Take a (Very) Up-Close Look at Dry Skin and How Moisture Can Restore It

Get an up-close look at how dryness damages your skin and how moisturising makes it visibly healthy again.

This is the top layer of your skin

This image represents your skin’s top protective layer, called the Stratum Corneum. It functions like a brick and mortar wall, protecting you from the outside world.

Take a (Very) Up-Close Look at Dry Skin and How Moisture Can Restore It

The “bricks” are called corneocytes. These protective skin cells give the skin structure and strength and contain Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF). NMFs draw in moisture and hold it in the cell.

The “mortar” is made up of lipids. They form a continuous layer that surrounds the corneocytes – or skin cells (the “bricks”), providing elasticity and flexibility and helping to retain moisture in the skin.

STAGE 1

When your skin is visibly healthy, it helps protect you from the elements

When your skin is visibly healthy, it helps protect you from the elements

Skin that is visibly healthy and properly hydrated is better equipped to defend itself against the causes of dry skin, and can continuously restore itself.

STAGE 2

Then stressors take moisture away from your skin

Then stressors take moisture away from your skin

Skin stressors rob your skin of moisture. Such dry skin causes include everyday factors—dry weather, air-conditioning, even showering (during which water and harsh cleansers can wash away skin’s natural moisturising factors) can weaken the skin cells and deplete the lipid layer. These factors degrade your skin’s barrier, allowing more moisture to escape.

STAGE 3

Skin’s protective ability breaks down

Skin’s protective ability breaks down

As your skin gets drier, there’s a breakdown of normal, healthy processes. Without moisture, skin cells become fragile and your lipid layer becomes tighter and less flexible, setting the stage for cracked or damaged skin. As the moisture barrier becomes weakened and damaged, your skin becomes even more vulnerable to the environment, increasing moisture loss.

STAGE 4

You get dry skin

You get dry skin

Moisture is lost and skin’s protective defences are weakened. Skin feels rough and can start to itch. Its natural exfoliation process is disturbed, causing visible flakes to form. Untreated dryness can lead to painful cracking and make skin more vulnerable to the environment. At a cellular level, corneocyte development is impaired, so skin cells reach the surface underdeveloped and less able to protect against further damage.

STAGE 5

To recover, replenish lost moisture

To recover, replenish lost moisture

A moisturiser will immediately hydrate skin and soften dry, stiff surface cells. Look for lotions with a combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives. Humectants hold water inside the skin, helping to create the right environment for NMF production. Emollients – like stearic acid or triglyceride oils – can replenish the lipid matrix. An occlusive like Vaseline Jelly helps replace the lost protective lipid layer, creating a barrier to lock in moisture and protect against the causes of dry skin.

STAGE 6

Your skin develops healthy cells again

Your skin develops healthy cells again

Healthy, strong cells grow in. The lipid layer is restored and NMF is produced normally. The natural exfoliation of skin’s top layer begins to occur without interruption.

RESTORED

You can get back to healthy looking skin

You can get back to healthy looking skin

Cells are strong and moisture is protected. Skin looks and feels restored. While moisture loss may be unavoidable, regular moisturisation gives you the restoring power to bring back visibly healthy skin.

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