A brief history of the skin barrier

Eine kleine Geschichte der Hautbarriere

Sometimes we want to drive out of it. More often, however, we are happy when we can lazily lie on it. Of course, there are also times when it goes deep underneath. We're talking, of course, about the skin, the human body's largest sensory organ. The receptors in our skin perceive touch, temperature, pressure and pain stimuli.

Above all, however, the so-called cutis is a protective wall to the inside and outside. It prevents us from losing too much moisture from the body, but it also protects us against external influences such as bacteria and viruses. The fact that the latter - extremely vital - function is possible at all is the responsibility of the so-called stratum corneum, or skin barrier. And it is precisely this barrier that we should protect by all means!

The skin barrier as a brick wall

Before talking about conservation, it is important to know how this wall against the harmful environment is constructed: the skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, called the epidermis; the dermis, located in the middle; and the subcutis, called the hypodermis. When we talk about the skin barrier, we always mean the outward-facing layer of the epidermis (which is 150 layers thick).

To explain the function of this protective layer, dermatologists like to become bricklayers and compare the barrier to a wall made of bricks. But that is exactly how it is built. Horny cells, i.e. dead cells, are the thick "bricks", while the spear responsible for holding them together consists of lipids, including ceramides and cholesterol. Bricked in this way, together they form a dense construct, a physical wall.

Emulsifiers - the damage to the skin

Unfortunately, this wall - let's stay with the picture - is in danger of collapsing. Because even a little deficiency or incorrect care can have dangerous effects. Frequent washing, aggressive skin cleansers or simply the all-too-popular emulsifiers (binding agents for oil and water) in creams ensure that the above-mentioned "garnish" between the horny cells is washed out. On top of that, the protective sebum layer is also damaged - allowing even more moisture to escape from the skin. A real vicious circle that you absolutely have to escape.

But it's not just the wrong skin care products that cause problems. UV radiation, environmental pollution, tobacco smoke, products with the wrong pH value, poor nutrition and stress also cause the protective wall to crumble in the long run. The result is not only premature aging of the skin - but a real danger to health.

How to recognize the problems

The first sign of such barrier defects is dry skin. It announces itself with a noticeable feeling of tension and passes into the formation of light scales. Subsequently, the skin cracks - it is quite enough here that these slits are microscopic. For viruses, bacteria or allergenic substances, they are the size of wide-open barn doors. Other markers for a damaged stratum corneum are redness, inflamed areas, pimples, itching or dark spots (hyperpigmentation) and rosacea/eczema. Anyone who discovers these changes should see their trusted dermatologist as soon as possible.


A rescue called organic membrane

Once the child has fallen into the proverbial well, or better, the brick wall has collapsed, it takes time. Because even today, there are no quick and easy solutions - but there are longer-term ones. Organic cosmetics is the keyword. Especially products based on the revolutionary organic membrane principle of skincare pope Bernd Kuhs can repair the damage. Kuhs' Skincare creams, serums and natural masks - marketed under the name 48grams - imitate the lamellar structure of skin fat. This has the effect of allowing active ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin and re-sealing.

7 tips for a healthy skin barrier

In addition, it is also important to heed a few, quite simple tips:

Pay attention to gentle facial cleansers! Aggressive products or even classic block soaps only achieve the effect of depriving the skin of moisture and nourishing substances.

Always use lukewarm water only! Too high or too low temperatures cause unnecessary irritation of the skin.

Do not use coarse peelings, so-called scrub peelings! This can cause tiny cracks in the skin - or even increase existing injuries.

All skin care products should be free of fragrances or essential oils! They make the skin more sensitive and thus reduce or stop the skin's own repair skin effect.

Basically ensure sufficient UV protection! Every day. Because sun exposure always affects the skin barrier.

Skin repair creams with a high hyaluronic acid content, preferably with oligo hyaluronic acid, work deep into the skin. The same applies to Hyaluron masks.

To keep the skin's moisture balance always nicely balanced, use aloe vera masks, preferably with aloe vera from Mallorca.

Stop the wash out effect

If you follow these guidelines, you will soon be able to enjoy healthy skin again. Conclusion: Optimal skin care should be targeted at strengthening or maintaining the protective barrier in the long term.

Finally, a reminder, or better... an appeal to reason: Today, no one can close their eyes to the harmful effects of artificial emulsifiers, mineral oils and silicones. Emulsifiers dissolve the natural lipid layer of the skin. Drastically formulated: During the next wash, the emulsifiers ensure that fat combines with water and can thus be literally wiped off the face. This is the infamous "wash-out effect".

Mineral oils, on the other hand, form a film on the skin, which does create a silky feeling. But: mineral oils do not blend into the natural structures. As a result, they too can cause long-term damage to the skin's protective barrier. Therefore: the way to the solution is to use organic cosmetic products.