Skin needs to maintain water balance with the environment for ideal function. The epidermis, or outer layer, acts as a partial water barrier, helping to regulate the amount of water in the dry skin and requires more than 10% to function properly.
This water is used to ensure that the other vital part of the barrier, the lipid (fatty acids) structures between the cells of the stratum corneum (outer most layer of skin), is maintained in a fluid state. Damage to the stratum corneum – for example, by washing with harsh soaps, which removes both external and internal lipids – can disrupt this barrier and set up a ‘vicious circle’ of drying. For a gentler alternative try Neutral 0% Hand Wash which effectively removes dirt and grime whilst respecting the skin’s natural pH, to minimise the risk of skin irritation and skin allergic reactions.