THE SKIN PROTECTION BARRIER
It is worthwhile to know how our skin's protective barrier functions, what may be harmful to it and what supports and soothes it. Whether it's daily habits, a lack of protection against environmental influences or a poor diet - the influences on our skin's own protective barrier vary greatly.
But what exactly is your skin barrier, what purpose does it serve, and what can damage it? When the skin barrier is damaged, the skin can become dry, flaky, or very sensitive, and a number of other skin problems can occur. Many reasons to take a closer look at it.
Here you'll get an explanation of how your skin's protective barrier works and what you can do to maintain and restore this important protective layer.
What is the skin protection barrier?
By way of introduction, it should be said that there are several names for the skin's protective barrier. Since it consists mainly of lipids, it is also called lipid barrier and because it protects the organism it's also calles protective or skin barrier.
Our skin protective barrier is a part of our skin. More interesting facts about your skin on our page: Structure of the skin.
BUILDING THE SKIN PROTECTION BARRIER
We don't want to go very deep into the matter here now, but a few words about the complexity of our skin protection barrier should be said, so that a clear understanding is built up.
Overall, there are three key components to the skin's external protective mechanisms: the skin microbiome, the lipid barrier and the acid mantle.
Healthy skin has a natural and protective skin microbiome. It is the colonization of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses) on our skin. The skin microbiome represents a resident flora, much like our intestinal flora, and protects us from the invasion of external germs or other pathogenic substances.
The development of the skin microbiome, immediately after birth, is important for the functioning of the immune system. The colonization of the right germs takes place via direct skin contact with the mother.
The skin microbiome is not only a protective layer to the outside, but also one of several components that regulate the pH of the skin. If the skin's own pH value is disturbed by one or more factors, the microbiome can also become imbalanced.
Our skin microbiome feels most comfortable embedded in our acid mantle. Our skin needs a pH value of 5 to maintain a functional skin flora and functioning skin components.
The protective acid mantle lies like a kind of film on the horny layer of our skin. This protective acid film is composed of the skin's own sebum, sweat and parts of the skin's horny cells.
Our lipid barrier is located in the outermost horny layer, the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum consists of several layers of biologically dead skin cells (corneocytes), which are made of the protein keratin. All these corneocytes are located in a Matrix of lipids and water-binding "moisturizing" factors (molecules in the skin that bind and store water).
The main lipids present in our skin layers, each in a different composition and organization, are:
- Free fatty acids
This lipid mixture is obtained via the enzymatic processing formed by phospholipids, glycolipids and cholesterol. The outermost layers of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, thus form a permeability barrier that prevents dehydration.
FUNCTION OF THE PROTECTIVE BARRIER
The human skin barrier plays an important role in protection and defense, which is mainly reflected in two important capabilities. To prevent the penetration of harmful substances into the human body and the loss of water and nutrients to the outside.
Our skin therefore acts as a primary barrier between the body and its environment. Crucial to this barrier function of the skin is the lipid matrix in the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum.
The lipid barrier has a collection of specific, diverse functions, many of which take place primarily within the stratum corneum.
The two main functions of your skin protection barrier are:
- Permeability barrier: Prevents excessive water loss through the epidermis to the outside, with the aim of ensuring the maintenance of water content and balance.
- Antimicrobial barrier and immune barrier: Prevents the penetration of substances from the environment, e.g. microbial organisms and antigens, which can cause an immune response.
- Photoprotective barrier: The reduction of the effects of ultraviolet (UV) light.
- Antioxidant Barrier: The attenuation of the effects of oxidative stress.
All of these barrier functions are dynamic and work together to maintain healthy skin characterized by invisible desquamation, smooth texture, elasticity, and the ability to respond to shear forces without stiffness or microcracking.
Overall, the role of the skin's protective barrier is to physiologically maintain the integrity of the skin. By maintaining an adequate water balance in the skin and mitigating exogenous environmental and microbial stresses, the stratum corneum supports normal desquamation and elasticity of the skin.
WHAT FACTORS ARE DAMAGING YOUR LIPID BARRIER?
Every day, your skin faces a variety of threats, many of which come at your body from the outside and some from the inside.
External and internal conditions that can compromise your skin barrier include:
- An environment that is either too humid or too dry
- Allergens, irritants and pollutants
- Too much sunlight
- Alkaline detergents and soaps
- Exposure to aggressive chemicals
- Excessive peeling or washing
- Hormones, e.g. estrogen deficiency during menopause
- Mental stress
- Genetic factors that may make you more susceptible to certain skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis
- Internal and external stress factors (free radicals and oxidative stress)
Signs of a weakened or disrupted lipid barrier may include:
- Increased sensitivity and/or soreness
- Bacterial, mycotic (fungal) or viral infections
- Redness, dryness or irritation
- Noticeable dandruff
- Acne breakouts
Our mission is to support the skin's natural protective barrier by providing our mild and effective LIPID GLORY skincare line with everything essential for resilient skin: gentle cleansing, regulating moisture and ample protection and care for all skin types.
In our guide to a mild skin care routine, you'll learn more about individual steps and products that gently and above all mildly care for your skin.
HOLISTIC SKIN CARE
Our skin barrier is exposed to many external and internal factors. To best protect and care for our skin, it makes sense to look at all the daily habits that influence our health.
We believe in a holistic skin care for the well-being in your skin with all facets that belong to it. Our goal is to accompany you in this process with products that have been carefully developed with a focus on mild and effective care.
Choose gentle products that hydrate your skin, provide nourishing lipids and balance your skin's protective barrier. Every skin benefits from a fragrance-free routine, skin-friendly pH levels and a balanced supply of moisture and the right lipids.
The path to your skin's well-being is unique, and skin problems require patience and understanding. By treating your skin gently, products that focus on the essentials can make a big improvement.
You can additionally support your skin health by focusing on other pillars that significantly influence your well-being:
1. inner attitude & relaxation
The first step to healing your skin on the outside is taking care of it on the inside. By practicing gratitude and patience with your skin, by learning about the natural functioning of your skin, you can find new ways to care for your skin from the inside out.
Meditation is an important component to support your skin. Regular relaxation can help regulate the body's inflammatory processes and initiate regenerative processes. In our article about meditation as part of a holistic skin care routine you'll learn more about the background and benefits of relaxation for your skin.
2. intuitive & whole food diet
For skin health, it's also important to be conscious about your diet and lifestyle. A lack of minerals or high inflammation levels can have a huge impact on the skin's appearance.
There are many foods that can lower inflammation levels in the body with their ingredients. A varied, wholesome diet and an occasional addition of one or the other superfood are perfectly sufficient to get all the important nutrients. And if you ever have an appetite for chocolate or something "unhealthy," you shouldn't feel guilty after eating it. It's just important to keep the balance. Our article about " a wholesome diet for healthy skin " can provide you with interesting impulses.
3. exercise for a healthy skin appearance
Physical exercise is another important pillar for holistic skin health. Exercise, whether in the fresh air or indoors, gets the metabolism going and increases blood circulation. Only through sufficient exercise nutrients and oxygen are transported through the bloodstream to all cells, all the way to the skin. Your complexion also benefits from the increased blood circulation and appears rosy, plump and fresher.
The elimination of waste products, toxins and other metabolic products via the entire organism, e.g. the lymphatic system, is also stimulated and can function sufficiently. Strengthening and nourishment of connective tissues is supported, muscle building is stimulated and consequently our skin is kept healthy and gains radiance and resistance.
We hope you enjoyed this little excursion into our lipid barrier. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!