Skincare aficionados love talking about the outer layer of skin – the stratum corneum, our skin’s gatekeeper. It is a semi-permeable membrane comprised of flattened, dead skin cells (keratinocytes) and a tightly-packed collagen network.
The stratum corneum serves as a barrier to protect underlying tissue from infection, dehydration and chemicals. It also blocks penetration of many of the skincare products applied to the skin. For example, one ingredient common in many skincare products on the market today is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)—known for its hydrating effects. But most types of HA are comprised of molecules that are too large to penetrate the skin’s outermost layer.
Were the stratum corneum not in place, skincare could deliver actives to the underlying layers directly and without needles. Botox would be delivered as an ointment! But instead, because of the stratum corneum, hyaluronic acid (HA)-based dermal fillers or injectables were invented to deliver HA into the deeper layers of our skin.
But hyaluronic acid has another critical role to play in skin’s care.
Those who have experienced eczema, dry-rashy skin or other serious conditions understand the value of the stratum corneum more than most. When the stratum corneum is damaged—whether from self-induced chaffing (like runners experience after completing a marathon), eczema or following radiation therapy—we greatly miss its protection.
Thus, one critical component to keep skin healthy is to maintain the integrity of the stratum corneum. When it breaks down, a temporary moisture barrier is needed to facilitate the skin’s process of self-repair. “Broken skin” alters our immune system—sending it into a heightened state that can create a cascading inflammatory response.
My son has severe food allergies and eczema-prone skin. I have learned from him and his allergist the treatment protocol to get his skin intact: use a steroidal cream to decrease inflammation followed by a moisturizer to keep the skin protected and hydrated.
Unfortunately, most body moisturizers contain harsh preservatives buried in a long ingredient list. Or they rely on fillers such as mineral oil and petrolatum that can seal the skin, but then prevent it from breathing—another key factor in the skin’s ability to heal itself.
Enter Body Enrich, our 8-ingredient, silk-based moisturizer with shea butter, and jojoba and coconut* oils. Our design philosophy was two-fold. One: use minimal, clean, high quality ingredients that create a moisture barrier for the skin while still allowing the skin to breathe. And two: avoid toxicants and allergens, like treenut- and sesame-oils, also common to skincare, both of which may enter the blood stream or further escalate inflammation.
The key: a high concentration of activated liquid silk and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. The more HA we use, the more activated liquid silk we add to stabilize the formula. The benefit: the higher concentration of HA makes the moisture barrier more effective. And for those using for daily moisturizing and firming, the high levels of silk also means a firmer, tighter look and feel to your skin. In this way, our patented silk technology marks an advancement in the way skincare is formulated for the care of skin—moisturized, protected, and toned.
** Note: Though the FDA calls coconut as a “tree nut,” the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) states: “Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. (See: http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/tree-nut-allergy)