Maintaining the epidermal barrier as part of preventing skin aging

One of the most important functions of the skin is acting as a powerful barrier which protects the skin from harmful external factors while retaining skin moisture. Disruption of the skin's function as a barrier allows the penetration of allergens, micro-organisms, air pollutants and other harmful substances, and is one of the main causes of skin diseases. In addition, this disruption impairs the skin’s ability to retain moisture and prevent water evaporation from the skin, thereby accelerating skin aging.

The barrier function of the skin is generated by the hydro-lipid system. This system consists of essential elements produced in the skin, including ceramides, amino acids, fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides, linoleic acid, and other hygroscopic substancesthat facilitate water absorption and retention. These substances, known as Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs), include sugar molecules such as hyaluronic acid and glucosaminoglucans, whose important property is their ability to bind large amounts of water, as well as lactic acid, amino acids, urea, sodium PCA, and minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

This hydro-lipid complex acts as an intercellular material, tightly binding the dead cells in the stratum corneum in a special process designed to maintain the skin barrier. Cells from the basal layer at the bottom of the epidermis move upwards, dying and forming the stratum corneum. During their upward movement they also secrete proteins and fats that build up the epidermal barrier. This process results in a turnover of the skin cells in the upper layer every 28 days or so. At the same time, water moves from the dermis (the source of water in the skin) upwards, to the epidermal layers.

With years and aging, the amount of substances that make up the hydro-lipid barrier in the epidermis decreases due to changes related to age and hormones. This process is accelerated by various environmental factors, including low air humidity, exposure to the sun, cold and winds, air pollution, cigarettes etc., which damage the corneal layer and natural skin moisturers, leading to water loss that can cause irreversible damage and accelerate skin aging.

How can the skin barrier be restored?
Cosmetic treatments and preparations that help restore the skin barrier contain the lost components – these are essential to water absorption on the one hand, and others which prevent evaporation on the other hand.

  • Water-absorbing ingredients - these ingredients include amino acids, alpha hydroxy acids, urea and glycerin which are the natural NMFs in the skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid - based on sugar proteins, whose important property is their ability to bind large amounts of water. Thus, the acid provides the skin with moisture and gives it volume, softness and elasticity, making it look smooth, taut and young.
  • Sealing ingredients - these substances include ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol produced naturally in the skin, and help repair the natural fat layers in the hydro-lipid barrier when damaged, as well as hydrophobic substances, which help seal the skin and prevent water evaporation.
  • Vitamins and antioxidants, especially Vitamins A, C and E - these vitamins help prevent the oxidative damage caused by free radicals and which impair, among other things, the skin's ability to retain moisture.

HL Laboratories: Innovative and sophisticated moisturizers

HL Laboratories has developed a number of innovative and sophisticated preparations that help saturate the skin and preserve water.

Vitalise series - this effective series boosts the production of the hyaluronic acid, effectively increasing the moisture level in the skin and preventing natural moisture evaporation. It also improves firmness of the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles, while increasing skin softness and elasticity.
The products in the series are intended for skin characterized by dryness and a lack of moisture, including oily non-moisturized skin. The preparations combine hyaluronic acid with other active ingredients, which help to increase the skin's moisture and improve its firmness, including lactic acid, which has proven effective in accelerating the production of hyaluronic acid; vitamins A, C and E, which help prevent the damage of free radicals that impair the skin's ability to retain moisture, while working to restore moisture retention mechanisms; peptides, which help to rejuvenate the skin and encourage collagen production; a variety of oils, including borage oil, kukui, macadamia and Brazil nuts, all helping to moisturize the skin; green tea, which also acts as an antioxidant.

Bio-Repair Series - works to restore skin that was damaged by environmental factors. The series is based on a unique complex of collagen and elastin which prevents and repairs the damage caused to skin cells and stimulates the internal repair and improvement mechanisms of skin cells. The series is designed for rehabilitating damaged, fatigued and lifeless skin.