All these parts work together to fortify and support each other. For example, the skin microbiome is able to help produce byproducts (called postbiotics) such as lipids and peptides to feed back into the stratum corneum. On the flip side, when one is weak, it can hinder the rest. For example, if the acid mantle is disrupted, it can change the microflora of the biome or strip the moisture barrier of lipids.
And why is it so vital to tend to all these parts? Because a strong skin barrier literally means a better protected body. “It protects us from mechanical injury, low humidity, cold, heat, sun, wind, chemical exposure, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens,” explains board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MDstating that, “a healthy barrier is critical to normal skin function.”
As with most things in health: Knowing the full, robust structure of the barrier can help us better understand how to help and care for it.