My sensitive skin diary

Did you know: your skin has two protective barriers?

Img_Did you know: your skin has two protective barriers?

The vulnerable skin epidemic

Today, increasing numbers of people feel as though their skin is defenseless. Intolerant to anything and everything, for 62% of women today, skin has become officially sensitive.
The root of the problem? The loss of not one, but two defensive forcefields at skin’s surface.

#nofilter… The perils of being overexposed

When skin lacks an effective barrier function, elements in the environment such as pollution or other aggressors can penetrate skin more easily and trigger irritation, setting off the annoying symptoms often associated with sensitive skin: tingling, itching, redness…

The 1st barrier: Lipids are a girl’s best friend

Skin’s self-protection system starts with an oily layer called the hydrolipidic film. Skin produces a matrix of essential lipids surrounding dead cells called corneocytes at its surface, which acts as a physical barrier against potential irritants. It also helps to seal in moisture, making skin more hospitable to friendly bacteria…

The 2nd barrier: Skin’s own living ecosystem

Dermatological research is revealing the protective nature of skin’s microbiome, made up of billions of bacteria living in and on it.
Skin’s health and comfort are heavily reliant on these friendly microbes, which help regulate skin’s inner processes for less irritation.

So how can I bolster my skin’s 2 barriers?

Caring for skin’s double barrier calls for expert prebiotic dermo-cosmetics.

  • To restore the hydrolipidic film: look for products with a combination of emollient, humectant and occlusive active ingredients. One top-notch active is Ceramide-3, which replaces natural lipids forming skin’s physical protective barrier.
  • To replenish the microbiome: source next-generation prebiotic ingredients such as La Roche-Posay thermal spring water, packed with trace elements able to drive the growth and development of the 500 species of bacteria found on healthy skin.

Traditional “plain” moisturizers are pretty retro nowadays. To lastingly relieve symptoms of sensitivity and restore skin’s comfort, a modern-day moisturizer needs to work on both skin’s constituent barriers – its precious lipids and its fragile microbiome.

1 Willis CM, Shaw S, de La Charrière O, et al Sensitive skin: an epidemiological study Br J Dermatol 2001;145:258-63.