Researchers now have an explanation for how the environment impacts skin changes. Results from the Faculty of Science at Lund University in Sweden show that the skin regulates itself based on air conditions. These new insights on how skin functions are always of interest to us.
The skin’s outer layer is described as a thin, film like barrier. They found that this outer layer changes properties, allowing more or less water to penetrate its surface, depending on whether the surrounding air is moist or dry. The mechanism for such changes occurs on a molecular level. What’s fascinating is how the skin regulates itself based on the environment. Changes in the nanostructure inside the skin’s barrier film were examined using X-ray and microscopy.
The researchers also found that properties of secondary barrier films such as skin cream play a role. “A layer of skin cream can serve as an additional barrier that can open or close due to changes in humidity. The cream can also be designed so as to release its active substance better or worse, depending on whether the air is dry or humid,” says Emma Sparr, who led the study with Dr. Kevin Roger.
It’s interesting to know that by changing external conditions, such as humidity levels, it’s possible to affect the barrier function. While this may all sound rather geeky, knowing what lets more molecules through is of practical use when formulating a skin care product. The science behind such research also guides us on how best to recommend usage of our products.
Understanding the science behind how the skin regulates itself and how substances penetrate the skin can lead to healthy skin benefits. It’s an example of the awesome power of science and nature working together for better skin care solutions.