The skin has many functions but perhaps the most important is its permeability barrier, limiting water loss and preventing the penetration of harmful elements from the environment. Ceramides, lipids, and antioxidants all play a role in the health and function of the skin. In this episode of The Rogue Pharmacist with Benjamin Knight Fuchs, we discuss these star supplements to include in your skin care regimen as well as to take topically to support and boost the barrier function.
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) presents The Rogue Pharmacist with Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph. This podcast takes an enlightening approach to supporting licensed estheticians in their pursuit to achieve results-driven skin care treatments for their clients. You can always count on us to share professional skin care education, innovative techniques, and the latest in skin science.
About Ben Fuchs:
Benjamin Knight Fuchs is a registered pharmacist, nutritionist, and skin care chemist with 35 years of experience developing pharmacy-potent skin health products for estheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. Ben’s expert advice gives licensed estheticians the education and skin science to better support the skin care services performed in the treatment room while sharing insights to enhance clients’ at-home skin care routines.
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0:00:00.0 Speaker 1: This podcast is sponsored by Lamprobe. Lamprobe is a popular aesthetic tool that enables skin care practitioners to rapidly treat a wide variety of common minor skin irregularities or MSI. Red MSI treated by Lamprobe include dilated capillaries and cherry angiomas. Yellow MSI, cholesterol deposits, and sebaceous hyperplasia. And brown MSI treated, include skin tags and more. Lamprobe MSI treatments are non-evasive and deliver immediate results, Lamprobe can empower your skin practice with these new and highly in-demand services. For more information, visit Lamprobe.com, that's L-A-M-P-R-O-B-E.com, and follow Lamprobe on social media @Lamprobe.
0:00:55.5 Tracy Donley: Welcome everybody to ASCP and the Rogue Pharmacist Benjamin Knight Fuchs. In each episode we explore how ingredients, chemicals and the environment can have a positive and negative effects on the skin. I'm Tracy Donley, Executive Director of ASCP, if you don't know me yet. And joining me today and co-hosting is Maggie Staszuk, our very own education manager. Hey, Maggie.
0:01:20.6 Maggie Staszuk: Hey, Tracy.
0:01:21.5 TD: And let me just take a moment here because I need to make sure everybody out there, at least all of our members have downloaded ASCP skin pro. Hello, ingredients. Skin conditions, right there at the palm of your hand, it's so simple, you guys, all you do is login to the website ascpskincare.com. With your phone, your phone, it's like brilliant, because it'll just know what phone you're on, it'll tell you how to download it and boom, ingredients, skin conditions, contraindications, indications, all in the palm of your hand while you're in the treatment room, so easy. So just do it. So anyhow. Okay, girl, I got a question for you. So how important do you think a strong, healthy skin barrier is, and are you doing something specific in your daily routine to support it, Maggie?
0:02:12.9 MS: It is so important, Tracy. It is the end all be all. If your barrier is not intact, you've got problems, and yeah, I'm doing something to protect it. I'm putting on my serums and my creams and my sunscreen and I'm washing it every day, and Ben will tell you, you gotta have good gut health too, to have a strong skin barrier.
0:02:33.5 TD: Ben is excited over there, he's giving thumbs up and like, "Woop, woop."
0:02:37.1 Ben Fuchs: Very good. Right, there. I like that.
0:02:37.7 TD: Alright. Well, we're gonna see what Ben has to say. I mean, that's why we're all here, right? So today we are gonna be discussing the three main ingredients needed to support barrier function. Welcome, Ben.
0:02:51.2 BF: Thank you, nice to see you guys.
0:02:52.7 TD: Yeah, I feel like it's been a while, so I'm excited.
0:02:54.5 BF: It probably has been a while, I hope I sound... Do I sound weird?
0:02:56.6 TD: Oh yeah, you sound like a total sucky.
0:02:58.2 BF: Oh, man.
0:02:58.7 TD: Those allergies.
0:03:00.7 BF: Yeah it's allergies. So, the barrier, uh?
0:03:02.7 TD: Yeah, three ingredients. I'm dying.
0:03:05.2 BF: Right. The barrier is kinda interesting, you know, it's the most unique tissue in the body, the barrier, because it has a quality that most tissue in the body does not have. What is that quality?
0:03:18.9 TD: I am clueless.
0:03:19.1 BF: The barrier.
0:03:19.2 MS: It's acidic right?
0:03:19.4 BF: Well, it is acidic, and it needs to be acidic, in fact, unhealthy skin is less acidic than healthy skin.
0:03:24.1 TD: Back to the pH conversation.
0:03:25.0 BF: Back to the pH conversation.
0:03:27.9 BF: But the barrier is dead, it's made up, I should say it's made up of dead cells, there's some activity in it, but the barrier's made up of dead cells, yet is really functional. And it's kind of... Its functionality is really interesting in a way that we take for granted. Think about it. Your entire body is held in place by the barrier.
