Occlusives are agents that form a thing film over the skin or hair which serves as an additional protective barrier.
Occlusive agents are effective against water loss, and are used as moisturizers.
Familiar occlusives are petrolatum (vaselin) and zinc oxide. But also silicones, different waxes (candelilla, carnauba, beeswax, wool wax or lanolin) and butters can act as such. Some emollient oils like jojoba, macadamia and castor as well as mineral oils can act as occlusive agents too.
- It is not only that occlusive agents do not let water out of the skin, they also protect the skin from things getting into it; which makes occlusive, e.g. zinc-containing ointments and creams good for wound healing
- Since occlusives form a protective film over the skin, it's recommended to make sure that the skin is clean before “sealing” it.
- Again as they form a physical barrier upon the skin, occlusives might cause acne. However, it is not a rule. Important is to consider 1) whether your skin is generally acne-prone and 2) what else do you treat your skin with. If you have very oily skin, you might want to consider leaving them out of their routine skincare. But sometimes it is actually recommended to use moisturizers, including occlusive components as well, against acne. For instance, after a nice exfoliating procedure. This way we prevent new contaminants from getting into the pores. Moreover, some occlusives like beeswax have additional anti-inflammatory properties.
- As most occlusive agents are oils and waxes, it is recommended to use them together with agents that make products more spreadable like propylene glycol or glycerol, to give a nicer skin feeling.
Generally safe. Individual ingredients can cause a skin reaction. We recommend to apply them twice a week and increase the frequency if your skin is happy.