Dry skin is a problem that many people face. Dry skin can develop as a result of various skin conditions stemming from a defect in the skin barrier. These skin conditions include atopic dermatitis in the young, asteatotic eczema and winter xerosis in the elderly. To maintain skin barrier homeostasis, it is crucial to restore and regulate healthy skin pH, microbiome and desquamation. Skin barrier function can be negatively affected by different factors both related to environment and person’s health, including physical and psychological stress. Moisturizers affect the skin barrier differently depending on their composition. Therefore, choosing the best body moisturizer and hydrating moisturizers for dry skin, as well as moisturisers for sensitive skin and eczema should be guided by evidence-based research because all moisturizers are not equal or the same. It is important to consider the industry that persons are working in as some environmental exposures to chemicals, dust, animal feeds etc. can contribute to development of allergies and cause atypical and allergic dermatitis and lead to dry and sensitive skin.
Main factors that affect skin barrier and its integrity include: speed of epidermis renewal which increases with age, ph level which should be between 4.5 and 5.5, lipid content of skin barrier such as ceramides and other lipoproteins, as well as temperature and humidity in the environment. Skin ph is affected by both internal and external factors and is dependent on the environment, nutrition and the stress levels as these factors can potentially increase harmful oxidants in the body and negatively affect skin ph. Certain substances such as niacinamide also known as B3 vitamin significantly promote production of ceramides in the skin. Cold temperatures and decreased humidity can greatly contribute to development of dry and sensitive skins.
There are various moisturisers which affect the skin barrier differently depending on the formulation. The best natural moisturisers containing biologically active ingredients act by restoring homeostasis and restoring strength and integrity of skin barrier. Where others moisturisers do not really affect the skin barrier, or can even damage the skin. People affected by conditions with impaired skin barrier functions, for example atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, need to pay a special attention to the choice of body and facial moisturisers for a long-term treatment and control of their skin condition and reduction of skin sensitivity.
Overall, controlling environment, reduction of stress, healthy nutrition, and proper chosen moisturisers play a crucial role for keeping skin barrier intact and affect health and appearance of the skin on face and body.