Ah, slugging. The skincare practice, which involves slathering your skin in an occlusive like Vaseline to prevent water loss, has dominated the skincare conversation for quite some time. In recent years, countless celebrities, influencers, and beauty pros have taken to social media to discuss and demonstrate the viral trend. On TikTok alone, the hashtag has amassed over 513 million views.
So, it's honestly no surprise that a new skincare brand dedicated to slugging is entering the market. Developed by the creatives behind Starface and Plus, Futurewise is debuting today with a first-of-its-kind Slugging System. Ahead, the co-founder, president, and general manager, Janet Park, fills us in on everything we need to know about the brand.
Park says conversations about Futurewise began a year ago. For the brand, it was important to first acknowledge slugging's roots in Asian, Black, and Indigenous communities. "We know there's a long history in different communities of color," Park notes. "That history and the fact dermatologists have been recommending it for such a long time speaks to the efficacy of the practice."
From there, Park and her team thought about how they could add to the conversation. The consensus? Present slugging in a fun, fresh way while educating consumers on the benefits of the practice. "We've spent a lot of time thinking through how this brand will affect people, so I think we're bringing a unique point of view into the space," she explains.
Many might have expected Futurewise to launch with just an occlusive, but Park says its three-piece Slugging System (which includes Slug Boost, Slug Cream, and Slug Balm) is a much-needed addition to the market. "The virality of slugging is closely tied to one occlusive product," Park explains. 'You only think about the final layer. The hydration aspect of slugging can get lost. We wanted to develop a system to bring more attention to the importance of adding moisture underneath. We want people to get the most out of the practice."
During the product development process, the Futurewise team thought carefully about formulas. "When we think about the product philosophy, we're all about skin health and promoting strong barrier hydration," Park says. "That was the focus as we were thinking about ingredients and the individual products."
Slug Boost ($22), an ultra-fine essence mist, is the first step in the system. It's formulated with squalane, hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid, and glycerin which envelop your skin in deep hydration. Slug Cream ($24) contains a vegan triple lipid complex (plumping fatty acids, replenishing cholesterol, and hydrating ceramides). The barrier repair moisturizer is designed to keep your skin hydrated and soothed. The final product, Slug Balm ($24), is the star of the range. Park says this product went through several iterations as they wanted to perfect the consistency. "The stickiness of petroleum jelly is not my favorite thing, and that's a very common piece of feedback people have with the slugging process in general," Park says. So, we needed to achieve a silky, lightweight texture. We also didn't want a one-ingredient product. We also added a lipid complex in this formula to help support barrier repair."
For Park, receiving feedback on the formulas during product testing has been one of the most exciting parts of the journey. "It's been affirming to hear people say the textures feel differentiated because that is such an important component of the experience," she shares. "We can't wait to get more feedback now that the products will be available to a much wider audience."
Beyond the products, Futurewise wants to differentiate itself with its packaging. While many brands aim for a minimal aesthetic these days, Futurewise is all about vibrancy. Its bottles (made from 30% PCR) and recycled cartons are decked out in red and pink hues with squiggly, slug-inspired fonts. "One of our co-founders, Sara DeCou, is always so forward-thinking when it comes to trends and design," Park tells us. "She's been leading the charge with the aesthetics of the brand. We wanted the colors and logo to feel joyful because sometimes, when thinking about skincare, you focus so much on the function. But how a product makes us feel when we see it on our shelf is a big part of the experience. We wanted to make people excited to engage with Futurewise."
Since I have dry skin, I already incorporate slugging into my routine. So, my interest was immediately piqued when I got an email about Futurewise. For the past two weeks, I've been using the products daily. In the morning, I'll apply Slug Boost and Slug Cream. In the evening, I'll use the entire system.
As mentioned, Slug Boost is meant to be the first step in your routine. Many facial mists I've tried claim to rejuvenate your skin but leave it feeling stripped due to harsh ingredients. Thankfully, Slug Boost's formula didn't disappoint. The ultra-fine mister deposits the perfect amount of product with each spritz, evenly saturating your skin. After spraying one or two pumps across my face, my dehydrated skin felt quenched and prepped for the rest of the system.
While my skin is still damp with the essence mist, I slather on two pumps of Slug Cream. It has a lightweight, silky texture that feels incredibly soothing. But, more importantly, it packs in a ton of moisture that lasts all day (which is especially important now that it's cold). My skin looks so plump and feels so soft each time I apply this cream.
The Slug Balm has been an exciting addition to my nighttime skincare routine. I prefer to apply it at least 20-30 minutes before bed, so it has time to settle on my skin. When I first used the product, I was a bit too heavy-handed. While it didn't feel heavy or greasy (thanks to the thoughtful formula), I realized a small dollop is all you need. On an aesthetic level, it gives my skin a glowy, glazed look. On a hydration level, I've noticed a significant difference. When I wake up, my skin looks super juicy and moisturized. TLDR: Futurewise is shaping up to be a game-changer for my skin.