0:03:44.3 TD: Oh, true, yeah.
0:03:45.2 BF: Isn't that interesting? Without the barrier, you would like fly off into the ethers.
0:03:49.5 TD: Yeah, just guts everywhere. [laughter]
0:03:51.4 BF: Yeah, exactly, everything... You wouldn't even have guts. Everything would just fly off into everything, and so the barrier is extremely important. To me, the most important thing you do for the barrier is break it down. And sometimes you hear people say, "Oh, you don't wanna break down the barrier, you wanna be careful with the barrier." But ironically, when you break down the barrier, you build it up. It builds up stronger. In chemistry, we say catabolism precedes anabolism. Catabolism means breakdown. Anabolism means build up. So a breakdown precedes build up, and that's why we exercise.
0:04:23.7 TD: Oh, I was just thinking that in my head while you were saying that, yeah.
0:04:26.4 BF: Exactly. If you go to the gym, you know what are you doing to your muscles?
0:04:29.9 TD: You're ripping them up.
0:04:30.7 BF: Ripping them up, what happens the next day?
0:04:32.6 TD: They are fixing themselves.
0:04:33.5 BF: They get bigger, and stronger, and better, and this is kind of an interesting phenomena that is the hallmark of life, you know the computer doesn't do that, a fan doesn't do that. You can't use your car over and over and over again and go off four wheeling and tear it all up and have it come back and you park your little Chevy, the...
0:04:50.4 TD: Your Jeep Wrangler, after...
0:04:50.8 BF: Jeep Wrangler, have it be a cadillac escalade.
0:04:52.8 TD: You've gone like off roading, Yeah.
0:04:54.9 BF: You know, non-living things don't get bigger when they're broken down, but living things do, so the most important thing you can do for the barrier is exercise, I call it exercise it, estheticians will call it exfoliate. And that means break it up, disturb it. Now, it's not enough to disturb it, but that's the first step is disturbing it, and that's why to me, exfoliation is the first step to keeping the skin healthy in general, and there's a lot of reasons for that, but also the barrier, because in order to build up, you gotta break down first.
0:05:18.9 TD: Okay, with that exfoliation thing, really quick question. Is there... We've talked so many times on the different podcasts that there's so many different types of exfoliation, does it matter? What type of exfoliation.
0:05:29.6 BF: I was about to talk to you about that.
0:05:31.7 TD: Oh, definitely.
0:05:32.6 BF: Yeah, there are different types of exfoliation.
0:05:33.5 TD: Yeah.
0:05:33.9 BF: Absolutely. You can use a washcloth to exfoliate. 'Cause really "exfolia" means to remove leaves, the cells are analogous to leaves, ex-foliage for foliage, or folia for foliage. So using a wash cloth could do it, or using shoot little crystals at it with microdermabrasion machines, and an estheticians office will do it. Men do it when they shave. Lots of different ways that you can exfoliate, those are mechanical terms, mechanical mechanisms, there's also chemical mechanisms such as enzymes, can have an exfoliating property. Retinol can have a exfoliating property, and that's a really interesting ingredient, we'll talk about that here in a second. But my favorite way to exfoliate is with hydroxy acids. Because with hydroxy acids, you get two mechanisms of stimulation, number one, you get the exfoliation and that initiates growth and that initiates the movement of cells from the bottom to the top, but number two, with alpha hydroxy acids, you get the acid and as Maggie pointed out, you drop the skin pH, you make the skin healthier, the pH of the skin has to be acid, and skin that is not as healthy has a higher pH, a more alkaline pH. So with alpha hydroxy acids, you get a one-two punch, you get the exfoliation plus you drop the pH, you make the skin more acidic, but you also get another benefit, and that is when you use alpha hydroxy acids, little pieces, and I dont wanna get too much into chemistry here.
0:06:50.8 TD: Oh, yes, you do.
0:06:51.7 BF: Alright, I do, I do.
0:06:52.0 TD: I know you do.
0:06:52.9 BF: I do. [chuckle] What makes something acid is little pieces of quantum particles called protons and you've probably heard of electrons. Everybody's heard of electrons, those little pieces of electricity, protons balance out electrons. And what makes something acid is its ability to deliver protons. The more acidic it is, the faster it's delivering protons, alpha hydroxy acids deliver protons and cells are responsive to protons. Cells interpret protons as a sign they have to grow and they have to divide. So with alpha hydroxy acids, not only do you get exfoliation, not only do you get a pH, a rebalancing or a lowering of the skin pH, but you also get the delivery of protons, which turn things on at the living cell level. So to me, alpha hydroxy acids are a must have for exfoliation. Yes. Wash clothes will work. Shaving will work. Microdermabrasion will work. Enzymes will work. There's lots of ingredients that will work. But when you use alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acid, by the way, you get these three mechanisms of action for better skin. And it... When every time I hear, I don't hear it a lot, but occasionally I hear a skincare professional or a healthcare professional or a physician will say, "Don't do this process. Don't exfoliate your skin." It just... I can't imagine how somebody who understands skin could ever say something like that. Because to me, that's like saying, "Don't go to the gym."
