A Local Expert Weighs in on Today’s Top Skin Care Trends

skin care trends
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When Western Michigan University graduate Kelly Swanson isn’t working as a physician assistant at Clarkston Dermatology, she’s running a successful blog and TikTok account where she educates her readers and viewers on proper skin care procedures and products. These credentials make her a go-to person to discuss the intersection of dermatology and buzzworthy social media skin care trends. Below, Swanson weighs in on some of the internet’s most talked about skin care practices.

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Kelly Swanson is a physican assistant at Clarkston Dermatology. // Photograph courtesy of Kelly Swanson


What it is: Slugging is the application of an occlusive ointment (think Vaseline or Aquaphor) at the end of a skin care routine. Sluggers say that this practice creates a barrier to lock in all the products applied previously, and results in smooth, glowy skin.

What Swanson thinks: “I think slugging became popular as a way of restoring the skin barrier when you’re using stronger ingredients like retinoids, acne medications, etc. I don’t think it’s a bad concept, but what I think people fail to realize is that if you’re using moisturizing brands like Cerave, which is based off of ceramides that are intended to restore the barrier, that’s kind of already doing the job of what slugging would do. If people like it, there’s no convincing them to stop. It’s not horrible, but it’s certainly not necessary in the skin care routine.”

Buzzworthy ingredients

What they are: Ingredients like niacinamide and caffeine have been trending on social media for creating a glowing, smooth complexion.

What Swanson thinks: “They’re trendy. Those kinds of ingredients are often hiding in products anyway, like the Cerave

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