Seasons & Transepidermal Water Loss

Posted on 18 January 2016

Have you wondered why your skin seems drier in winter or directly after sun exposure? The skin is constantly losing body water to the atmosphere through diffusion and evaporation, which is called transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Water from inside the body passes through the deeper layers of tissue to the epidermal layer and then out into the atmosphere drying the skin. Temperature extremes, dry winter air, indoor heating, wind, sunburn/sun exposure, over washing and bathing in hot water all increase TEWL.

How do you combat this? Create a protective layer over this skin to slow down the process. You can do this by applying an emollient or rich oil-based moisturizer, like our body butters, immediately after washing and frequently throughout the day. Light moisturizing lotions that absorb quickly and have a high water content have been proven to actually increase TEWL, as the water in the lotion evaporates it increases the rate of water loss from the skin. The majority of lotions on the market fall into this category. If it doesn’t feel oily/greasy, then it’s probably not providing the hydration your skin needs. A tip for using rich moisturizers is to apply a very thin layer. This way you also avoid clogging pores.

When is the most efficient time to moisturize? After any water activity (bath, shower, swimming). Lock in that remaining moisture yo! Just remember to pat dry, never air dry.

Now you know what inspired us to create our body butters. Finding occlusive ingredients like rich vegetable butters and oils that will slow water loss and increases the moisture content of the skin.

Stay moisturized my friends!

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