What the TWEL?: Your Skin & Transepidermal Water Loss

Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), ever heard of it? You may not have heard of it but if you live in an extremely dry climate, like we do here in Calgary, there is a good chance you are experiencing it.

The outer layer of our skin, the epidermis, is responsible for protecting us from the sun, bacteria and moisture loss. It does this through 3 functions, the basal layer of the epidermis is where melanin is found. Melanin gives colour to our skin which helps protect against UV rays.

The acid mantle, a fluid along the top layer of skin, acts as a natural defense barrier against bacteria and moisture loss. And the barrier function, like the acid mantle, serves to protect the skin from water loss.

Now what does all this mean? It means that when these barriers of the skin are compromised, you lose that protection. When the environmental humidity levels drop below 80% (the average in Calgary is around 57%) evaporation will occur. As evaporation occurs, moisture from the lower levels of the skin begin to travel to the upper levels. This movement is called TWEL and it results in dehydration of the skin. When the barriers of the skin are healthy, it inhibits this evaporation.

How do we keep the barriers of our skin intact and healthy so that we do not experience dehydrated skin? There are a few things you can do. First, avoid harsh cleansers, ditch the bar of soap and give Osmosis Cleanse a try. Cleanse is a gentle cleanser suitable for all skin types. It restores and balances the skin while soothing and protecting the lipid barrier.

Don’t over exfoliate! I know it can be tempting to give your face a good, deep scrub, especially when its feeling dry, but you are physically removing those barriers leaving your skin exposed to the elements. Instead try Osmosis Polish. This enzymatic exfoliating mask will gently help shed those dead skin cells leaving skin firm and smooth. Next, show your skin some love by investing in a quality serum and nourishing mask. Osmosis Rescue is an epidermal repair serum. Epidermal repair, need I say more? Rescue’s patented, anti-inflammatory ingredients actually activate epidermal wound repair.  And then there is the Tropical Mango Barrier Recovery mask. Natural oils and fruit butters recondition the skin, calms, soothes and restores hydration. And as an added bonus, it smells like a tropical beach vacation!

If you have any questions, I’m always here to help assist you in picking the right products for you. You are unique, and your approach to skincare should be just as special. Have questions? Book in with me here. I offer free 15 minute consults as well as a variety of facials for all your skincare needs.

Meaghan Sichampanakhone

Meaghan Sinchampanakhone has always cared greatly about health, wellness and holistic living. Meaghan completed her training to become a Holistic Skin Specialist in 2018. She completed her facial therapist certification in 2020. She offers customized facial services at Naturmend using a variety of facial products, massage techniques and tools. You can read more about her here.


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