What is Transepidermal Water Loss and Why is it Important?
Do you ever find your skin feeling incredibly dry? Or do you see wrinkles and fine lines appear that didn’t seem like they were there? Is your skin crepey from time to time? These are all symptoms of a naturally-occurring process called TEWL, or Transepidermal Water Loss.
The official definition of Transepidermal Water Loss is: the amount of water that passively evaporates through skin to the external environment due to water vapor pressure gradient on both sides of the skin barrier and is used to characterize skin barrier function. (Sciencedirect.com)
In basic terms, water loss through the surface of the skin. Diet choices, injury, low-humidity environments, and topically applied drying products can all result in TEWL. While it is a natural process, TEWL can result in a variety of dry skin conditions. The great news is there are methods to help your skin stay hydrated and moisturized.
The skin is made up of three primary layers: the epidermis (the outer layer); the dermis (or middle layer); and the hypodermis (the undermost layer). When moisture travels from the dermis through the epidermis and evaporates from the skin’s surface, this is known as transepidermal water loss (International Journal of Pharmaceutics). TEWL is a natural regulatory process of the skin, but there are several factors that can damage the skin’s barrier functions which ultimately affect TEWL levels.
Moisturization and hydration are critical in maintaining preferable levels of TEWL and ultimately preventing the aging process. Hydration is the water content of the skin, while moisturization is the skin’s retention of those water molecules. Optimal skin health requires both: hydration and moisturization. It’s important to maintain a comprehensive approach to skin anti-aging by using skincare products that are effective at moisturizing without causing irritation or dryness.
When deciding which skin care products to use, moisturizers and serums that combine humectant and occlusive ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid are preferred. Humectants draw moisture from the air to the skin if there is adequate humidity in the environment, or from the underlying dermis in when local humidity is low. The occlusive agents prevent toxins, environmental pollutants, and bacteria from entering. Combined, this is a comprehensive form of protection for your skin and your body. A reservoir of moisture is created in the epidermis, which acts as a barrier on the skin to help prevent TEWL by sealing in that moisture.
Check out Eminence Organics variety of hyaluronic products like their Firm Skin collection or Strawberry Rhubarb products using botanical hyaluronic from marshmallow plant extract. For men, try OM4Men’s Ancient Alchemy Age-Arresting Elixer which contains Kakadu Plum Extract – harvested from the Northern tropical regions of Australia, Kakadu Plum is high in Vitamin C which helps increase collagen production and contains hyaluronic acid.
Remember, skin loves consistency, so use them regularly and experience a smoother more radiant complexion.
Written by Jennifer Sposato
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