The key to glowing skin: Skin Barrier Creams

27. September 2023

It’s natural for our skin to lose water, but it becomes problematic when it loses too much. The result? Dry, dull skin that shows signs of aging and fatigue (source: National Library of Medicine)  that even the best foundation can’t hide.

The skin barrier – a marvel of nature

In our IOI CARE Studio in Hamburg, we follow current trends to develop suitable formulations and ingredients for our customers. One topic that remains a constant discussion in the dynamic world of cosmetics is the skin barrier. The term is well known but is becoming increasingly important in modern skin care.

In a nutshell: The skin barrier is our first “line of defence” against external factors. It provides protection against bacteria and environmental influences and regulates the water balance. Even if the cornea (stratum corneum, the outermost skin layer of the epidermis) only has a water content of 10% – 20%, it is very important for functionality as well as for the feel and appearance of the skin. (Wassergehalt des Stratum corneum: Bedeutung, Abhängigkeiten, Meßmethoden, therapeutische Beeinflußbarkeit | SpringerLink).

How can the skin barrier be strengthened?

Besides humectants such as glycerin, propylene glycol or PCA, actives like hyaluronic acid or natural ester oils (e.g. MIGLYOL® 8810 ECO) can help to increase skin hydration. The effectiveness can be measured with a corneometer (read more in our article: “MIGLYOL® 8810 ECO – The water-light Feel-Good-Emollient goes green“).

Here slugging comes into play to keep the moisture in the skin. Slugging has nothing to do with snails; however, the interpretation of leaving a “slime trail” fits the topic. The idea is to prevent moisture loss (TEWL) from the skin with a thick layer of petroleum jelly as the final step in the Skin Care Night Time Routine, thus restoring the skin barrier overnight. The result is smooth, glowing skin the next morning. In addition to Vaseline, other film-forming ingredients such as lanolin, SOFTISAN® 649 or even the liquid MIGLYOL® 829 ECO are also suitable for “slugging”. You can read more about the properties of SOFTISAN® 649 in the article: SOFTISAN® 649 – A cocooning Shield for Skin and Hair in Wintry Weather.

Ceramides or squalane, which are part of the stratum corneum (Human stratum corneum lipids: characterization and regional variations – ScienceDirect), can also be added to further support the suppleness of the skin. Natural oils with a high content of linoleic acid, such as evening primrose oil, safflower oil or grape seed oil, are also known to gently strengthen the skin barrier. And natural ester oils such as MIGLYOL® Coco 810 can provide soft, nourished and moisturized skin too, thanks to their structure and emollient effect.

The combination of moisturizing, film-forming and softening ingredients, along with a healthy lifestyle that includes drinking plenty of water and avoiding aggressors such as too strong physical or chemical peelings or UV radiation, can lead to a strengthened skin barrier.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about our natural emollients, emulsifiers and multifunctionals for barrier creams. The Skin Care experts at CARE Studio look forward to your message.

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Insa Waller

Insa Waller has a background in cosmetic chemistry and marketing. Before joining IOI, she gained experience in B2C product development (skin care) and production. After a position as sales manager (german-speaking countries), Insa moved to the CARE Studio, IOI Oleo's in-house showroom and application lab in Hamburg, as an application engineer. Since graduating with a degree in marketing, she also works as technical marketing. Insa has a passion for cosmetics, fashion and trends and enjoys going for a run.