The Anatomy of our skin
The skin is the single largest organ in our body, acting as a barrier that protects our body from the harsh elements of the outside world. Our skin has three layers:
– Epidermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone. It is composed primarily of cells known as keratinocytes.
– Dermis. The dermis which is beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
– Hypoderm. The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of our skin. The cellular structure of the epidermis also forms a highly renewable and effective barrier against germs. When skin is healthy and intact, it is difficult for bacteria and viruses to make an entrance. It also prevents fluid loss from our body.
Depending on the location in our body, the epidermis is composed of four or five main strata, or layers, namely the Stratum Corneum, Stratum Lucidum, Stratum Granulosum, Stratum Spinosum and Stratum Basale.
The top layer of epidermis, Stratum Corneum consists of dead keratinocytes known as corneocytes. These corneocytes are constantly being sloughed off from normal wear and tear. To maintain this outermost layer, these corneocytes must be replaced as rapidly as they are sloughed off.
Keratinocytes are produced in the Stratum Basale which is the lowest layer of the epidermis. These keratinocytes then migrate upward towards the Stratum Corneum through the Stratum Spinosum, then Stratum Granulosum (and sometime the Stratum Lucidum) before reaching its final destination, the Stratum Corneum. As the keratinocytes migrate, they differentiate before dying to form tightly linked protein-filled corneocytes with dense protein envelope.
The Stratum Corneum
The Stratum Corneum which constitute the skin barrier is our body’s first line of defence against harmful environmental chemicals, germs and radiation, and fluid loss. Therefore, maintaining the structure and integrity of the stratum corneum is vitally important to a healthy and attractive skin.
These illustrations will take you through the important components of the stratum corneum.
The stratum corneum is about 12-16 corneocyte thick. It is often described as having a “brick and mortar” structure where the corneocytes or “bricks” are surrounded by lipids or “mortar”. The lipids are arranged in highly-organised water-soluble lamellar complexes consisting of two layers of lipids. Naturally occurring water-soluble bi-lipid membranous complexes are widely found in cells and other cellular structures. These bi-lipid membranous complexes are key to the skin barrier function.
Our skin loses about 40-80 mg of lipids a day in normal conditions and this loss is compensated by lipid synthesis in the skin. However, this compensation is inadequate in harsh dry condition where there is excessive loss or when lipid production is reduced with age. When lipid loss and lipid synthesis are not in equilibrium, xerosis (dry skin) results to compromise our skin barrier.
Liposomes are lipid vesicles that are synthesized to resemble natural bi-lipid membrane structures. They have a water core. The water solubility and the lipid composition attributes of liposomes enable liposomes to readily penetrate the skin barrier to deliver lipids and water where they are most needed.
Every day, the top layers of corneum stratum are sloughed off together with 40-60 mg of skin lipids. Water loss via Trans Epidermal Water Loos (TEWL) also depletes water in our skin. Therefore, daily fortification of the skin barrier with skin lipids and water is critical in maintaining a robust skin barrier and a healthy skin. Vesiderm Liposomes are uniquely equipped to fortify the skin barrier as they can penetrate skin barrier to deliver their cargo of skin lipid precursors and water where they are most needed.
Vesiderm™ Liposomes are made of egg yolk lipids because they are rich in stratum corneum lipid precursors and could supplement our skin lipids.
In Vesiderm™ Liposomes, the lipids are configured into water-soluble bi-lipid globular structures with a water core. Such structures enable Vesiderm™ Liposomes to be absorbed rapidly into the skin. They also facilitate the efficient and correct integration of the lipids into our skin structure for maximum reinforcement of the skin barrier.