As we all know, the skin is the largest organ in our body. However, there are still a lot of people who tend to overlook the importance of taking good care of our skin. Skin is a barrier between the inside of our body and the outside world. Without this barrier, germs, bacteria, and other pathogens can penetrate our bodies and cause severe harm.
To take good care of our skin, we first must understand the anatomy of the skin. Our skin is divided into 3 layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. In this article, we will focus on the epidermis, particularly a sublayer layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum.
The stratum corneum, aka skin barrier, is the outermost layer of our skin. This layer is like a brick wall, with each skin cell acting like a brick. Fats, like ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol, are the ‘mortar’ glueing the ‘bricks’ together. Together these factors are called the natural moisturizing factor, which is essential for the hydration of the stratum corneum.
Our skin barrier takes up several roles in protecting our skin; they are:
- Protection from a stressed environment: Many things can damage our skin daily, i.e. sunshine, pollution, toxins, UV rays, etc. However, our skin barrier will take up the job of protecting our skin from these external stressors.
- Hydration: The skin barrier also regulates water loss by retaining water in our body, which keeps our skin hydrated and glowy.
Our skin barrier is also a direct reflection of our skin. Not only does it protect and hydrate our skin, but it also tells us how healthy our skin is. If our skin barrier is healthy, this keeps our skin hydrated, glowy, smooth, and elastic. However, if your skin barrier is unhealthy, it leads to dehydrated, dull, and dry-looking skin. Therefore, taking good care of our skin barrier is crucial to having healthy-looking skin.