The Barrier Function is an extremely important concept in skin care. It describes the strength of the skin barrier and how well it protects skin from the external environment.
The Importance of the Lipid Barrier
The lipids in the ‘mortar’ are responsible for maintaining skin hydration, firmness, and softness. It is commonly referred to as the lipid barrier.
The lipid barrier minimizes water loss and is essential for strong, healthy, hydrated skin. It performs 3 important functions:
1. traps water molecules and prevents the passage of water out of the Stratum Corneum, which is called Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL)
2. prevents Natural Moisturizing Factors from leaching out
3. prevents environmental chemicals and biological irritants from entering skin
After the age of 40, the amount of lipids decrease significantly, which is why we are more prone to dry skin as we age.
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