When mental well-being and physical appearance are interconnected

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The security door of your skin

What is the barrier function?

The epidermis and its microbiota are the first line of defence against external aggression: this is the barrier function. It can also be called the barrier function.
The barrier function protects against pathogenic micro-organisms, oxidative stress and UV rays. Damage to the barrier increases insensible water loss, weakens the skin’s immune defences, and affects the desquamation process, which ultimately refines the epidermis. As a result, the skin suffers from redness, imperfections and dryness.

The main cells of the epidermis concerned when we talk about the barrier function:  
Keratinocytes: the cells most commonly found in the epidermis. Thanks to them, the skin is resistant and impermeable. Keratinocytes are constantly renewing themselves. As they age, they move «to the surface» of the epidermis to form the stratum corneum.
Melanocytes: these cells synthesise melanin, which in turn protects against the sun’s rays, reducing the damage caused by UV exposure..

Why is the function barrier important?

If we had to imagine it, the barrier function is the equivalent of a security door before a concert, for example. It is the gateway between the outside and the inside of the skin, like the gateway between the spectators, their environment and the concert hall, the artists, etc. When it fulfils its role correctly, the barrier function maintains the skin’s hydration, but let’s sweat out to temper the body if it’s too hot. It prevents pollution from penetrating the skin, but let’s in the good nutrients that we can provide via cosmetic products, for example, such as vitamins and electrolytes.
But if the skin barrier is damaged, it can’t do its job as a safety door as well and becomes a big open door, letting everything in and out. This is how redness can appear, itching can be felt, uneven skin texture can be perceived, etc. 

How can we maintain a good barrier function?

To protect the skin barrier, there is a 3-step strategy to follow: restructure, regenerate and defend. If we use the metaphor of a security door, once it has been damaged, to protect the skin properly, we first have to put it back in place. This is the first step, the restructuring. We need to consolidate the door so that there is no further damage.
Once this step has been completed, the damage around the door needs to be repaired so that you can start again from a healthy base. This means regenerating the skin. 
Finally, to avoid having to start from scratch every time, you need to defend the barrier function. In other words, we need to put more guards in place, train them better to defend, add safety checks and protect the skin. 

1- Restructure the barrier function by: 

  • Reinforcing epidermal cohesion 
  • Stimulating epidermal hyaluronic acid synthesis
  • Reducing insensible water loss

2- Regenerate the barrier function by: 

  • Restructuring the epidermis in depth
  • Improving keratinocyte differentiation
  • Reboosting the skin’s resilience systems
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing senescence

3- Defend the barrier function by:  

  • Rebalancing the microbiota by offering it a variety of nutrients
  • Protecting the skin against photo-ageing, UVs and blue light
  • Reinforcing innate immunity

If you’d like to find out more, please contact us and we’ll send you a full presentation on the barrier function.

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