: So you'll see a lot more of that, and it's important to really understand what does that mean? Because we all know you can't take the marketing for its word. You have to understand what do they mean by that? What is that really doing in the skin and what does the rest of the ingredient deck say?  


0:13:44.6 S3: Yeah. 


0:13:44.8 S2: Check the deck. 


0:13:45.7 S3: I think the other thing that we have to think about is we talked a little bit about product companies setting these things, but who are the people that are setting these trends too? So I think there's a huge influence of Korean beauty... Have you ever used Korean beauty products?  


0:14:00.8 S3: I have, yeah. 


0:14:00.9 S2: What are your thoughts? I haven't really. 


0:14:02.6 S2: I kind of like it. I think that they, to some degree, are setting the standard. It's starting there and then it's coming over to Europe and then the US. And some of it's a little bit out there in terms of its technology and some of the key ingredients, but in my opinion, trends are starting with K-beauty and then we are evolving it and making it work for us. But I like it. 


0:14:32.2 S3: I could see that. I think trends start wherever they are, but I think... What I've noticed the influence of Korean beauty, particularly in the US market, is the multi-step process and the return to that. And the other thing is the way these influencers are approaching on Instagram and Check This Out. We talked about Hailey Bieber, for example. But the other thing... I like the Kardashians, but there was the funniest parody of Kim Kardashian doing her skin care routine. And it started out like, "I'm gonna show you guys the most simple 37-step routine and that's what I do every day. I've been doing it for five days and it's really good." 


0:15:18.8 S2: So it was funny because it was true. It's like you're coming on to the scene, you obviously hold influence in life, and now you're gonna talk about skin and that's with a lot of different people. So are these people qualified not to say Kim hasn't had a long history of applying beauty products to herself, but all these other people, Hailey Beiber, who are you at 20 to tell me at 40 something? I don't even know how old she is, but who are you to tell me how my skin is going to work and why are people listening? We talked about that with influencers. So where do these trends start and are they appropriate is another consideration. 


0:15:54.1 S3: Well, there's a couple things there. First about the age thing, who are you at 20 to tell me at 40? That I think is a challenge that young estheticians are facing when they're in the treatment room. However old they are, 18, 19, 20, and the clients coming through the door are not necessarily the same age as them. So for all of you young estheticians out there, that's why education is so important. So when your client says, "I'm 50 and who are you to help me anti-age?" you're gonna say, "I'm gonna tell you exactly because I'm educated." So that's my response to that. 


0:16:30.1 S3: But as far as the influencers are concerned, a lot of it too, I think, is about promoting a particular product. So like Jennifer Aniston and Aveeno, for instance. When she's out there promoting Aveeno, and I know some of that's commercial, which is a little bit different than Hailey Bieber and her slugging skin, but she talks like, "I apply my Aveeno every day." And in reality, is she? No, she is selling a trend or she's selling a product. And I think for the Kardashians and their product line, it's the same thing. I would be really surprised if they are applying their own makeup line to their face only or even at all. They may be using something much more high-end or... 


0:17:17.1 S2: Tried and true, maybe?  


0:17:18.3 S3: Tried and true. Yeah, entirely. I think we're listening to the influencers because they have exposure. They have exposure and for some reason, we considered them in a position of authority. 


0:17:32.6 S2: Yeah, totally. That's what it is. 


0:17:34.5 S3: So because they're in a position of authority, we must take that as gold. And I think what they're selling more than... Like you mentioned, a younger esthetician and older client. The difference between them is that they're educated professionals who are trained on skin versus someone else who knows their skin very well. And we've talked about other influencers before too, and really what they're selling is not petroleum jelly, they're selling emotion. 


0:18:02.2 S3: Yeah. 


0:18:02.8 S2: They're selling, "Hey, you could be cool like me too." And somewhere along the line, the message gets translated, and I think that's the same with a lot of trends. I think there's nothing wrong with trends. It's fun. Just like, "Check it out, see what's going on," and that's how we get different colors of lipstick or that's how we try different modalities in our treatment room because otherwise it would be stagnant. 


0:18:24.8 S3: Yeah. 


0:18:24.9 S2: So I don't think there's anything wrong with trends. I think what you have to do with trends is understand as a trained professional, how does this work? Is this healthy? Can I apply it? So if we're talking about this verb 'to slug' in a professional setting, make sure you know what you're talking about if you're directing this. Or if you have a client who comes in who's any age and says, "This is what I do in my consultation and I slug with this," make sure that you understand what that means so you can decipher how to move forward with the treatment. 


0:19:03.7 S3: Yeah, I think that's very well said. We're listening because we wanna be cool like them, and you need to be careful about how you are adapting that in your professional space. 


0:19:13.9 S2: 100%. So don't discount it, just understand it. Now, listeners, we wanna hear from you. What are your thoughts on slugging and fasting and how they apply to the treatment room? Have you done any of them? Do you recommend your clients try them or steer clear? Be sure to comment on our social media platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook, or by reaching out via email at getconnected@ascpskincare.com. We wanna know all the details. In the meantime, thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk. For more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Maggie or myself, or to learn more about ASCP, check out the shownotes. And stay tuned for the next episode of ASCP Esty Talk. 




0:20:00.7 S1: Thanks for joining us today. If you like what you hear and you want more, subscribe. If you wanna belong to the only all-inclusive association for estheticians that includes professional liability insurance, education, industry insights, and an opportunity to spotlight your sick skills, join at ascpskincare.com. Only $259 per year for all this goodness. ASCP knows it's all about you.Page Break 


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