This is the top layer of your skin
This image represents your skin’s top protective layer, called the Stratum Corneum. It functions like a brick and mortar wall, protecting you from the outside world.
Skin that is healthy and properly hydrated is naturally capable of defending itself against the causes of dry skin and continuously repairing itself.
Skin stressors rob your skin of moisture. Such dry skin causes include everyday factors—dry weather, air-conditioning, even showering (during which water and harsh cleansers can wash away skin’s natural moisturising factors) can weaken the skin cells and deplete the lipid layer. These factors degrade your skin’s barrier, allowing more moisture to escape.
As your skin gets drier, there’s a breakdown of normal, healthy processes. Without moisture, skin cells become fragile and your lipid layer becomes tighter and less flexible, setting the stage for cracked or damaged skin. As the moisture barrier becomes weakened and damaged, your skin becomes even more vulnerable to the environment, increasing moisture loss.
Moisture is lost and skin’s protective defenses are weakened. Skin feels rough and can start to feel itchy. Its natural exfoliation process is disturbed, causing visible flakes to form. Untreated dryness can lead to painful cracking and make skin more vulnerable to the environment. At a cellular level, corneocyte development is impaired, so skin cells reach the surface underdeveloped and less able to protect against further damage.
A moisturiser will immediately hydrate skin and soften dry, stiff surface cells. Look for lotions with a combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives. Humectants hold water inside the skin, helping to promote NMF production. Emollients – like stearic acid or triglyceride oils – can replenish the lipid matrix. An occlusive like Vaseline Jelly replaces the lost protective lipid layer, creating a barrier to lock in moisture and protect against the causes of dry skin.
Healthy, strong cells grow in. The lipid layer is restored and NMF is produced normally. The natural exfoliation of skin’s top layer begins to occur without interruption.
The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice, it is solely available for information purposes.