In partnership with SA’s top medical aesthetic companies
an ideal world, our skin would function perfectly, without needing any input
from us. But the reality is that even beautiful baby skin is very vulnerable to
loss of water, because its structure isn’t fully developed and functioning
optimally until the age of 2, which is why we need to give it a helping hand.
What is a moisturiser, and what does it
simplest terms, a moisturiser helps your skin to maintain its own natural
moisture – water, that is, keeping the protective skin barrier (a ‘forcefield’
of skin cells and lipids on the skin’s surface) healthy by stopping it
evaporating from the surface, and by trapping it in the skin cells through
drawing water in.
Why is that so important, you
ask? You’ll have heard that our bodies are up to two-thirds water, and water is
vital for our body’s homeostasis, which means its best possible condition or
state for perfect functioning and health. Without optimal water levels, our
body can’t function at its best, and that includes our skin, which is - after
all – our body’s largest organ.
A healthy skin barrier is
vital for skin homeostasis, creating the perfect environment that allows skin
cells to produce and maintain the five elements that are vital to its health
and youth: hydration, collagen and elastin and the fibroblasts that produce
these, as well as vital enzymes.
if our skin is designed to do this naturally, why do we need moisturiser?
fact is that our skin is unique in that a number of factors - genetics,
hormones, our ethnic heritage, lifestyle and even the environment contribute to
our particular skin make-up.
we have dry skin, for instance, this
is genetic. We’re born with skin that doesn’t produce enough of its own moisturising
oils and other factors, so it looks dull and feels tight, rough, flaky and
itchy. Unfortunately, it often goes hand-in-hand with eczema or atopic
dermatitis. Here it is essential that we keep the skin barrier topped up with
lipids to prevent dryness, itching and infection, and it involves a lifelong
treatment with moisturisers and possibly medication.
Normal skin, for those lucky to have it, is skin
that functions perfectly as it should. It has an even skin tone with no flaking
or sheen, but external and internal conditions can change this.
Oily skin overproduces oil, and telltale signs
include larger pores and a sheen that develops during the day. You can either
be born with this, or circumstances (from hormones to stress, etc.) can make
our skin go into oil production overdrive, causing problems like acne.
people have a combination skin -
with an oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin), and drier skin along the cheeks.
sensitive skin is also something we
are born with and signs include the fact that it’s very thin, pale and
to blushing, irritation and redness, and it’s usually accompanied by asthma and
any skin can become sensitised form attack
by pollution and chemicals, irritant fragrances, stress, hormonal fluctuations,
smoking, alcohol, poor diet, medical procedures, over-exfoliation and even harsh
leads to the question…
Do all skin
types - even normal and oily skin
- need to moisturise?
The answer is yes! All skins need
moisture. That’s a fact.
all skin types, including oily, can become dehydrated
when our skin barrier is compromised and water escapes. This means its
ability to protect our body from harmful external elements, such as sunlight,
toxins and pollutants, bacteria and viruses in the air (to name but a few) is
lessened, and the skin can’t perform its important functions properly.
This is why you need to help
skin by giving it ingredients that help to keep the moisture barrier healthy,
as well as other ingredients that trap water in the skin.
If you have oily skin and choose to only cleanse
your skin, thinking that using a moisturiser will worsen your condition, you
could actually be making the situation worse. Using cleansing products can strip
away the protective moisture barrier, which then stimulates the skin to
overproduce oil to try to repair the barrier, so your skin ends up even shinier.
If you don’t
repair the barrier, bacteria can attack the skin and cause acne. This is why
you need a moisturiser with the right lipids that help protect and repair your
skin barrier, without adding extra grease to the mix.
Correctly identifying your skin type is essential in order to
maintain a healthy, good-looking skin. If possible, input from an aesthetic
doctor or dermatologist and their qualified skin-care therapists is first
prize, as they will not only be able to assist in correctly identifying your
skin type, but will also be able to recommend the correct products.
a one-stop solution to medical skincare treatments and products, visit Skin
Renewal’s online store store.skinrenewal.co.za or visit one of their branches nationwide.
Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.