Again and again you will come across subject-specific terms that have to do with skin care. Today I would like to help you understand one of these terms and assign ingredients to them. Let’s start with the term ‘occlusive‘.
What does it actually mean?
Occlusion [Latin: occludere, occlusum = to seal], that means we protect our skin from moisture loss with a water-repellent film. It blocks water from evaporating from the skin, especially good for dry and dehydrated skin. Does our skin lose moisture? Yes it does. This process is called transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Above all, barrier-impaired skin struggles with this problem. Incorrect cleaning as well as irritating care increase the TEWL. This has to be prevented and accordingly there are some ingredients that can help us with this.
What are Occlusive substances?
Think all things emollient-like substances such as oils, butters, and proteins that trap moisture close to the skin, and do the double duty of making our skin feel softer.
There are other ingredients that can be used to occlude the skin, they are referred to in the industry as barrier repairing ingredients like ceramides and cholesterol because they set up a protective barrier between the skin and the outside world.
Waxes are great occlusive ingredients, this is the way lip balms work – they trap in the moisture on your lips. If you’re looking for a really occlusive product, look no further than ceramide barrier repair balm, filled with skin-loving occlusive oils, butters, ceramides, lipids, and waxes.
- allantoin helps to improve the water content of the epidermis
- wax including beeswax or berry wax for vegan is a wonderful occlusive ingredient, especially for dry, chapped hands and lips
- lecithin are phospholipids that are important occlusive that naturally absorbs, helping to repair an impaired barrier
- gorgeous butters like cocoa, mango, and shea stick around on the skin, helping to protect it from the outside world
- almond oils, meadowfoam seed oil, jojoba oil the sebaceous glands responsible for producing sebum – a cocktail of wax esters, triglycerides creating a protective coating on the outer layer of skin. Sebum helps to moisturise and keep the protective barrier intact
- Ceramides are skin-identical ingredients that are missing, to replenish ingredients that deplete over time, through trauma or with age.
You can find most of the ingredients in our products to seal in the hydration one provides via hyaluronic acid.
How do these substances work?
They simply lie on the horny layer like a protective film and thus prevent the loss of moisture. Vegetable oils are similar to skin, which is why they are further processed enzymatically.
Another tip: gamma linolenic acid!
If you apply oils with gamma linolenic acid to your skin, these can also reduce the TEWL. It is even better to feed these oils, because these acids have a positive effect on your skin when taken orally. Well, now you probably run to the next health food store to get these oils? You have to take a lot of money with you. They are not cheap! But there is a cheaper alternative thanks to our body. It is able to convert linoleic acid into y-linolenic acid! What does that mean now? Use oils with a high linoleic acid content in your salads. These include: linseed oil, grape seed oil and safflower oil! Incidentally, hemp oil also tastes delicious.
Advice for skin between 45-55
When we age our own oil production we refer to as sebum increasingly slows down. The skin is drier and becomes more prone and itchy. As a result, skin from 45-55 need to be especially careful about skin care. They should wash less frequently, and should avoid cleansers as much as possible, relying almost exclusively on warm, not hot, water to rinse away surface dirt. In addition, one need to moisturize frequently, especially after bathing when the skin is still moist.
It is very important to become familiar with the individual ingredients in your moisturiser, cleansers that you apply to your skin. To know what they really do on your skin. Without this knowledge, you may do more harm than good for your skin and what your unique skin requires. Lots of emollients, a small amount of occlusives and some humectants. It’s suitable for all skin due to all the skin-repairing emollients, but drier skins might need some more occlusives on top in the forms of oils, butters and waxes.