A recent New Beauty article had a few of us yearning to learn more about how phospholipids are wonderful for your skin—and now that we know, we want to share!
The Lipid Barrier
Genetically, your skin is designed to allow some water to evaporate through trans-epidermal water loss, but at the same time it needs help to maintain its natural moisture factor, which is where lipids come in. Lipids enable your skin’s natural moisture factor to function properly, helping the skin retain water—they’re responsible for maintaining skin hydration by binding water to the skin, not to mention preventing bacteria from entering. To put this all together, the bilayers of skin cells are uniquely arranged and interconnected to repel and trap water between cells, so moisture is held at the surface of the skin, in turn protecting you from outside agressors.
Phospholipids And The Lipid Barrier
Phospholipids are complex fat substances found in all living cells, and are widely used in hand creams and lotions because of their abilities to bind water and hold it in place. Since many cleansing products contain ingredients that disrupt the lipid barrier, it’s a good idea to find a moisturizer with phospholipids to replace it. Phospholipids also help pull moisture from the air and create a film to stop water loss. In short, they mimic the same system that our skin uses, duplicating the mechanism by which water is retained. That’s why they’re so valuable in skin care products, especially for those of us who have damaged a part of our protective barrier function.
Enter Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid derived from soybeans that’s well on its way to becoming a skin care ingredient superstar. In any skin care formula, phosphatidylserine will strongly accelerate the recovery of a damaged lipid barrier by increasing ceramide production. (And, according to recent research, it can significantly reduce wrinkles.) More interestingly, phosphatidylserine blocks collagen reduction by inhibiting MMP-1 expression induced by UV radiation. That means your collagen production will actually increase! For people with acne, using a lotion with phosphatidylserine that’s part of a retinol complex will reduce breakouts and also help with acne scarring and healing. Although intensive studies will need to be conducted for a strong anti-aging argument, an increase in collagen production is a good thing no matter what. Ensuring your moisturizer contains this ingredient could save your skin. We’re not getting any younger—where’s the harm in taking a little extra care?