/Ever Heard of Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL)? What You Need To Know And 6 Proven Ways To Prevent It

Ever Heard of Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL)? What You Need To Know And 6 Proven Ways To Prevent It

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This post was originally published on Hey Aprill.

This refresher on Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) is dedicated to those of us who forget just how important moisturizer is to our skincare routines and the role that it plays in our skincare routine. It’s for those of us who may be cleansing entirely too much… and who may be washing our faces with harsh soaps and not following up with a hydrator or moisturizer.

It’s okay… we are guilty of it, too!

Black woman applying skincare.
Transepidermal Water Loss

Our relationship with moisturizer is vital to our skincare routine for a multitude of reasons, but its most important function is to prevent the skin from losing water. When the epidermis loses water via evaporation, it’s called Transepidermal Water Loss, or TEWL. TEWL accounts for roughly 1 pint of water loss per day.

That’s a lot of water!

Skin affected by TEWL tends to be dry, rough, itchy, cracked and prematurely aged. Luckily, there’s something you can do about it. Keep reading to learn about 6 ways to prevent TEWL from happening to you.

6 Ways To Prevent Transepidermal Water Loss

woman-applying-moisturizing-serum-skincare.Transepidermal Water Loss

Limit your contact with cleansers

As strange as it sounds, contact with water should be limited to avoid skin barrier disruption. Cleaning too often, and using hot water, washes away the skin’s natural oils that hold water in the epidermis. It is important to hydrate and moisturize skin after making contact with water.


Ditch the high pH soaps

Cleansers with high pH levels strip the skin of their natural oils. Use gentle cleansers, and if you have to use a powerful cleanser, hydrate and moisturize skin ASAP. (source)

Plug in your humidifier

TEWL does not fare well in humid environments. If your climate is dry, help your skin stay hydrated skin out by using a humidifier in your office, bedroom, or home to increase the amount of water in the air.

Woman applying moisturizer to her face
Image via L’oreal Paris

Pick moisturizers that include emollients and occlusives

Occlusive substances such as Vaseline help the skin retain water by simply keeping water out. It’s why we love slugging so much! Emollients such as jojoba seed oil keep the skin smooth and moisturized while reducing water loss. (source)


Add products that contain Niacinamide to your routine

Niacinamide, a member of the vitamin B family, has been clinically proven to reduce TEWL. In one study, 2% Niacinamide use reduced TEWL by 24%. Also, fatty acids and ceramides were boosted as well (source).

Attract water with humectants

Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, glycerin, and propylene glycol, draw moisture from their surroundings to keep skin hydrated.

Prevent Transepidermal Water Loss With The Help Of These Products

Now that you’ve got the steps down, here are some products that will help you prevent transepidermal water loss!

Did you learn anything new about skin care after reading this article? Let us know what your favorite moisturizing products are in the comments!

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