If you have dry skin, you’re probably looking for ultra-hydrating products for instant comfort. But did you know that dry skin needs more than just hydration?
The latest scientific research shows that healthy skin starts with a stronger lipid barrier, hydration, and an optimal microbiome (or microbial environment). If any of these factors are out of balance, skin becomes easily vulnerable to environmental influences. People with truly dry skin have an incomplete natural protective barrier; they lack the lipids to keep their skin healthy.
Let’s take a closer look at what the lipid barrier is and how you can strengthen it to get healthy, moisturised skin.
What is the lipid barrier?
Think of lipids as a kind of “cement” between the “bricks” (corneocytes) of your skin. The lipid barrier is found in the stratum corneum (outer layer of the skin) and is the first line of defense against internal and external factors that can cause skin dryness. A healthy lipid barrier helps prevent excess moisture loss and protects skin from environmental factors such as ultraviolet light, heat and cold, and environmental irritants. The lipid barrier can also indicate problems with the gastrointestinal tract and other abdominal organs. For example, if you suffer from an ulcer, your skin will show it. The skin problems in this case can be solved by acifex, but be sure to consult your doctor before doing so.
What happens when the lipid barrier is compromised?
When the skin’s lipid barrier is compromised, the first thing that happens is a loss of moisture or dehydration. This leads to flaking, dryness and dullness, and the appearance of fine lines of dehydration. At this point, the skin is more susceptible to environmental influences and premature ageing.
What contributes to the disruption of the lipid barrier?
- As we age, the amount of lipids in our skin gradually decreases.
- Seasonal changes, such as cold and low humidity, can cause your skin to lose lipids and become more sensitive.
- Cleansing, excessive exfoliation: some skin care products contain alcohol, acetone and aggressive surfactants that can damage the skin barrier.
- A low-fat diet can lead to lipid deficiency.
- Stress, UV exposure, and certain medical conditions can also damage the lipid barrier or slow down its repair.
What does dry skin need?
To minimise exposure to all the factors that can affect a healthy lipid barrier and its repair, you need to adjust your skin care regimen and shift your focus to products that nourish your lipid barrier. Choose products that are rich in plant oils and contain ingredients such as ceramides, fatty acids (such as palmitic acid, stearic acid, myristic acid) and sterols.
How to protect your skin in summer?
It is also important to understand which ingredients should not be used in summer skin care.
Retinol and its derivatives, concentrated acids, active peeling and essential oils – these ingredients increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, provoking its damage and the risk of hyperpigmentation.
Leave active anti-ageing and lightening programs until autumn, doing them in summer will have the opposite effect, making your skin vulnerable to external aggressive factors.
Moisturisation, repair and protection will allow you to prolong the health and beauty of your skin, getting only the benefits of warm sunny days.
Despite a series of measures aimed at protecting the skin in summer, skin damage is inevitable. It is important to equip your summer cosmetic bag with recovery-oriented SOS products. These can be masks and creams for sensitive skin, containing components to reduce inflammation, sensitivity, itching and enhance regeneration processes. Such products can contain vitamin B3-niacinamide, B5-panthenol, vitamin E, F, argan, shea butter, macadamia oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil, omega-3,6,9 complex, urea, squalene, soothing plant extracts (Centella asiatica, chamomile, ivy, cucumber, white lily), copper peptides.
I recommend soothing masks after every exposure to the active sun. In case your skin has become sensitive, use a soothing cream on a permanent basis.
Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.
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