BARRIER DYSFUNCTION:
WHEN SKIN’S DEFENSES START TO CRUMBLE

Article Read Duration 3 min read

Sensitive, reactive and all-round grouchy skin often exhibits barrier dysfunction. In other words, skin is not properly protected against the world around it. And that means skin can’t fulfil its role as our first line of defense against the outside world. The more irritated skin becomes, the drier and more exposed it gets. Skin enters a vicious cycle of sensitivity and irritation.

COULD BACTERIA BREAK
THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF SENSITIVITY?

In the wake of the latest research into the microbiome - the sum total of the organisms living on your skin - the whole concept of the barrier function has had to be revised. Why?

  • When there is barrier dysfunction, the different micro-organisms on your skin’s surface are unbalanced. As a result the skin seems depleted and tired.
  • When skin’s bacterial diversity is restored, skin is once again soothed.

Traditional “plain” moisturizers are pretty retro nowadays. To lastingly relieve signs of sensitivity and restore skin’s comfort, an efficient moisturizer needs to work on both skin’s constituent barriers – its precious lipids and its fragile microbiome.

SKIN AND BACTERIA:
A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Skin exists in symbiosis (in other words, a win-win situation) with its resident microbial populations.

  • There needs to be a balance between the different species of bacterias. To Our beneficial bacteria help keep out the ones that cause infections.
  • There is constant “dialog” between bacteria and skin to keep it calm and soothed.

In other words, skin’s friendly bacteria help it perform its famous “barrier function” and defuse the vicious cycle of dry, “irritated” skin.

SO, WHICH BACTERIA ARE FRIENDS,
AND WHICH ARE FRENEMIES?

When it comes to cultivating a healthy microbiome, your buzzword is diversity. Every single cm2 of skin is home to no fewer than a billion microbes. And the more diverse your bacteria, the healthier it is for your skin. 1,000,000,000,000 – one thousand billion – is the number of micro-organisms living on a human’s skin… that’s ten times the number of stars in the Milky Way! Nonetheless, certain bacteria aren’t exactly “friendly.” Some actually break down skin’s surface lipids, as well as causing grumbling inflammation. Luckily we have our microbiome to maintain the balance of bacterias within our skin!

COULD PREBIOTICS BE
THE FUTURE OF SKINCARE?

Prebiotics are a non-digestible food ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. Healthy skin is the perfect “culture medium” for friendly bacteria. It is warm, moist and nutrient-rich. But sometimes it needs a helping hand to become the most hospitable environment possible for your microbiome…

YOUR TOP 3 “GOOD”
BACTERIA BOOSTERS

  • Moisture. The drier the skin, the fewer the organisms that can live on it.
  • Nutrients: diverse minerals and trace elements can drive the growth of friendly bacteria.
  • Sources of carbon and nitrogen such as Ceramide-3.8.
  • Aqua Posae Filiformis: a Natural ingredient formulated to help balance the microbiome.

Every day, skin is hounded by environmental aggressors that can alter the balance of its microbiome. Result? Drier, more irritable, more reactive skin… But advanced research into the microbiome has opened the doors to a brand new era of prebiotic skincare. By driving biodiversity on skin, these microbe-boosting innovations might just be the breakthrough your skin has been waiting for.
All of the scientific information referenced in this article is based on the article "The Role of Cutaneous Microbiota Harmony in Maintaining a Functional Skin Barrier" by H. Baldwin et al, published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in 2017.

1 Willis CM, Shaw S, de La Charrière O, et al Sensitive skin: an epidemiological study Br J Dermatol 2001;145:258-63.

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