The skin has a natural barrier function that helps to retain moisture and protect against external irritants. This barrier is formed by various components, including the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis), tight junctions between skin cells, and structures called desmosomes and hemidesmosomes that help to anchor cells together.

Several factors can disrupt this barrier and lead to increased trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

When the skin’s barrier is compromised, it loses its ability to retain moisturise effectively. This leads to increased TEWL, where water evaporates from the skin surface more rapidly. As a result, the skin becomes dehydrated, dry, and more prone to irritation and inflammation.

To prevent excessive TEWL and maintain skin hydration, it’s important to support the skin’s barrier function. This can be done by using gentle cleansers, avoiding over-exfoliation, protecting the skin from harsh environmental conditions, and using moisturisers that contain humectants, emollients, and occlusives to help lock in moisture and prevent water loss. Additionally, incorporating a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can also contribute to maintaining a healthy skin barrier.

You can read the full blog post on the Cell Defence website:


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