A reconnaissance tour of our peripheral defence system

▻ Skin is the most expanded organ of the integumentary system and the best defence our body has against external aggressions. Our skin is coated with the hydrolipidic film, a thin protective layer mainly made of perspiration, sebum, epidermal lipids and water.

This hydrolipidic film plays a vital sheltering function for our body as it helps our body by:

  • Fighting against dehydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and changes in environmental temperature or humidity;
  • Protecting against UV rays and neutralise free radicals, molecules that can cause cellular damages, deteriorate collagen and elastin and accelerate skin-aging; 
  • Acting as shield against harmful aggressive chemicals and as shock absorber against physical abrasions and excoriations; 
  • Preventing non-resident bacteria, fungi viruses and pollutants to sneak in into our body. This function is enhanced by the acid mantle that keeps the skin’s pH between 4.5 and 6.2: when pathogenic bacteria adjust to such an acidic pH, they are often unable to thrive in the more alkaline environment of our blood.

In order for our hydrolipidic film to function properly and effectively, it needs water. The natural moisturising factor (NMF) is a mixture hygroscopic substances capable of binding to water. Not only it is essential to reduce TEWL, it also captures and retain the environmental humidity our skin comes into contact with. 

Whereas in the past vaseline and mineral oils were used to seal moisture in and recreate a more humid skin environment, modern cosmetology favours more natural mechanisms to preserve and boost the natural moisturising factor. 

For being extremely hydrophilic, long-chained Hyaluronic Acid with a high molecular weight displays a unique capacity to capture and withhold water preserving our skin’s pH still. High-MW hyaluronans, such as SinoHyal H and SinoHyal XH, provide an incredible humectant action, creating hydrated molecules able to retain up to 6,000 times their weight in water. The natural process called hyaluronidase eventually turns high-MW molecules into lower-weight hyaluronans building blocks, which the skin absorbs at deeper levels. As such, by penetrating, they provide our skin with long-term volume, plumpness and a smoother, youthful appearance. They are also used to increase the active ingredients’ ability to penetrate skin or to counteract a dehydrating active ingredients such as soaps or some alcohols. Besides its moisturising effects, high-MW hyaluronans offer a natural skin barrier that shield us from external agents and a further antioxidant protection against free radicals.

By choosing products able to moisturise our skin while maintaining its optimal pH, we protect and enhance our skin, making our peripheral defence system more resilient in the most natural way possible and helping it fulfil its paramount safeguarding role.