Skin “resilience” is a scientific term that has to do with the state and “function” of the skin at the epidermis level. Learn why dermatologists are focusing more and more on skin resilience, also known as “epidermal functionality,” as a major indicator of overall skin health. Most importantly, find out what you can do to make your skin as resilient as possible for an age-defying complexion and more!
What is Skin Resilience?
You may have heard the term “resilience” in reference to someone who is able to “bounce back” after a pitfall or setback. But resilience has a physically tangible meaning as well. When it comes to the health and condition of your skin, resilience refers to the ability of the skin to recover quickly from damage or injury. How skin recovers from any stressor, such as a wound, a sunburn, or simply the day-to-day exposure to pollutants can tell the tale about our skin’s health in general, especially as one ages.
According to a recent trend analysis conducted by Happi, the cosmetics industry’s leading trade magazine, “(t)he traditional focus in skin aging has been centered around changes in the dermal skin layer, however, skin resilience is an expansion of skin care to include the significant visible and sensorial benefits that can be achieved with a focus on the skin barrier—the epidermis.” (1)
Skin Resilience and the Epidermis
What makes the epidermis so important that an entire industry would now be focusing on it?
The epidermis is the topmost layer of skin and the only one that is visible to the eye. Its primary function is as a protective barrier and boundary from all those stressors we were talking about above. Its other job is to make sure that the skin does not dry out (i.e., desiccate).
That is it in a nutshell but, of course, there is so much more to “the story.” In the deepest layer of the epidermis (called the germinative layer), new skin cells are being created in a process called mitosis. Pigment is also produced through a chain reaction between specialized cells called melanocytes, a pigmentation substance called melanin, and environmental factors, namely the sun.
In a fascinating 24/7 cycle of renewal, new cells are being pushed upwards from the bottom layer of your epidermis and through the various stratums of the middle layer. Once there, they use their pigmented, dying bodies to act as tiny shields for new cells at the lower levels. It is similar to how a pair of sunglasses might protect your eyes; the brighter it is outside, the darker you are going to want your sunglasses to be. Likewise, the more intense the sun, the more melanin goes into the cell and the darker the skin in general becomes.
Finally, at the very top of the epidermis lies the dead cells (called squamous cells) which are there specifically to provide a powerful front-line protective boundary from the outside world. (2)
But there is even more! The epidermis is also the home to yet another cycle for skin and whole-body health. This one is specifically designed to hold moisture in the body (and likewise, keep all of your organs and tissues from drying out). The semi-permeable stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the epidermis, is responsible for keeping bacteria, pollutants, and other harmful pathogens out of the body while it strives to keep moisture in. It does this in large part through the sebaceous glands, which create a waxy “lipid” substance on the surface of the skin called sebum. Sebum is dually designed to protect as well as to keep skin soft, supple, and moist.
What You Can Do to Keep Your Epidermis Resilient
No doubt you are beginning to see how super important the epidermis is for everyday function and also to allow the skin to “bounce back” after any stress. Here are three simple ways you can help your skin up its resiliency level:
#1 Encourage new cell growth and collagen production
The ability to “bounce back” from stressors really relies on your skin’s ability to continuously produce new skin cells. This is foundational and must take place so that all the other functions of the epidermis (mentioned above) can happen. You can help your epidermis with this by first focusing on collagen production.
Using high quality skincare products that contain naturally occurring vitamin C is a great way to start. C is vital for both the production and the synthesis of collagen in the skin and in the body as a whole. Each one of the products in the CHARLíS Face Collection as well as the CHARLíS Body Collection contain some amount of citrus, whether it is organic sweet orange, grapefruit, mandarin, or bergamot. Citrus in the form of sustainably produced, all-natural essential oil is one of the very best ways to reap the benefits of vitamin C for the face and the whole body. Marigold flower extract has also been shown to help kickstart collagen production as well. For a double dose of collagen support be sure to check out the CHARLíS Breath of Life Serum, which contains both citrus as well as marigold flower extract.
#2 Be liberal with antioxidants
Protection is the name of the game when it comes to the main function of the epidermis. You can help it do its job by stocking up on antioxidants both on the inside and the outside of your body. On the inside, go for the colorful whole foods—the brighter the better! Deep green kale, brilliant red cabbage and, of course, those amazing berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) are a great start. And don’t forget the healthy oils, especially omega 3 fatty acids found in olive oil, salmon, some nuts and some leafy greens like kale. Omegas can help lower inflammation and smooth blemishes and irritations in the skin as well, according to research. (3)
On the surface, your skin can benefit from the protective power of antioxidants as well. Again, non-GMO, organic vitamin C sources are definitely something to look for, but also little-known herbal antioxidant dynamos like rosemary. Rosemary is also an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial and is one of the “star ingredients” in the all new CHARLíS Orange Blossom Shower Gel, which is part of the CHARLíS Body Collection.
#3 Focus on hydration
The first thing you can do to help your skin retain moisture is to be sure to drink enough fresh, filtered water every single day. This basically means, for most people, ingesting half your weight in ounces daily (although the exact amount may vary from person to person depending on age, climate, and a whole host of other factors). There is no doubt, however, that as a general rule, upping your water intake can take the look and feel of your skin to the next level. In fact, inadequate water intake can be noticeable on the skin fairly quickly in the form of flakiness, dryness, blemishes and “spots,” and wrinkles. (4)
Of course, on the outside the most important thing you can do is be consistent in using a high quality, all natural moisturizer like the CHARLíS Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer. This moisturizer is gentle enough to use throughout the day for dry skin types and its fresh citrus scent is great for both men and women. This unique formula also combines Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oleosomes which provide time-released, long-lasting moisture. It also contains organic Argania spinosa seed kernel oil. Argan is rich in vitamin E as well as essential fatty acids that can heal as well as retain moisture. In fact, studies have found that argan oil has the ability to clear up scarring and stretch marks if used regularly. (5) Theobroma grandiflorum (cupuaçu) seed butters and organic perilla ocymiodes seed oil (part of the mint family) are also “star ingredients” of this deeply moisturizing formula.
Resilience Means Beautiful, Age-Defying Skin!
Beautiful, healthy skin must occur on all levels- hypodermis, dermis, and epidermis. The “litmus test” for overall skin resilience, however, can be found at the epidermal level. Maintaining resilience is especially important as we age.
With a few key ingredients, the best luxury skincare around (i.e., CHARLíS!), and a few lifestyle hacks, you and your skin will be “bouncing back” to beautiful in no time!
(1) Skin Resilience: The Future of Skin Care R&D
(2) Anatomy, Skin (Integument), Epidermis
(3) Omega-3 Versus Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammatory Skin Diseases
(4) Changes in the skin characteristics associated with dehydration and rehydration
(5) The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity