The hydration of the skin
Many different factors are responsible for the natural moisture condition of the skin. A well formed hydrolipid film with many natural moisturising factors (NMF) is of great importance. They form the perfect interplay with low transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Well filled reservoirs in the connective tissue complete the optimal hydration of the skin. The hydrolipid film is formed by the secretions of the sweat and sebaceous glands. It keeps the skin supple and, together with the acid protection mantle and skin barrier, helps protect the skin from harmful external influences, such as pathogenic bacteria or fungi.
The NMF is composed mainly of amino acids and amino acid derivatives, urea and organic acids such as lactic acid. They are highly hygroscopic (“water attractive”) and therefore able to draw and bind water from the atmosphere. It protects the skin from dehydration and resulting impairments such as dandruff or tension. TEWL is the evaporation of water over the skin. The water balance of the skin is in constant exchange with the air in our environment. In the connective tissue of the skin there are many substances important for the moisture balance. Especially the hyaluronic acid, but also collagen fibers in the connective tissue have good moisture binding properties they keep the skin bouncy and stable.
This fine tuned balance can be disturbed by different influences:
• Genetic predisposition and age
• Too aggressive skin cleansing
• Care products that are not tailored to the current skin needs
• Stress, hustle and bustle, nicotine, high alcohol consumption and especially UV
radiation, wind and cold, air conditioning and heating air
• Lack of moisture supply via beverages
• Progressive skin aging.
This leads not only to a loss of suppleness, to tension sensations and dry, scaly areas, but often also to an increasing sensitivity of the skin. It is stressed and increasingly sensitive to external influences. Therefore, in order to maintain its functions, its barrier properties and its well being, the skin depends on a persistently balanced level of moisture.