In the previous three articles we discussed the ongoing need of our skin for proper moisturization to prevent premature aging and to maintain a healthy, youthful skin appearance. As also mentioned previously we said that …
Moisturization of the skin means: 1) increasing water holding capacity, 2) increasing lipids in the outer skin layers, 3) aiding intra-cellular hydration for living skin cells, and, 4) prevention of loss of water to the external environment. Each of these plays a part in maintaining the proper water and lipid balance for healthy skin. The very best moisturizing products, using all-natural ingredients, will implement all four of these techniques, and thus, address your total moisturization needs for an outstanding skin appearance.
In the last segment we addressed point #2 which recommended the need for lipid supplementation of the skin for many who have skin dryness issues; and the best type of lipids for this application. In this final segment on moisturizers let’s look at an aspect of skin hydration which is very needful, but often overlooked in skin moisturizer formulas. This is the function of assisting in the hydration of living epidermal cells that must have water for proper cell metabolism, and good skin health.
These living epidermal skin cells, produced in the bottom Basale layer, progress upward to the outer layer of the epidermis medically termed the Stratum Corneum (SC). As these living cells become part of the SC, they die and flatten out into keratin protein providing the tough semi-permeable outer armor we usually call skin. This layer is composed of 15–20 layers of flattened cells which, over time, slough off, and are replaced with new keratin recently formed from the living skin cells below. This process is necessary to continually replace our outer skin layers and maintain our skin thickness. It is very important that these living skin cells under the SC are also well hydrated and kept healthy so that they can fulfill their function. Outstanding skin moisturizers provide one or more means to aid not only SC hydration, but living skin cell hydration as well.
An excellent way to aid live skin cell hydration is supplementing with glycoproteins/polysaccharides. Generally, proteins are found floating in or around the membrane of cells. They move and can interact with the cell's environment. “Glyco” is a scientific term which means “sugar.” Glycoproteins are simply proteins with a sugar attached to them. They have many good functions in skin care, one of which is increased hydration of epidermal cells due to their water-binding polysaccharides. These act to maintain intracellular hydration. They bring water directly into the cells by enhancing osmosis. This intracellular hydrating activity makes these components the perfect choice for any formula designed to support skin function and appearance, especially anti-aging skin care. This hydration assistance allows the cells to function more efficiently and helps to prevent damage and the dehydration responsible for the look of parched, sallow, and discolored skin. The true key to the look of healthy skin is hydration. Unlike traditional humectants, which draw moisture from the environment, glycoproteins add hydration directly into the living epidermal cell due to their abundant source of saccharides.
Natural sources of these cell hydrating glycoproteins found in Stemology moisturizing products are derived from plants, and include the following … Beet Root Extract, Yerba Santa Extract, Imperata Cylindrica Extract, and Sea Kelp & Algae extracts. All these have been scientifically tested and shown to assist intracellular hydration, providing a healthier, more youthful skin appearance.
This fourth technical brief finishes up our unit on skin moisturization and moisturizer products. We hope this greatly helps in your understanding of the issues surrounding dry skin and why moisturizing is so important in maintaining healthy skin, and mitigating aging. We also hope it provides a clear understanding of why we believe Stemology offers what can be called outstanding moisturizing products.
Dr. Hal Simeroth
Chief Science Officer
Stemology Skin Care