What are the common occlusive skincare myths?

skincare myths

Many skin hydration that promises to provide an absolute moisturizing effect is made with a class of ingredients known as "occlusives." Occlusive is a major constituent in products like body lotions, face moisturizers, lip balms, and everything in between. So, what does occlusive mean? Why is it important? What are the misconceptions about it?

Occlusives work best when applied to moist skin because they form a barrier on top of the skin to physically reduce or stop TEWL. However, several misconceptions and skincare myths are beginning to pop up recently amongst skincare locales on the effects of occlusives. This article aims to highlight common misconceptions or myths about occlusion in skincare. It also provides the right answers to these myths, allowing you to make better skin care choices in the future. 

Occlusion is always bad for the skin

Occlusive benefits to the skin vary according to skin type, yet occlusives are regarded as harmful skincare products that can cause havoc to your normal skin balance. This is untrue as occlusives are among the many key elements that preserve skin smoothness, ensure occlusion skin and suppleness, and prevent skin dryness in the skin's water content. 

Occlusive products do this by creating a barrier on the skin after topical application. It also helps in repairing the skin lipids and rebuilding the skin barrier. Occlusives are pioneer ingredients in the recent advancement in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries as they are a carrier of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), a novel carrier offering numerous advantages.

skincare myths

Occlusion clogs pores and leads to acne

Since occlusives are thick textured skincare compounds, many believe they contribute to clogged skin pores that cause acne. So, do occlusives cause pore clogging? The quick response is: not really. Occlusives are non-comedogenic and do not clog pores because they can not get trapped in the skin barrier or cause a blockage that could lead to acne. Consistent usage can promote occlusion of the skin, which can transform the overall appearance of your skin. 

Moreso, occlusives are not necessarily appropriate for all skin types. This is because they can create a physical barrier on the skin's surface that traps sweat, bacteria, and moisture, which may cause people, especially those with oily or acne-prone skin to develop acne.

Occlusion prevents the skin from breathing

It's a popular misperception that occlusives stop the skin from breathing due to its thick viscosity. Yet, occlusive in skin care helps treat numerous skin issues in certain people. Although occlusive agent does indeed provide a barrier, as they are frequently used to help seal in hydration and build a protective barrier in moisturizers and other skincare products, they do not stop the skin from breathing. 

The only organ that breathes is the lungs; hence, the skin's only job is to serve as a barrier against external threats and control water loss. Thus, it's a fallacy that the skin must "breathe" to function properly because breathing is a cellular-level activity rather than a surface skin-level activity. Ensure you pair your chosen occlusive agent with a humectant containing hydrating components like Hyaluronic Acid. We recommend Dermaclara's Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer as the perfect humectant that can up your skincare routine. 

skincare myths

Only dry skin types benefit from occlusion

A majority of people that use occlusives are usually those with dehydrated skin. However, Occlusives can be beneficial to other categories of people suffering from other skin conditions. For instance, people with psoriasis can use occlusive products to manage their skin condition. They can do this by covering the affected region with plastic wrap or a waterproof covering after applying the desired. 

The effectiveness of occlusive products helps increase the amount of skin absorption. Occlusive products also help skin conditions like verruca vulgaris and perhaps other dermatologic conditions that target the stratum corneum permeability barrier of the skin. However, picking the proper occlusive for your skin type and requirement is crucial, or seeking professional guidance if you have particular issues or sensitivities.

People with skin problems like eczema can also benefit from occlusives as they provide a physical barrier to the skin. We recommend you apply occlusive at night so that it has time to soak into the skin and work its magic. This should be fine after cleaning your face with Dermaclara's Claraprep Cream-to-foam Cleanser for improved results. Dermaclara's cleanser helps remove debris, allowing the occlusives to work properly. You must pick an occlusive that you feel comfortable wearing, and that complements your skin tone.

Natural oils are the best occlusive agents

There have been numerous opinions concerning which occlusive agent offers the best benefits. Many vouch for the potency of natural occlusives like beeswax, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and shea butter, while others swear by alternative occlusives like petrolatum and mineral oil. 

Scientists explain that for an ingredient to be called an "occlusive agent," it must be able to align to form a tight barrier (or palisade) and have an occlusive effect. An occlusive ingredient's substantivity, or the capacity of the components to remain on the skin's surface, is another aspect that affects occlusive ability. Thus, a substance with lower substantivity exhibits a weaker palisade or occlusive effect and slowly enters the skin's stratum corneum. Substances with larger molecules that exhibit higher substantivity exhibit stronger occlusive action. 

skincare myths

Alongside this, the higher the viscosity of the occlusive agent, the better the occlusion effect. The most effective carbon chains that favor occlusion are agents with a constant kind of molecule with a straight chain, comprising multiple compounds with varied types of chains or with different chain lengths. While short, straight ones of the same length are less favored. 

Thus, mineral oil, a well-structured occlusive with straight alkyl chains with a range of lengths, tightly palisades the skin and has a potent occlusive effect. A competing natural occlusive that can match mineral oil is argan oil. It provides one of the occlusive effects and is packed with nutrients and minerals such as vitamin E, known for its nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Occlusion accelerates aging by trapping toxins

Many people believe that occlusion accelerates aging as it traps toxins and creates a physical barrier around the skin. The physical barrier seals toxins degenerate the skin's collagen rapidly and causes wrinkles and fine lines. However, this claim is untrue, as aging occurs due to the slow reproduction of collagens. Occlusive agents do not prevent or limit collagen production. Rather they are limited by certain factors ranging from lifestyle, old age, and usage of drugs.

Occlusives, as a long-term moisturizer, can be used to treat transient dermatological problems such as brief skin dryness or irritation, yet it also raises the risk of skin irritability in certain people. Occlusives aid in the skin's ability to retain moisture, although some experts have hypothesized that it may also trap oil and debris. Although the trapped debris does not in any way impact the skin's aging.

skincare myths

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