In average, more than 50% of the population will have a skin condition or will develop sensitive skin throughout their lives. In this article, I would like to help you have a better understanding of what sensitive skin is and how to improve it. We will dive into the understanding of what is the skin barrier and how Ceramides have a huge impact on the skin. Also, we will give you some tips on how to find the right skincare and living habits to take care of inner self and your sensitive skin
What are Ceramides and why are so important?
Ceramides are the main lipids inside our body, along with the fat acids and cholesterol, specifically in the stratum corneum.
These components act like a cement, sealing the gaps between the keratinocytes forming a "wall" known as a skin barrier: which has the duty of preventing dehydration and possible harmful substances from entering our body.
Ceramides are crucial to maintain the barrier function and make the skin look healthy, strong and bright
When the "cement" that has been formed by ceramides is altered, pathogens allergens or other harmful substances are more likely to penetrate the skin causing an inflammatory response. When this happens, various proinflammatory substances (cytokines, leukotrienes and prostaglandins) are released which cause serious skin reactions. (Duarte et al., 2017).
Aging, sun exposure, pollution, stress and climatic variations are also a cause of a decreased production of natural ceramides.
What happens when that happens? That the stratum corneum is weakened and unable to retain water. The result is dry or dehydrated skin with the following symptoms: tightness, wrinkles, itching, redness, irritation, peeling, rough texture and dull look.
TWEL, Transepidermal water loss is the term used to measure the amount of water that evaporates through skin to the external environment.
Did you know that acne-prone skin also loses ceramides?
Acne is a multifactorial skin condition (hormonal imbalance, hyperkeratosis, inflammation, increased sebaceous glands, excess sebum, comedone...) that weakens the skin barrier with less ceramides which are altered by the condition.
Our products with ceramides:
The external application of ceramides will make it possible to recover the lost ones, due to all the causes said before. Remember: the ceramides are 50% of the lipids skin barrier.
- Barrier Protection Cleanser: For sensitive skin or sensitive areas such as eyes acts as a treatment to improve the barrier function.
- Lips Perfector Bioactive Serum: Forms an effective barrier against moisture loss and supports the renewal of a natural protective skin layer. It also reduces fine lines and promotes a healthy and youthful look of the lips area.
Tips for a healthy barrier function
- Clean the skin with pH restoring and lipid-friendly products such as Barrier Protection Cleanser with Ceramides. Never use soaps or cleansers with aggressive surfactants, those remove the "good lipids", which are a key element for the skin barrier. Another alternative that should be avoided would be traditional soaps that have an alkaline pH, due to the fact that their continued use can alter the microbiome of the skin causing inflammation, redness, dryness and even eczema.
- Moisturize using creams with hygroscopic ingredients such as the low molecular weight hyaluronic acid of our Moisture + and Moisture + light (light version).
- Nourish with high quality fatty acids to maintain the lipids like our Serenity Oil with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and regenerative properties. Which will help you have extra protection if you spend many hours in close spaces with air conditioning or heating (dry environments and when you are exposed to cold, wind or pollution too)
- Protect the lips daily with the Lips Perfect Bio Active Serum rich in Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, Abyssinian Oil and Marigold.
Habits to keep in mind
People who sleep well have a 30% greater recovery from the skin barrier than those who sleep poorly. Oyetakin-White et al. (2015).
Sleeping 6-8 hours is essential for your own well-being and skin condition.
In the experimental study of Oyetakin-White et al. (2015) it is shown that 72 hours after rest, those who slept well had a 30% greater recovery of the skin barrier than those who didn´t since they have less TEWL. Plus, they achieved a better appearance and uniformity of the skin.
Stress and emotions
Stress strongly impacts the endocrine system, altering the production of melatonin (the sleep-regulating hormone) which is related to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines at night. Try to limit yourself from situations which cause you frequent stress.
Be aware of your emotions and what causes them. Write down in a notebook what you feel, what part of your body you feel is not right and how you managed the situation. Work towards creating awareness and improving each day.
Practice meditation or mindfulness. If it´s a new practice for you, 5 minutes a day can be a good start. Sometimes just lying on the bed and contemplating the ceiling during those minutes can make a difference in the long run. Acknowledge each though as they come and just flow with it and see where it leads you.
Work your body out
The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends 150 to 300 minutes of physical activity per week. However, we know that exercising every day can be challenging due to our everyday tasks pushing to be our number one priority all the time... And also laziness (the trick is not give into the negotiation with our mind, put on the shoes and start to walk).
Exercise has a positive impact on your physical and mental health and it will help you reduce stress levels.
Enjoy your moment of self-care with products that make you feel good and that also provide health to your skin
Light up a candle, put on some music on, make yourself some tea and just take a deep breath. Consciously, connect with the aromas and textures of the products. Your are here and now. It’s your time. You deserve it!