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When it comes to skin care we often hear about lipids. What exactly are they and what do they do? Lipids are another word for fats and are made up of ceramides and fatty acids located in the outermost layer of the skin. They contribute to the skin's natural barrier function by forming a cushion around skin cells to keep out external irritants and bacteria while at the same time keeping in moisture.

Lipids can be depleted by harsh cleansers that strip the skin of moisture and natural oils, by bathing or showering with hot water excessive periods of time, or from exposure to low humidity levels.  When lipids are lost, dry skin follows along with decreased elasticity.  The skin's ability to "bounce back" declines and we lose that youthful dewiness we all want.

A loss of lipids also compromises the skin barrier function and allows bacteria, irritants and microorganisms to enter and cause infection and inflammation.  If left untreated, dry skin can lead to dehydrated skin with more long-term consequences such as crepiness, wrinkles, sagging, scaly skin and transepidermal water loss.

[Link Removed]  is a measure of the amount of water that passes from inside a body to the outside via the epidermis. The water loss occurs via diffusion and evaporation and is continual and beyond our control.  If excessive, you may need to consult your physician. Prescription treatments including steroid creams may be needed to restore the skin's barrier system.

Although we normally associate dry skin with winter, lipid depletion can also occur during the summer with continued exposure to air conditioning and sun so it's important to replenish the skin's moisture levels with lotions and creams like [Link Removed] .  All three are specially formulated to replenish lipids and keep your skin healthy and soft.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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