Your skin is the front line defense against bacteria, viruses, fungus and other potential toxins or irritants that maybe caustic to the skin. That’s why it’s important to know how to maintain an intact hydrolipid barrier on the skin.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and absorbs approximately 60% of what you put on it. The fragile barrier that protects is called the hydrolipidic film. The skin’s surface remains impermeable but is not impenetrable. This acidic hydrolipidic film possesses all the of properties required to maintain the skin’s barrier. These glands are found in the greatest number on the face and scalp.
This protective layer is composed of a mixture of sweat, sebum and lipids and is affected by many factors such as area of the body, time of the day, time of the year (season), dietary intact, chronic or acute illness, and external stressors.
In addition, many researchers feel that this barrier may also have pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties. The most important component of the hydrolipid layer is water, which adds to the suppleness and smoothness of the skin. Once the skin barrier is compromised, it can become irritated. The hydrolipid barrier can be damaged from many external agents, including aggressive cleansing products, like over-the-counter soaps and environmental toxins. These external insults prevent the body from self-repairing its protective hydrolipid barrier. When the skin is stripped of sebum from harsh cleansers, the skin can go into sebum-production overdrive. The excess sebum can lead to whiteheads, blackheads and acne.