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Secrets of our skin’s self-repair mechanisms

The skin is our first line of defense against the outside world, serving not only a protective role, but also an aesthetic one. What often escapes our attention is its ability to repair itself – an ability that is crucial in maintaining its health and youthful appearance. Today we will take a closer look at how our skin copes with daily challenges and what we can do to support its natural regenerative mechanisms.

What are the skin’s self-repair mechanisms?

The skin’s self-repair mechanisms include a number of biological processes that activate in response to damage caused by external factors such as UV radiation, pollution, or mechanical trauma, as well as internal factors such as various disease states. The main role in these processes is played by the skin’s stratum corneum, which forms a protective barrier and is crucial in maintaining adequate levels of hydration and protection against pathogens.

How do these mechanisms work?

  1. Restoring the lipid barrier: When the skin barrier is damaged, skin cells start producing lipid precursors. These precursors are then transformed into physiological lipids that rebuild the skin’s lipid layer, restoring its ability to retain water and protect it from harmful external factors.
  2. Synthesis of natural moisturizing factors (NMF): After damage, the skin increases the production of NMF from filaggrin, which helps maintain adequate hydration levels. NMFs attract and retain water in the epidermis, which is key to its elasticity and healthy appearance.
  3. Structural reconstruction of the skin: Damage to the skin also stimulates collagen and elastin reconstruction processes, which not only helps restore the integrity of the epidermal barrier, but also improves the elasticity and appearance of the skin.

How to support the skin’s natural self-repair mechanisms?

Choosing the right care: Choosing the right skin care is key to maintaining healthy skin appearance and function. One key aspect is to choose products that contain ingredients that support lipid barriers. These barriers play an extremely important role in protecting the skin from harmful external factors and moisture loss.

Skin care products rich in ceramides and fatty acids are particularly beneficial. Ceramides are natural lipids that make up about 50% of the composition of the skin’s lipid barrier. They help maintain the integrity of the skin, strengthening its structure and preventing water loss. This makes the skin more hydrated, supple and resistant to external factors such as pollution, extreme temperatures and irritation.

Fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are another important ingredient for supporting skin health. These healthy fats help restore damaged skin cells, reduce inflammation and improve overall skin texture. Regular use of products containing these ingredients can help strengthen the skin barrier, which is especially important for those with dry, sensitive or atopic skin.

In addition, products containing other emollients, such as cholesterol, squalane and glycerin, also support lipid barriers, providing the skin with optimal levels of hydration and protection. These emollients help retain moisture, forming a protective layer on the surface of the skin that prevents it from drying out and cracking.

Sun protection: Regular use of UV sunscreens is essential to prevent sun damage to the skin, which can disrupt its self-repair mechanisms.

  1. DNA damage: UVB radiation penetrates the epidermis and directly damages the DNA of skin cells. Causes the formation of thymine dimers, which leads to mutations and disruption of the DNA replication process. Damaged DNA can lead to skin cancers such as melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
  2. Impaired collagen production: UVA radiation penetrates deeper into the dermis layer of the skin, where collagen is located. Collagen is a structural protein that provides elasticity and strength to the skin. UVA radiation activates matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzymes that break down collagen, leading to premature skin aging, wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
  3. Stem cell damage: The skin has stem cells that are crucial for tissue regeneration and repair. UV radiation can damage these cells, reducing the skin’s ability to regenerate. A reduced number of healthy stem cells means slower epidermal regeneration, leading to a loss of firmness and healthy-looking skin.
  4. Increasing oxidative stress: UV radiation induces the production of free radicals, which damage skin cells, lipids and proteins. Free radicals lead to oxidative stress, which disrupts normal skin cell functions such as collagen and elastin synthesis, and contributes to inflammation. Oxidative stress is also associated with photoaging.
  5. Skin barrier weakening: UV radiation affects lipids in the stratum corneum, leading to a weakening of the skin barrier. This reduces the skin’s ability to retain moisture and protect itself from external factors, which can cause dryness, irritation and increased susceptibility to infection.

Providing nutrients: A healthy diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is key to maintaining skin health and supporting its regenerative abilities.

Antioxidants: such as vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium, neutralize free radicals, protecting the skin from oxidative stress and premature aging. Sources: berries, green tea, nuts.

Vitamins: A, C and E promote skin regeneration, collagen production and protection against damage. Sources: carrots, citrus, almonds.

Minerals: such as zinc, copper and selenium, support skin repair, collagen production and cell protection. Sources: nuts, seeds, fish.


Understanding and supporting the skin’s self-repair mechanisms is the key to long-term health and a youthful appearance. With proper care and protection, we can help our skin better cope with the challenges of the modern world. Our skin is constantly working in our favor, so it’s worth investing the time and resources to support it in this.