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All You Need to Know About Transepidermal Water Loss (T.E.W.L.)

Transepidermal water loss, (T.E.W.L.) is the first thing your esthetician learns about in school and will always be something they keep in mind when creating your homecare regimen. T.E.W.L. can compromise your skin’s barrier, and a compromised skin barrier will allow much more moisture to escape as well as lead to skin sensitivity. In order to limit water loss you will want to ensure you are using humectants, emollients, and occlusives within your routine. Humectants attract or preserve water, think glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Emollients work to soften and smooth the skin by filling in the gaps between cells and flakey skin in addition to increasing your skin’s ability to repair damage to the skin’s barrier. Examples of emollients are oils and shea butter. Occlusives form a protective layer to create a barrier on your skin sealing in humectants and emollients. Beeswax in The Balm is a great example of an occlusive. You may be wondering the best way to incorporate all of these into your regimen. A simple rule of thumb is to apply them thinnest to thickest, humectant/emollient/occlusive. An example would be Main Squeeze Hydrating Serum (humectant ingredients: snow mushroom extract & hyaluronic acid), followed by Facial Nectar (emollient ingredients: jojoba, crambe seed oil, rosehip, rice bran oil), ending with The Balm (occlusive ingredient: beeswax).

In addition to using these ingredients to build up your skin’s barrier and prevent T.E.W.L. it’s important to minimize other habits affecting the barrier. Avoid using harsh cleansers, over exfoliating, running hot water over your face, and be sure to use a combination of serums and moisturizers every day and night to keep your skin barrier hydrated and intact.

Pro tip: We tend to lose moisture when we sleep. Using a product with occlusive properties at night will leave your skin plump and hydrated when you wake up in the morning. We love The Balm or sleeping in Rehab Recovery Mask.