Sign up for exclusive discounts, product launches, and new stories on The Lab.
More often than not, we feel overwhelmed by just how many ingredients are available to us. In fact, this variety is not as complex as it seems if we think about the function that these ingredients play
Your skin’s outermost layer has a big role to play not only in your health but also for how you appear to the world [more on this here]. That’s why, when I think of skin care ingredients I think of them as my skin’s arsenal – i.e. the tools that I use for keeping my stratum corneum in tip-top shape for combating all that life will throw its way. Barrier Defense.
Your skin care is your skin’s arsenal against all that life throws its way. B-SILK™ Protein is one of its most powerful munitions.
All you have to do is walk into a beauty retail store to immediately see that we are not at a loss for skin care ingredient variety. More often than not, we feel overwhelmed by just how many ingredients are available to us. In fact, this variety is not as complex as it seems if we think about the function that these ingredients play. Let’s run through the various munitions that make up the skin care arsenal.
The Replenishing Refuelers
These skin care ingredients help to replenish two natural components of your stratum corneum, Humectants and Lipids. These two components are easily depleted during daily washing. Moreover, as we age, our skin gets less efficient at naturally replenishing these components. When Humectants and Lipids get depleted, the stratum corneum becomes dehydrated and compromised [more on this here].
Humectants love to hold onto water. When included in a skin care product they hold that water in your stratum corneum. Humectants come in the form of hyaluronic acid, glycerin, amino acids, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, lactic acid and urea, just to name a few.
Fun Fact: You will find a healthy dose of Humectants in our Firm + Replenish Serum
Lipids are a key component of the skin barrier and are naturally generated by cells in the epidermis as well as the sebum glands. The lipids naturally found in your stratum corneum are ceramides, cholesterol, free fatty acids and the lipids naturally found in your sebum are triglycerides, squalene, free fatty acids, waxes, and cholesterols. Look for these ingredients in your products directly by name but they are also found in ingredients such as shea butter and sunflower seed oil.
Fun Fact: you will find a health dose of Lipids in our Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream and a balanced dose of Lipids in our Defend + Nourish Eye Cream
The Offensive Artillery
These ingredients actively stimulate the proteins in your dermis – i.e. collagen and elastin. One group termed the “cell regulators” targets the collagen and elastin in your dermis by upregulating production and/or inhibiting its degradation. The big names in this department are Vitamin C, Vitamin A, various growth factors, and small peptides. Another group of ingredients targets superficial resurfacing of your stratum corneum. These are your alpha hydroxy acids (e.g. lactic acid and glycolic acid). It has been reported that these exfoliating treatments can increase collagen production and density in the dermis.
The Minesweeping Antioxidants
On the daily, exposure to UV and toxic chemicals (such as pollution) trigger the generation of free radicals in our skin. Too much of these free radicals can overwhelm our natural defenses and cause oxidative stress, which in turn starts a cascade of collagen and elastin degradation. Luckily, it has been shown that topical application of antioxidants can mitigate the harmful effects of free radicals. These ingredients include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and various different Polyphenols (such as Resveratrol).
The Fortifying Defenders
Everybody should know by now that sun protection is a must! Whichever ingredient you chose (despite the controversy around essentially all of them!), the key thing is to apply BEFORE you go out and then REAPPLY throughout the day. These ingredients include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
Physical Defense Shield
This is our favorite skin care munition, but we are knowingly a bit biased. It’s our favorite because it’s a new way to think about skin barrier health. Our vegan silk proprietary ingredient (i.e. no one else has it!) B-SILK™ PROTEIN forms a lightweight breathable barrier on the skin surface and acts like an extension of your stratum corneum. Our battery of in-house and third-party testing has shown that the B-SILK™ PROTEIN barrier deflects pollution and improves it’s wash off [learn more about why pollution defense is so important here]. When used regularly, it also improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the skin is more firm, and skin texture is improved. This is silk skincare at its finest.
That was a long post, I know. Thanks for sticking with it. Hopefully you followed my inane military analogy and also learned how our B-SILK™ PROTEIN and barrier defense fits in with your skin care ingredient arsenal. Now you know more about why we are so excited about Eighteen B and our mission of skin health via barrier defense.