Epidermal Barrier and the Natural Oil System. The Importance of choosing the Right Cleanser!
The function and production of the skin’s natural oils and the importance of the skins outer barrier layer,informs us about the cleansing and moisturising needs of your skin.
The skin produces its own natural moisturising complex from the sebaceous glands as well as special lipids released from the skin cells. This complex includes a combination of sebum, free fatty acids, ceremides, triglycerides, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and cholesterol. These all play an important protective role in the functioning of your skin. They help the skin cells bind together and contribute to filling in the gaps, providing a strong and healthy epidermal barrier. A healthy epidermal barrier is vital to high functioning healthy skin that looks and feels great. This has been a major area of understanding and development in dermatological science over the last 6 years.
Doctor Cook likes to draw the analogy of the skins epidermal barrier (outer layer) being like a brick wall. The skin cells are the bricks and the skins natural oil and lipid system forms the mortar keeping everything together. Without adequate amounts of natural moisturising factors skin cells break apart and fragment, leaving little protection. The skin dehydrates causing irritation, inflammation, increased sensitivity and your skin can become dull and appear aged. This also causes skin problems including ageing, eczema, rosacea, sensitivity and acne. A well put together and hydrated epidermis is essential for high functioning healthy youthful skin and to treat and prevent skin disease.
Therefore it is imperative that cleansers do not strip the skin rather they complement and establish balance with the skin’s natural oils, and support the protective barrier layer. As Doctor Cook says, “cleanse without stripping”.
Optimising the Epidermal Barriers and Natural Oil System
The importance of cleansing is greatly underestimated and is all about balance. The balance of cleansing the skin of debri and preparing your skin to absorb all the beneficial ingredients delivered through a skin care range based on the science of dermatology.
The way the skin is cleansed contributes to how the skin performs and doing the wrong type of cleansing can create a multitude of skin problems including acne, eczema, irritation and rosacea. Yes, over cleansing actually makes acne worse! Stripping skin of all of the natural oil sends your skin into overdrive to make compensatory additional oil, creating issues with excessive congestion. It’s a mechanism known as reactive oiliness. Hence foaming cleansers make acne worse, the opposite we are told and sold.
The same with sensitive skin and skin prone to redness. The most important consideration in reducing facial redness is to pick a cleanser that does not cause barrier damage.
To ensure the skin is not stripped of essential natural moisturising factors, foaming cleansers should be avoided. Anything that foams fundamentally contains soap like substances, harsh surfactants or detergents, even if they claim ‘soap free’. These strip your skin of all the ‘good stuff’ that maintains the skins natural barrier. They actually break the barrier down It is equally crucial that cleansers are not excessively heavy or greasy in order to prevent the accumulation of oily residues.
Understanding these complexities lead to the development of the Dr Natasha Cook CosmeceuticalsTM CONCENTRATED CLEANSER. The formulation is detergent and oil free to gently cleanse the skin, remove make-up and debris, without over-stripping it of essential natural moisturising factors, while preparing the skin for absorption of all of the essential active ingredients. These natural moisturising factors are important as they not only nourish the skin, but play a vital part in keeping it moist and fortifying the outer protective layers. These layers form a barrier which protects your skin from potential irritants in the environment such as sun, water detergents and dry weather. Dr Natasha Cook CosmeceuticalsTM CONCENTRATED CLEANSER soothes the skin with anti-inflammatory botanicals including vitamin B3, which are important in assisting the healing of previously damaged, dry or irritated skin. This cleanser is perfect for all skin types especially acne and sensitive skins. So remember Cleanse Without Stripping!