There should be some people who are suffering from the very cold weather in winter. The wind is colder and our skin is absolutely exposed to the dry cold weather. Also, because of this cold weather people of course turn on the heater inside all the time. However, winter makes our skin be tired easily.
Extreme temperature differences between the interior and exterior can make the skin sensitive, which can cause fatigue and reduce barrier function. The skin barrier acts to protect the dermis from the very top of the skin. Damage to this barrier can make it more susceptible to contaminants and make it easier for internal moisture to escape to the outside, leading to a loss of moisture in the skin. In fact, the normal moisture content of the stratum corneum is 15-20%, but it drops to 10% in winter. The reason why we see the white dead skin cells is also because of the lack of moisture in our skin. Therefore, hydration and keratin care help to strengthen the skin barrier in winter.
The key to moisturizing is to strengthen the skin barrier. The skin barrier is located on the outermost stratum corneum, which protects the skin from external stimuli and keeps moisture and nutrients in our skin. The stratum corneum consists of skin cells and lipids that fill the gaps. However, when your skin gets tired, you easily lose your ability to make lipids. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement the skin with lipid components with skincare products. Ceramide is a representative ingredient that applies these lipids to the skin to strengthen the skin barrier. Healthy skin is when the weight of intercellular lipids of ceramide, a lipid between keratinocytes, is maintained at 50-55%.
Ceramides are not hydrophilic, so skin exposure to water does not destroy the barrier structure of the stratum corneum. Atopic dermatitis has a reduced ceramide content in the stratum corneum compared to normal skin, and even psoriasis and acne skin show the different ratio of ceramide and other lipid components from the normal skin, and it indicates that ceramide is an important substance for strengthening the skin barrier.
Due to the damage of the skin barrier, lipid components composed of a certain ratio of ceramide, cholesterol, and free fatty acids of skin barrier cream for the purpose of strengthening the skin barrier help in not only restoring the function of the physical barrier but also inducing the physiological activity of keratinocytes.
Some factors affecting skin barrier function (BE CAREFUL!)
- Temperature: maintaining a skin temperature of 32 to 36 degrees promotes rapid recovery when you have a skin barrier damage.
- Humidity: A dry environment can cause the skin barrier to malfunction and the damaged skin barrier can be further deteriorated, so maintain an appropriate indoor humidity of 40 to 70% is a very important factor for skin barrier strengthening.
- Stress: It has been scientifically found that stress is closely related to skin barriers. Substances produced under stress can impair skin barrier function by inhibiting the repair of damaged skin barriers.
- Water: skin cells exposed to water for more than 4 hours increase their volume about 3 times, destroying the structure of lipids and thereby causing damage to skin barrier function.
- pH: the use of high pH alkaline cleansers increases the pH of the skin surface, leading to skin barrier dysfunction. Therefore, it is good to help the recovery of the skin barrier function by using a weak acid detergent and moisturizer.