Why an Occlusive Is a Must-Have in Your Winter Skin-Care Routine
Have you ever used a moisturizer and felt like your skin immediately absorbed it, only to leave you feeling dry and taut minutes after application? Chances are, you aren’t using the right moisturizer for your skin type. Moisturizers can be classified into three groups most commonly known as humectants, which draw in moisture, emollients, which can help soften the skin, and occlusives. Occlusives are a class of ingredients designed to provide a protective seal over skin, lock in hydration and might be just what your dry skin needs to get that moisturized, glowing skin you desire. To help you figure out if an occlusive is, in fact, what you need in your skin-care routine, we spoke to NYC-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner.
Why Should You Use Occlusive?
“An occlusive ingredient provides a protective seal over the surface of the skin to prevent loss of hydration into the environment,” says Dr. Zeichner. They’re one of the main types of ingredients found in moisturizers and work well for dry skin types. Popular occlusive ingredients include waxes, petrolatum, dimethicone, silicone and mineral oil, which can commonly be found in moisturizers.
How Should You Incorporate Occlusives Into Your Routine?
It’s likely your moisturizer already has occlusive ingredients in it, but if you want to double up on the protection, you can add a “straight occlusive” into your routine. “Straight occlusives, like petroleum jelly, can be used just as regular moisturizers,” says Dr. Zeichner, and should be the last step of your routine. If you don’t want something that’s as thick as petroleum jelly but still want to reap the benefits of an occlusive, try the SkinCeuticals Hydra Balm. It’s a hydrating occlusive that’s made for severely dry and sensitive skin. You can use it on your face and body by liberally applying it on extremely dry and itchy areas to provide relief.
Who Shouldn’t Use Occlusives?
Due to its often thick and heavy-duty moisturizing formulas, Dr. Zeichner recommends staying away from occlusives if you have acne-prone skin. Those who are prone to acne often already have an oily skin type, which is why you might want to stay away from the heavier consistency, as it can potentially promote more breakouts.
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