What are Occlusives and Why Does Your Skin Need Them This Winter?

What are Occlusives and Why Does Your Skin Need Them This Winter?

As the winter months approach, many of us brace ourselves for the chill in the air, cozy sweaters, and a good cup of hot cocoa. However, our skin may not share our enthusiasm for the season. Harsh winter weather can lead to dry, flaky, and irritated skin. But fear not, there's a skincare hero that can help combat these winter skin woes: occlusives.

What are Occlusives?

Occlusives are a class of skincare ingredients that form a protective barrier on the surface of your skin. They work by sealing in moisture, preventing water loss, and shielding your skin from external aggressors. Think of occlusives as a cozy, warm blanket for your skin that shields it from the harsh elements.

Why Your Skin Needs Occlusives in Winter

1. Protection from Dry Air: Winter air is notorious for being dry and lacking humidity. This dry air can strip your skin of its natural moisture, leaving it parched and prone to flakiness. Occlusives act as a barrier that prevents this moisture loss, helping your skin stay hydrated and supple.

2. Locking in Hydration: To combat winter dryness, you'll often need to layer on hydrating products like serums and moisturizers. However, without an occlusive layer to lock in all that moisture, it can evaporate into the air. Occlusives seal in the hydration, allowing your skin to benefit from the nourishing products you apply.

3. Shielding from Harsh Weather: Winter weather can be harsh on your skin, with cold winds and biting temperatures. Occlusives form a protective shield that acts as a buffer, preventing these environmental stressors from directly impacting your skin. This can reduce the risk of redness and irritation.

4. Preventing Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL): Transepidermal water loss is the process of water evaporating from your skin. In winter, TEWL can be exacerbated due to the dry climate and indoor heating. Occlusives create a barrier that minimizes TEWL, allowing your skin to retain its natural moisture.

5. Soothing Irritation: If your skin is already irritated or experiencing sensitivity due to the cold, occlusives can help calm and soothe it. They create a protective layer that keeps irritants at bay and promotes healing.

How to Use Occlusives

Occlusives come in various forms, including creams, ointments, and even certain oils. Consider applying an occlusive product as the final step in your evening skincare routine. As far as body skincare, consider incorporating a rich Body Butter into your post shower routine. This ensures that it locks in all the beneficial ingredients from your earlier skincare steps. As far as natural occlusives, look for ingredients like beeswax and shea butter, which are known for their occlusive properties.

This winter, don't let your skin suffer in silence. Embrace the power of occlusives to shield, hydrate, and nourish your skin, ensuring it remains radiant and healthy throughout the colder months. Your skin will thank you by looking and feeling its best all season long.

Check out all of our shea butter based, all-natural Body Butters here.