Today’s focus will touch on the latest research on the skin’s protective barrier and microbiome. Here we better understand its functions and how we can improve dry skin conditions.
Everything we come in contact with can affect our skin for good or bad. When dealing with dry and sensitized skin, it can be challenging to find skincare formulas that are properly adapted for compromised skin types. When combined, harsh ingredients and environmental aggression can cause excessive dryness and increased sensitivity. This can manifest as roughness characterized by scaling and dryness.Inflammation, itchiness, and the onset of dermatitis can be provoked by microorganisms and allergens being able to penetrate the corneal layers of the skin.
The skin’s surface is covered by what is called a hydrolipidic film, it is the emulsification of water (hydro) and fat (lipids) that are secreted by glands found within our skin. Its main function is to act as an external barrier to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogenic microorganisms. It is also what naturally maintains hydration of the skin. By preventing transepidermal water loss, we prevent dehydration. With Alipidic skin types, the oil glands of the skin do not produce enough oil and weaken this barrier causing increased water loss and sensitivity. This is why most alipidic skin types are also dehydrated.
It is within the hydrolipidic film and the epidermis is where we find the skin’s own ecosystem. The incredible microbial universe called the microbiome. Microbiotas are also known as the Flora of the skin. It consists of trillions of microorganisms that play a vital role in our skin’s immune system. Skin flora is usually non-pathogenic, and either commensal (are not harmful to their host) or mutualistic (offer a benefit). As incredible as they are, they are also fragile. Here are our top 3 factors that can disrupt our microbiome and can alter your hydrolipidic barriers:
- Over cleansing and exfoliating with harsh ingredients such as sulfate
- Certain medications such as antibiotics and steroids
To prevent dry and sensitive skin symptoms this winter choose formulas that will not strip your skin of essential lipids and that are microbiome friendly. Don’t forget that small simple changes in our skincare choices can make all the difference and keep your skin happy and healthy.