Lawd, we’re really into this Japanese skincare business and I ain’t even mad about it! In our never ending quest for beautiful skin, we stumbled upon the treatment of skin occlusion! In Chazu Saeki’s book, The Japanese Skincare Revolution: How to Have the Most Beautiful Skin of Your Life – At Any Age, we learned about how your skin, regardless of whether it’s dry, you suffer from pigmentation issues, you’ve got eczema, not getting any younger, etc. skin occlusion is said to be your saving grace.
Occlusion of the skin means 100% coverage of the surface of the skin & your skin can technically not ‘breathe’ or perspire as it normally would! The result is that the humidity softens the dermis and increases the likeliness for penetration of said materials through the skin. Also, by blocking the penetration of air, this creates pressure on the dermis layer of your skin, which in turn thins its cells allowing for even more penetration.
So in normal human terms, think about what a bandaid does when you’ve slathered on Neosporin and left it on for a while… you get that raisin look and your skin is uber soft and hydrated – it helps seal the wound and also protects it from infection. That’s basically what you’re doing, but with skincare products and DRUMROLL PLEASE….. cling wrap!!!!! Can I get an amen!!!?!?!
In the dermatology field, skin occlusion is often used to treat skin conditions like eczema. If you have eczema on your hand, as an example, you would soak your hand for say 15 minutes, apply your normal medication, cover the area affected by eczema with plastic, seal that plastic in some fashion or in the best way you can and leave your hand wrapped for around 6 hours. Basically, occlusion therapy is a proven way to greatly increase the effectiveness of topical skin treatments.
So with topical skin ingredients being the kicker in this situation, you can consider skin occlusion for a variety of skin ‘issues’ for lack of a better word, that require a topical application in some fashion… that would include:
- Aging skin
- Dry skin
- Sun damage
- Keratosis Pilaris
- Plus so much more!
This should absolutely be tested in a small spot if you try this at home & I would definitely recommend talking to your derm before trying this too – just to be safe.
A simple example of skin occlusion that we would consider doing would be to treat our dry skin on our facial area. We’ve read up on a number of ways to do so, but the way in which Chazu Saeki’s book describes really tugged at us. Below is Cheeky’s interpretation of the best skin occlusion you can do for dry and even aging skin: (we’ve customized it a little)
- Choose your favorite moisturizing facial sheet mask
- Soak it in water & wring it out
- Apply a skin humectant liberally – we would recommend a product that contains hyaluronic acid
- Take your sheet mask (still nice and wet) & form onto your beautiful face
- Wrap your face in cling wrap – LOL, yup! (PLEASE make sure you cut out a hole(s) for where you breathe!! K thanks)
- Leave on for 20 minutes (you’ll feel it get all warm and cozy underneath)
- Take off cling wrap and sheet mask
- Use your jade roller or hands to perform a lymphatic massage
- Apply your favorite moisturizer
- Heat up a wet towel in the microwave for 30 seconds
- CAREFUL: Apply the warm, wet towel to your face
- Leave on until it cools (use it for relaxation time)
- Apply your favorite facial serum
- Do yo thang!!
Repeat once a week!
Ms. Saeki has some other techniques she’s included, but we thought we’d stick to a process that folks would do… anything too complicated can cause ya to run, we get it! This alone may be too complicated. But hell, if anything, it’s fun to try out! Plus, you have to imagine it would work – I remember soooo many times I had that weird raisin skin when I was a kid – we went through a lot of bandaids 😉 Oh my gosh, and how easy would it be to do this process on your hands? Send us any pictures you take too! Can’t imagine how wild we all will look.
Important note: Please be careful with what ingredients you ‘leave’ on your face & the duration!