The hydrolipid barrier of the skin - what is it, and how to rebuild it?
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If you often experience the feeling of tightness and skin irritation, most likely the hydrolipid barrier has been damaged. Check what is the hydrolipid barrier of the skin and learn how to care for it to speed up the process of its reconstruction.
The hydrolipid barrier of the skin - what is it, and what functions it has?
The skin is one of the most important organs of our body, that consists of layers that differ in structure and function. The most important are the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. The epidermis fulfills two tasks: it protects against harmful external factors and the penetration of microorganisms, and it prevents moisture loss.
The hydrolipid barrier, which we can also call a hydrolipid layer or coat, is located on the surface of our epidermis and consists of a mixture of water and fat molecules (lipids). The fats are made of substances produced by our sebaceous glands (sebum), and water molecules are delivered to the surface of the skin by the sweat glands.
Functions of the hydrolipid barrier:
- skin protection against harmful external factors,
- helps to maintain the natural pH of the skin, thus preventing the development of harmful microorganisms,
- supports the transport of active ingredients from cosmetics,
- prevents TEWL,
- helps maintain skin elasticity.
As you can see, the hydrolipid coat protects and helps keep our skin in good condition, which is why it is so important to take care of it.
Causes of damaged hydrolipid barrier
The hydrolipid barrier plays a key role in protecting the skin, but many factors can lead to its damage. Here are the most common them:
- too often scrubs,
- improperly selected care (too high concentration of some active ingredients),
- frequent washing of the skin with too-aggressive products,
- frequent rubbing of the skin with a towel or cotton pads,
- external factors: air pollution, excessive exposure to UV rays, and frosty air.
Symptoms of a damaged hydrolipid barrier
Why is it worth taking care of the skin's hydrolipid barrier? A damaged hydrolipid barrier can lead to skin dryness, irritation, inflammation, and infection. A healthy hydrolipid barrier helps to keep the skin soft, and smooth and protects it from harmful external factors.
The symptoms that indicate that your hydrolipid coat is damaged:
- feeling of dryness and tightness of the skin,
- gray color,
- loss of shine,
- excessive oiliness,
- redness, burning, and hypersensitivity,
- itching sensation.
How to care for the hydrolipid barrier?
First of all, try to choose gentle skin care cosmetics that contain ingredients that support daily barrier reconstruction and that are rich in emollients. Emollients are substances that form a protective layer on the surface, retaining water in the skin and protecting it from harmful external factors. Also, avoid long baths in hot water - short and lukewarm baths or showers will be a better choice for your complexion. Use good moisturizers that help maintain hydration and protect the hydrolipidic barrier from damage.
Examples of ingredients that help take care of the hydrolipid barrier are:
- hyaluronic acid,
- vegetable oils and butter (e.g., perilla oil, shea butter).
How to rebuild the damaged hydrolipid barrier of the skin?
To rebuild the hydrolipid barrier, start by organizing your care. In this case, less will be more. Take care of gentle washing, based on a cleanser with a physiological pH. For starters, you can choose, for example, Cetaphil EM micellar emulsion or CeraVe moisturizing face and body emulsion.
Choose cosmetics rich in emollients that will help soften and moisturize the skin, which is especially important to rebuild the hydrolipid barrier. You can find many creams and balms that contain active ingredients that support the barrier functions of the skin. Good quality skincare creams and lotions that help rebuild the hydrolipid barrier include Medik8 Advanced Night Restore or La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive.
If you can, avoid exposure to harmful external factors and use protective cosmetics and creams with a high SPF filter. UV rays are one of the causes of damage to the skin's hydrolipid barrier. Therefore, it is important to use creams with a high UV filter that will help protect the skin from its harmful effects.
Take care of your skin from the inside too. During the regeneration period, but not only, a diet rich in unsaturated fatty acids and hydration from the inside will also be very important.
Rebuilding the skin's hydrolipid barrier may take some time, but the use of appropriate cosmetics rich in regenerating and moisturizing ingredients can speed up this process.
The hydrolipid barrier plays a key role in maintaining the health of the skin. Unfortunately, it is exposed to a number of factors that can damage it, such as strong detergents or exposure to harmful external factors. If the skin's hydrolipid barrier has already been damaged, there are ways to rebuild it. For this purpose, you can use cosmetics that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, cholesterol, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. It is also important to consume adequate amounts of water and healthy fats to help regenerate the skin. With proper care and the use of appropriate cosmetics, we can enjoy beautiful and healthy skin for many years.