What Is Skin Barrier Optimization?

Importance of Skin Barrier

Skin careThe skin barrier is your body’s natural protection against dermatitis. The secret to optimizing the skin barrier is lipid replacement. The technical name of a person’s skin barrier is the cutaneous barrier. It is a thin membrane beneath the surface of the skin.

The skin’s barrier is its natural defense against dermatitis — infections, allergies, dry skin, aged skin, eczema and psoriasis, as well as other irritants and skin ailments. When the skin barrier is healthy, the skin itself is typically healthy. When it becomes vulnerable, the skin suffers.

How to Optimize Skin Barrier

The first attack on the skin barrier — which ultimately leads to skin disorders — is dry skin. Generally, dermatitis follows dry skin. Moisturized and clean skin naturally has a healthy skin barrier. Dry skin does not. Lipid replacement is the most powerful means of moisturizing skin, of optimizing the skin barrier and preventing dermatitis.

Utilizing products that focus on skin barrier optimization (SBO) and that in addition, are vegan and hypoallergenic, are your best defense against combating skin disorders topically.

TopicalHow Replace Lipids In Order to Optimize Skin Barrier

While there are a variety of lipids, the type required to generate cutaneous barrier function are stratum corneum lipids. According to a study published by Eur J Pharm Biopharm in February of 2014:

Hyperforin is well-known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. The application of a hyperforin-rich verum cream could strengthen the skin barrier function by reducing radical formation and stabilization stratum corneum lipids (1).

While Hyperforin and other topical measures are important for skin barrier optimization from the outside in, it is also important to optimize the cutaneous barrier from the inside out. Diet plays an extremely important role in the prevention of dermatitis.

Foods, Vitamins and Minerals Required to Optimize Cutaneous Barrier Function

VitaminsBoth macronutrients — proteins, carbohydrates and lipids — and micronutrients, which consists of vitamins and minerals, are required for the optimization of the cutaneous barrier. Of the proteins, keratin is one of the most important amino acid with respect to creating a healthy skin barrier. Keratin is used by the body to protect the surface of the skin.

However, the majority of the epidermal layer is composed of collagen. Almost 75% of the skin is composed of collagen according to the Linus Pauling Institute (2). Of the vitamins required to maintain and repair the epidermal layer, Vitamin D is one of the most important, but so is Vitamin E. Vitamin D helps the skin repair itself after UV damage. Vitamin E is a natural moisturizer. Another important vitamin for the skin is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is required to prevent scurvy.

Of the carbohydrates, glucose is the most important for the skin. Glucose is the primary fuel of the skin. Peptides, enzymes and antioxidants are also essential to skin function and health.

Of the foods that should be consumed for the skin, fish high in fatty acids are is an essential proteins, peppers — the food with the highest Vitamin C content — is necessary and complete amino acid foods like whey are critical.

+Dr.Lee  Eberting is a board certified dermatologist who has dedicated her career to research and treatment of skin ailments. She writes regularly at cherylleemd.com

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