"As time goes on, we produce fewer lipids, and our skin needs help adding them back in order to promote a healthy lipid barrier, locking in moisture and preventing dehydration."
Our skin is a complicated, multi-function organ that is part of the immune system and depends on fatty substances that are made of lipids to help us prevent inflammation and water loss in order to maintain a healthy and vibrant complexion.
What Is A Lipid?
A lipid technically means a chemical molecule or compound that is not soluble in water. There are various types of lipids, such as fatty acids, phospholipids, glycolipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, waxes, and steroids.
Lipids are essential components of skin and play a crucial role in the skin’s barrier function. They also play an important role in cell-to-cell signaling. They also help in strengthening and maintaining the skin's elasticity.
The lipids in skin are found in:
- the stratum corneum layer of the epidermis – in the stacked lipid bilayers; this is the glue that holds the skin cells together and traps water
- the granular layer of the epidermis – in the intercellular matrix; here they exist in the form of free fatty acids, cholesterol, and sphingolipids
- skin cell membranes
- sebum – the oil produced by the sebaceous glands attached to follicles.
Because epidermal lipids are so crucial to the skin’s barrier function, in addition to water, carbohydrates, proteins, and polysaccharides, the skin barrier is often referred to as the hydro-lipidic or lipid barrier.
Lipid Composition Decreases As We Age
Lipids make up more than 50% of cell membranes in humans, animals, and plants. When we are younger, the oils in question are automatically produced and calibrated by our skin. The skin’s ‘lipid barrier’ is designed to protect you – from everything and supports proper immune function. It also traps moisture so you don’t dry out. Water evaporates from skin no matter what, but the lipid barrier slows down the evaporation rate. However, as time goes on and as we age, the skin produces fewer lipids, and needs our help adding them back in order to promote a healthy lipid barrier, locking in moisture and preventing dehydration.
"Your skin belongs to you. Treat it gently and with respect. After all, it is your calling card and the first representation of who you are."
Oils Are Essential for Healthy Strong Skin
The outer layer of skin is made up of more than 50% fat. Skin with a strong barrier that doesn’t age as quickly has retained its lipid composition and is moist, plump, soft, and resistant (fewer problems).Skin that is aging, consistently dry, always oily, or experiencing breakouts indicates the skin’s lipid ratios have diminished over time or there is an imbalance from using skin-stripping products that are oil-free, matte-look, etc.
Oils, fats, and butters* are a luxurious, indispensable step in our founder’s daily regimen. Used for centuries by Africans, because high-foaming surfactant-based ingredients that strip the skin are not the norm on the continent, lipids delicately clean without stripping your skin of moisture, which is the first step that promotes exactly the type of graceful aging we’re after. Applying lipid-rich skin care products to your skin makes a noticeable difference from anti-inflammatory cleansing oils to moisturizing face oils to skin-firming body oils.
Note: The delicate nature of skin on the face juxtaposed against the unique ester of raw/heavy/thick shea butter or beeswax products makes it hard for some skin types to break down the ester into lipids that easily penetrate the skin barrier and help deliver active ingredients from your treatments to the granular layer of the epidermis where younger cells reside. We recommend using heavy/thick shea butter to moisturize body or hair not the face.
Our Skincare Oils
The entire range of KOKOBÉRNA is oil-based, therapeutic, and custom-formulated using potentized indigenous botanical seed oils that contain specific ratios of lipids similar to those found in normal, healthy skin.
- DIVINE ORIGIN™ Cleansing Oil is a most delicate, sensorial experience. Formulated with soothing West African plant oils and flower essences that easily break down impurities and gently removes all long-wearing makeup and sunscreen. It is the perfect cleanser, giving the skin a thorough gentle cleanse with a silky blend of biocompatible oils and esters that leaves the lipid barrier intact without stripping.
- O, HEALER’s GOLD™ Face Oil, how we—and seemingly, everyone who tries you—love thee. This is a concentrated, incredibly light-weight, and reparative face oil that infuses the skin with unique biocompatible presence of omega fatty acids 3-5-6-7-9, phytoesters and distilled aromatherapeutic essential oils to help barrier recovery and slow down transepidermal water loss so skin’s moisture levels are balanced and elasticity is strengthened. Mixing it with, or layering it over, your HEALER’s GOLD™ Face Serum topically delivers medicinal anti-aging superfood that nourishes your skin on a daily basis. The freshly hydrated finish from both products promotes a brighter, firmer appearance, and locks-in hydration all day.
- ÈDÍYÈ ÍDÉM™ Body Oil because you’re more than just a face! This luxurious treatment provides comprehensive hydrating and invigorating benefits to the entire body for a youthful-looking appearance. Soothing indigenous botanical seed oils, cholesterol, and ceramides infused with saffron, rose, jasmine, helichrysum, and vetiver beautifully nourish the dry, dehydrated, or parched skin while also providing hydration to hair, scalp, and nails. Essential phytonutrients help moisturize and nourish scalp and hair for a lustrous sheen. Most importantly, the finish on skin leaves it soft, silky, and supple.
There’s a common misconception about oil-based skincare products: that they’re only right for a certain skin type, and women with oily or blemished complexions shouldn’t be using them because they’ll further clog your pores. False. The proper oils have the ability to dissolve bad oils, helping to preserving the pH of your skin and regulate blemishes for a well-balanced complexion. Despite what we’ve been led to believe, skin that is oily or prone to breakouts is actually dry skin whose lipid levels have been depleted and the sebaceous glands need repairing from having used products that are "oil-free" and stripped the skin over a period of time.
As we transition seasons, taking the time to invest in a routine that incorporates therapeutic nutrient-rich botanical skincare oils and balms that are nutritive and reparative, helps support skin so it stays hydrated, supple, and radiant for a lifetime.
May you always be #kokobernabeautiful.
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