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Article: Occlusive: Yes or No

Occlusive: Yes or No

Occlusive: Yes or No

What are Occlusives?

Occlusives are ingredients designed to provide an artificial barrier over the skin. They help keep irritants, allergens, and other potentially harmful things from being able to penetrate your skin.

The good:

There are benefits and downfalls to occlusive skincare products. In harsh weather, occlusive products are recommended because the skin is too fragile to care for itself. Occlusive products work is very similar to using plastic cling wrap on your food. They protect skin from the outside environment by preventing unwanted bacteria and other airborne substances from getting in. 

The not-so-good:

Just like plastic wrap is for your food, occlusives stop other ingredients from getting in. This means that if you were trying to add vitamins, there is a barrier preventing those ingredients from getting into the skin.

The verdict:

Single-ingredient occlusive products provide no benefit to the skin, in fact, it is as if the skin is left to work by its own devices. Where Occlusive products shine is when the skin needs to be allowed to heal itself naturally, because they help to maintain the skin's natural state without other influences. This is why they are used post-medical procedures when other options like bandages could pose more problems to traumatized skin.

Using occlusive products as the final step of your routine helps to lock in your other ingredients and maximize their benefits. That said, I often recommend them in the dead of winter, when standard moisturizers and beauty products are not enough to make up for the deficit caused by our heated environments.

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