health and wellbeing

Our Skin is Worthy of an Architectural Prize

Like a living wall, our skin can protect our body from environmental influences and moisture loss. The outermost skin layer and a fine film of water and lipids help do the job. But if this protective barrier is weakened, the skin will lose more and more moisture, becoming dry.

A house is only as strong as its walls. This principle also applies to our body, with the skin serving as the boundary between inside and outside. It consists of several layers which protect us effectively from environmental influences. The skin's outermost layer – the horny layer (stratum corneum) – and the hydrolipid film on top of this, are especially instrumental in preventing moisture loss.

The horny layer resembles a carefully laid brick wall, with the horny cells functioning as “bricks”

The cells are bound together by a mixture of lipids, just like mortar between the bricks of a wall. Natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) also play an important role. These are substances that attract and retain water, and are also present in the thin film that covers the horny layer. This so-called hydrolipid film is a mixture of water and lipids, composed mainly from our sweat and sebum.

The high lipid content, the complex structure of our skin and its natural moisturizing factors – this unique interaction resembles an architectural masterpiece. It ensures that our skin does not lose too much moisture.   

There are many reasons why our skin becomes dry

Dry skin occurs in most cases when the body does not produce enough lipids. Then the architectural wonder of skin can become unbalanced. It loses the ability to store moisture effectively, the skin becomes rough or cracked. It begins to feel tight and its natural defences become weakened.

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