A dehydrated skin lacks sufficient water to function properly. The stratum corneum regulates the hydration level of the outermost layer of the skin through its barrier function by trapping water in the epidermis. If the barrier function is compromised, water evaporates from the skin, known as transepidermal water loss or TEWL.
Circulation ensures the dermis receives sufficient hydration, but the epidermis is not directly connected, receiving its moisture by diffusion from the dermis. With the exception of your hands and feet, there are 4 layers to the epidermis where each successive layer receives less and less hydration from the dermis. Generally, it is the superficial layers that become the most dehydrated and noticeable. This is where our natural moisturizing factor and lipid matrix work to keep that surface layer hydrated and protected by sealing in moisture.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF IMPAIRED BARRIER FUNCTION
An Impaired barrier can be the underlying cause of many skin problems:
- Dry (lack of oil) | Flakiness | Dehydrated (lack of water)
- Sensitive | Redness | Irritated | Stinging | Burning | Rashes | Breakouts
- Tight | Rough Texture | Fine Lines | Skin Laxity
THE ROLE OF WATER IN YOUR SKIN
Proper hydration is essential for healthy skin. The water content of the dermis and epidermis determines the level of hydration in our skin. Water provides structure and is required and involved in virtually all cellular processes in the body. The skin's cellular processes are responsible for coordinating, activating, building, repairing, protecting and removing as part of its innate regeneration abilities. Within the skin, your naturally produced hyaluronic acid binds moisture and serves as a foundation for the skin to sit upon.
The stratum corneum, our barrier, is the 15 to 20 layers of the outermost part of our skin and is responsible for keeping the water on the inside. These special skin cells are like a brick wall of stacked cells with lipids, functioning like mortar, in between each.
Water and lipids are the two key elements ensuring optimal skin function. In order to keep water in the skin, the lipid phase of the skin must be intact. Lipids sit on top of water to prevent evaporation that leads to dehydrated skin.
WHY SKIN HYDRATION IS SO IMPORTANT?
- Enzymatic Processes: Water is required for a multitude of enzymatic reactions in the skin to repair, replenish and rebuild.
- Cellular Renewal: Water is essential for facilitating our natural exfoliation by breaking the bonds between the cells triggering cellular renewal.
- Wound Healing: Hydrated skin improves wound healing time and regulates proinflammatory signals that may lead to scarring and post-inflammatory pigmentation.
- Active Ingredient Penetration: A well hydrated skin is more permeable so your active ingredients can penetrate further into the skin. When the water content in the skin is increased, it creates pores between cells and makes the skin barrier more permeable. A great skin tip is to always apply skin care to damp skin.
LAYERING YOUR SKIN CARE TO TRAP MOISTURE
The stratum corneum is the part of the skin where the effects of dehydration will be most apparent. Thoughtfully layering skin care will help to trap moisture in that outermost layer helping to visibly improve the appearance of the skin. Mimic mother nature by applying water based actives first (Hydration Serum) and then layering lipid based actives on top (Complete Lipid Serum) to bind moisture at the surface layer for a dewy, glowing complexion.