What Are Occlusives and Why Do We Need Them?

Let’s talk about occlusives! What exactly are occlusives and why is everyone talking about them? Because they’re important. That’s why. Now let’s answer the first part. Occlusives are a type of moisturizing agent that form a coating on your skin to help prevent transepidermal water loss (or, TEWL). And that means… Transepidermal water loss is when water passes through the dermis (middle layer of our skin) and goes out through the epidermis (top layer) and evaporates. TEWL can be exasperated by things such as some topical treatments (common acne treatments, for example) or low humidity (airplanes, dry climates, etc.). As a user of tretinoin (0.1%) TEWL is something I am hyper aware of! Our biological occlusive is, of course, sebum, but it’s pretty easy for things to get out of control and for a spike in TEWL

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