What Are Skin Lipids?

Skin is a large, vital, and complicated organ. Its primary job is to provide an exterior layer that keeps the good things in while keeping the bad stuff out. The hydrophobic epidermis (the skin's outermost layer) acts as a barrier by reducing transcutaneous water loss (TEWL).
Lipids are required for the maintenance of this barrier; they decide whether your skin becomes oily or dry.

You've undoubtedly heard about cholesterol, ceramides, and essential fatty acids as part of your diet or skin care regimen. Most individuals are unaware that these three chemicals, known as lipids, are already present in their skin and play an important part in how their skin looks and ages. Keep on reading to find how how important skin lipids and it benefits you in your skincare routine.

Girl applying Serum to repair skin barrier lipids

what are functions of skin lipids in skincare?

Lipids are the healthy skin fats that exist underneath our epidermal layer and keep everything else in place. Skin lipids are created naturally by our bodies, but we may assist replace them from outside sources. Lipids are essential to the overall operation of our skin barrier, which aids in water retention and the maintenance of skin firmness, elasticity, bounce, texture, and tone (everything).

The Skin Microbiota, Lipid Barrier, and Acid Mantle are the three main components of the skin's most outermost defence systems.

  1. The Lipid Barrier, also known as the Skin Barrier or Moisture Barrier, is present in the Stratum Corneum of human skin.

  2. The Stratum Corneum is the epidermis's outermost layer, made up of corneocytes (layers of dead skin cells) and lipids (the skin's natural fats).

  3. The Acid Mantle is a very thin, slightly acidic coating that forms on the surface of human skin and serves as a barrier against bacteria, viruses, and other possible pollutants that may permeate the skin. The sebaceous gland secretes sebum, which when combined with perspiration forms the acid mantle.

However, our body's capacity to generate these essential lipids declines with age; they, like the rest of our physical activities, slow down with age.

Different Types of Lipids in the Skin :

Lipids are the natural fats found in the skin. Lipids are classified into two types: Epidermal and Sebaceous.

  • Sebaceous Lipids include triglycerides, wax esters, and squalene.

    Role in the Human Body : Mature sebaceous glands' principal role is to create and exude sebum, a complex mixture of lipids. Human sebum includes lipids not found elsewhere in the body, including epidermal surface lipids like squalene and wax esters. Furthermore, they correspond to crucial skin-protecting components.

  • Epidermal Lipids contain a mixture of ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol.

    Role in the Human Body : Keratinocyte-derived epidermal lipids are critical to the skin's barrier function. These lipids act as a barrier to the passage of water and electrolytes, as well as a barrier to the invasion of microorganisms. The permeability barrier, which restricts water and minerals, is particularly concentrated in the epidermis's outer layers, the stratum corneum (SC)

ingredients that help lipid repair :

Our skin can endure a lot, yet it still need TLC and gentle nurturing. A damaged or impaired skin barrier requires even greater care. Once damaged, it is hard to predict how long it will take to mend and restore because it is entirely dependant on your own scenario. A weakened skin barrier may not usually reveal itself immediately. It might take time for it to develop, or for an allergy or sensitivity to emerge.

How To Increase Lipid In The Skin?
The utilisation of the ingredients listed below might assist you in determining what ingredients to search for in a product that can aid in the skin lipid barrier repair.

  • Ceramides :
    Ceramides are lipids that are essential for skin structure.
    They strengthen the skin's barrier function, preventing moisture loss and keeping it moisturised and supple.
    In addition, the skin barrier defends the body from diseases, irritants, and environmental pollutants.

  • Glycerine :

    Fats and oils are three-fatty acid glycerol esters. They are required in the diet as sources of important fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, which tend to bind to lipids. They are also an important element of your diet and skincare regimen

  • Squalane :
    Squalene, the major component of skin surface polyunsaturated lipids, has certain skin benefits as an emollient and antioxidant, as well as for hydration and anticancer activity.
    It's also employed in topically applied vehicles including lipid emulsions and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs).

  • Sodium PCA :
    Sodium PCA aids in the formation of intercellular lipids, which hold your cells together and keep them attached.
    It maintains the health of your skin's outermost layer.
    Sodium PCA decreases the danger of bacteria and allergy assault while preventing moisture loss.

  • Hyaluronic Acid :
    The lipid barrier is strengthened by hyaluronic acid.
    The result is less fine lines and wrinkles, as well as protection against things like dark spots.
    The skin is also better equipped to endure environmental impacts when its lipid barrier is reinforced.

  • Niacinamide :
    There is also evidence that topical niacinamide can stimulate the formation of ceramides (lipids that help maintain the skin's protective barrier), which may contribute to its topical effects on wrinkles, fine lines, and the skin's moisture barrier.

  • Centella Asiatica (also called Cica) :
    Centella asiatica extract can improve skin hydration and minimise water loss.
    It also protects your skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals and aids in the restoration and maintenance of your skin's natural barrier.

  • Essential Fatty Acids (derived from plant oils) :
    Omega 6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the form of linoleic fatty acids help to construct the skin's lipid barrier, as well as its metabolism and overall health. Omega 6 EFAs aid in the prevention of bacterial infection, dehydration, irritation, and dryness.

  • Cholesterol :
    Cholesterol (Chol) is a key lipid in the skin barrier. Because some Chol is phase separated, the physiological amount of Chol in the stratum corneum (SC) seems to surpass its miscibility with other barrier lipids.

  • Urea :
    Urea increases skin barrier function, including antimicrobial defence, via controlling gene expression in keratinocytes involved in differentiation and the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides. It is also important in controlling keratinocyte growth.

  • Phospholipids :
    Phospholipids are important membrane lipids that are made up of lipid bilayers.
    This fundamental cellular structure serves as a barrier to protect the cell from numerous external stresses while also allowing diverse cellular functions to occur in subcellular compartments.

  • Panthenol :

    Panthenol aids in the maintenance of the skin's barrier. The emollient qualities of panthenol aid in the maintenance of a healthy skin barrier. The natural oils and lipids in your skin barrier protect it from water loss, allergies, and pathogens.

External factors that might damage the lipid barrier

  • An excessively humid or dry atmosphere.
  • Use of soaps and detergents that may remove the lipid or moisture barrier from the skin.
  • Excessive cleaning and exfoliation.
  • Product excess and improper product/active ingredient stacking can affect the skin's pH.
  • Any substance that may trigger sensitivity or an allergic response in you.
    What works perfectly well for someone else may cause a response in you.
  • Pollutants, bacteria, pathogens, and allergies are all examples of pollutants.
  • Excessive exposure to the sun.

internal factors that might damage the lipid barrier

  • Hormonal changes, such as oestrogen insufficiency during perimenopause and menopause, can induce greater sensitivity by impairing the epidermal barrier's capacity to repair.

  • The Lipid barrier is thinning, your skin may take longer to recover from wounds, bruises, or breakouts. The skin may also lose its ability to protect itself against internal and external stressors (free radicals and oxidative stress)

  • Genetics may have a role in the development of skin illnesses such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

bottom line : Lipids in skincare

Lipids are the natural fats found in the skin. They are necessary skin components that play an important part in maintaining the strength of the skin's protective barrier, which maintains moisture, protects the skin from harm, and keeps dirt and contaminants out. They also assist in the natural healing of the skin. While there are many different kinds of lipids, these three are the most common and necessary for the skin.

Read more here and the products we have to offer to help Protect and Repair the Skin barrier Lipid : How To Increase Lipids With Depology Products