Do you still exfoliate your face?
Do you still exfoliate your face?
Yet, protecting the “stratum corneum” is more important. This article will explain the importance of “stratum corneum protection” and the different exfoliation methods.
Why does the skin become dry and sensitive after exfoliating? This is because frequent exfoliation makes the skin more fragile. To keep your skin moisturized you need to protect the “stratum corneum”. The stratum corneum is the skin’s outermost layer and forms a natural barrier to retain water and keep the skin bright and plump. This article will further clarify the purpose of the stratum corneum, and explain the difference between exfoliating and protecting the stratum corneum. You will learn how to properly take care of the stratum corneum to regain healthy and bright radiant skin.
What is the stratum corneum?
It is the outermost protective layer of the skin, composed mainly of lipids and and keratin.
The stratum corneum as the outermost layer of the epidermis primarily functions as a barrier between the deeper layers of skin and the environment, protecting your skin against dehydration, toxins and bacteria. The stratum corneum is composed of about 15-20 layers of dead cells. The skin will continue to produce new cells, pushing the dead cells toward the surface of the skin, so that the outermost old cells will gradually fall off, forming a natural metabolic cycle.
What is the main function of the stratum corneum?
To moisturize and protect the skin.
The skin's moisturizing ability comes from the sebaceous membrane secreted by the sebaceous glands, as well as the lipids, naturally produced in the process of stratum corneum metabolism, and natural moisturizing factors. The stratum corneum will spread the oil metabolized by the dead keratin evenly on the surface of the skin, which can reduce water evaporation and moisturize the skin. Basically, as long as healthy skin is fully moisturized to allow the normal metabolism of the stratum corneum, it can strengthen the skin's defenses, which in turn help maintain translucent, delicate and luminous skin without the need to exfoliate.
Since there is no need to exfoliate, why are there so many exfoliating products on the market? The following will present a detailed explanation of the difference between stratum corneum care and exfoliation to provide you with the correct method of stratum corneum maintenance.
Should I take care of the stratum corneum by avoiding exfoliation?
No, however “proper” exfoliation is needed and will be explained below. The metabolic cycle of normal skin is 21 to 28 days. Although dead skin cells will flake off naturally, it will also be affected by multiple factors such as aging, hormonal changes, stress, excess work and lack of sleep, which will lead to a longer metabolic cycle. Stratum corneum care is needed to maintain the metabolic cycle of keratin through a daily skin care routine which helps to avoid excessive accumulation of dead keratin and helps maintain the stability of the skin. If the rate of stratum corneum metabolism is abnormal, it will easily lead to the accumulation of too much dead keratin, resulting in rough and acne-prone skin and a dull complexion. When this excess accumulation occurs, there will then be a need to exfoliate. We will next highlight key points and steps to consider when exfoliating.
How to properly exfoliate your skin?
Introduction to the two (2) principles of exfoliation and explaining the composition of exfoliating ingredients.
There are two types of exfoliants, physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation uses gritty particles such as microbead exfoliating products to remove the top layer. Chemical exfoliation uses acids and enzymes to dissolve the links holding the skin cells together. To exfoliate properly and safely take care of your skin through exfoliation, you must understand the two principles of exfoliation and the composition of the ingredients used in both exfoliants.
Physical exfoliation removes the top layer of the skin by physically rubbing against your skin’s surface, almost like using sandpaper to polish the skin and remove the stratum corneum on the skin's surface. The common ingredients of physical exfoliating products include:
• Microcrystalline Cellulose
• Prunus Armeniaca Seed Powder
• Juglans Mandshurica Shell Powder
• Sea Salt
The chemical exfoliation uses acids, enzymes and other ingredients to break the chain of keratinocytes and once these bonds are broken can easily be washed away with a simple wipe and water.
The ingredients of common chemical exfoliating products include:
- Glycolic Acid
- Malic Acid
- Tartaric Acid
- Pyruvic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Capryloyl Salicylic Acid
- Lactobionic Acid
- Mandelic Acid
Both methods, physical and chemical exfoliation, promote stratum corneum metabolism through external force, and even simple daily cleansing steps such as using cotton pads, makeup removers, and mild face cleansers can take away dead keratin. However, if you do not understand the different types of exfoliations, you may be likely to scratch your healthy skin and damage your skin barrier particularly if you continue your usual skincare routine; using a face wash in the morning, a makeup remover in the afternoon, an enzyme facial cleanser at night, and finishing with an exfoliating product. This type of routine will over-clean your skin and make it fragile and dry. It is recommended that you carefully review your daily skincare routine to avoid excessive burden on your skin.
What are the methods to protect the stratum corneum? There are three (3) steps to moisturize and provide the best care to your skin.
Using harsh exfoliating products can strip the outer layer of skin, taking away more than just dead skin cells, but also damaging our skin and exposing our skin to the environment. Therefore, in recent years, doctors have begun promoting the new concept of " stratum corneum protection", correcting our previous understanding of exfoliation. The following will provide daily care instructions to care for the stratum corneum.
Step 1: Gentle cleansing
Choose mild facial cleansers and makeup removers, gently massage the face and avoid vigorous rubbing. Rinse with warm and cold water to take away the dust and residual cosmetics on the face.
Step 2: Gently pat your face dry after washing to keep the stratum corneum moist
After washing your face, do not rush to dry off your face. Instead, gently pat dry your face and use facial lotion to keep the stratum corneum in a moist state. This will help with the absorption of the subsequent stratum care products.
Step 3: Use stratum corneum care products to strengthen moisturizing absorption
To help maintain healthy metabolism of your skin, you must use proper moisturizes suitable for your skin type to help with the absorption of skin care products designed to moisture and protect the stratum corneum.
Has this article given you a new understanding of stratum corneum protection? I hope it has impressed on you the importance of maintaining a healthy metabolism of your stratum corneum through daily moisturizing and avoiding excessive cleansing. You can easily have natural, radiant skin without harsh exfoliates.
Stratum corneum care starts now!
Use Cypress Thera T4 Essence, a recommended stratum corneum care product.
Cypress Thera T4 Essence is developed with medical-grade technology and uses liposomes to
coat T4N5 enzymes to enhance the penetration rate of the enzymes and penetrate deep into the cells for repair. The first step of maintenance starts with the Stratum Corneum by repairing and regaining its healthy rate of metabolism.