Skin Basics

What's the single most important step for healthy skin?

Healthy skin starts with a healthy moisture barrier also known as the stratum corneum. Think of it as a smooth, beautiful wall that keeps moisture in and, just as important, keeps irritants out. Everything works better when this barrier is healthy and without it, no skin care product will work to its maximum potential. But that's not all. Without this healthy moisture barrier our skin is also at risk for becoming drier, more irritated and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Considering this, it makes sense that the number-one beauty product on most women's bathroom counter is a really great moisturizer.

What's a ceramide and why does young skin make so much of it?

Ceramides are a naturally occurring lipid and they are key to healthy skin. Here's a great example of their significance: The outer most layer of the epidermis is the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is essentially what stands between us and the environment. It also has responsibility for attracting and holding moisture, regulating body temperature and fighting visible signs of aging. In other words, the straum corneum holds a powerful position in skin health. And guess what helps make this all-important skin layer healthy? Ceramide. In fact, over 20% of the stratum corneum volume is comprised of lipids and 50% of these are the moisture-magnet wonders called ceramides. On the flip side, what do you think that dry, irritated skin is usually lacking most? You guessed it. Ceramides. Not surprising that young-looking skin is ceramides-rich.

What's the #1 cause of aging skin?

Almost 80% of skin aging is due to environmental factors like pollution, the sun, smoke.* These environmental factors can create free radicals, which in turn can cause oxidation (a free radical, known as the Reactive Oxygen Species, attacks another molecule and steals an electron from it, setting off a chain reaction of free-radical damage to cells. An example of oxidation is an apple turning brown when it is cut and exposed to oxygen in the air). To learn more about the environment, free radicals and how to help stop them in their tracks.

*Baumann, L. “Skin Ageing and Its Treatment,” Journal of Pathology. 2007.