0:08:11.8 TD: Yeah. Don't work out that muscle.
0:08:13.1 BF: Don't work out. Right.
0:08:13.7 TD: 'Cause you it's gonna wreck it.
0:08:15.3 BF: Right. However, and I think this might be what you're about to say Maggie, you do have to make sure that the skin is strong enough, just like you have to make sure the muscles are strong enough to lift weights. You have to make sure that the skin is strong enough, and the way you make sure the skin is strong enough is by using other ingredients that support skin health and support barrier repair. Because what you're doing when you're exfoliating is you're not repairing the barrier, you're stimulating barrier repair. So you gotta make sure that all the mechanisms are in place in the tissue for that barrier repair to occur. And I'll tell you a couple of those here in a second. Yeah.
0:08:46.0 MS: What I wanna ask you about is the Hayflick limit. Are you familiar with that theory?
0:08:50.2 BF: Yes. I'm familiar with the Hayflick limit and I'm not sure about the Hayflick limit, how realistic the Hayflick limit is in the skin itself. Whether the Hayflick. The Hayflick limit is the amount of times a cell can divide before it dies. But what we're talking about with the skin is we're not talking about the same cells dividing. We're talking about new cells, new stem cells. We're encouraging the growth of new keratinocytes from stem cells. So even if those cells are dividing, have a limit to the amount of times they could divide, there's always gonna be fresh new cells that can start a new Hayflick limit. So I'm not sure, that the Hayflick limit really applies to the skin.
0:09:22.8 BF: But as I was saying, you gotta make sure that the skin is healthy enough to be able to enjoy the benefits of the exfoliation. There's lots of great nutrients for that. The most important probably are fats, fatty acids. Now under conditions of fatty acids, you're not gonna be able to repair the barriers effectively. There are ingredients that people will put, formulators will put in skincare products that duplicate the actions of those fatty acids, but really it's not gonna have the same effect as the kind of fatty acids that are secreted out of the skin cells. Fatty acids are secreted out of the skin cells as they're rising to the top. So you gotta kind of picture in your mind's eye here, how this whole system works. You have the surface, which is the barrier, right? The stratum corneum, and then underneath you have the living cells and what's called the basal layer. And in between you have progressively the cells, I should say the cells in between are progressively less alive. I think we probably talked about this.
0:10:13.8 BF: So the whole skin, the epidermis... This is by the way, the epidermis that we're talking about, not the dermis, this is the top of the skin. So the whole epidermis is as thick as maybe a piece of notebook paper, whole epidermis, right? The stratum corneum, the barrier is about as thick as one 10th of a piece of notebook paper. I mean, it's really, we're talking about a very, very thin layer of tissue here, the stratum corneum, but it's obviously incredibly important. It keeps you from flying apart and really it's main role. What is the barrier's main role?
0:10:41.7 TD: To protect you. It's... That's why it's called the...
0:10:43.2 BF: Protects us from one thing. It's main role... It does, it has other roles too, protects us from a lot of things. But it's main role is to protect us from desiccation, from drying. In fact, if you go to a burn ward where the stratum corneum has been burnt off, and these people are in agony, I don't know if you've ever seen a burn where they have Vaseline, they put lots of Vaseline on their skin to keep them from drying out. The barriers main role is to keep water in and to keep water out. And this plays a very important role when it comes to understanding how to use skincare products effectively, this barrier... This water repellent nature of the barrier is largely based in these fats that are secreted out of the cells as they're rising from the bottom to the top. So just picking your mind's eye at the bottom, the basal layer at the bottom of the epidermis, you have these cells round and plump and juicy, and they're rising to the top. Have we talked about this before? I don't...
0:11:31.5 TD: No, no, keep on, keep it on.
0:11:32.9 BF: And they're rising up to the top and as they're rising up to the top. They dump their contents overboard.
0:11:39.5 TD: Oh, and that's the fatty!
0:11:40.8 BF: That's the fats. And another... And other things, moisture factors as well.
0:11:45.1 TD: I've been recently seeing supplements on the market that is all about supposedly to keep you hydrated.
0:11:51.4 BF: Hyaluronic acid?
0:11:52.0 TD: Yeah.
0:11:52.4 BF: So as the cells are rising from the bottom top, they start their life round and plump and juicy at the bottom. They're called keratinocytes at that point at the basal layer. And they're rising up from the bottom to the top and they're dumping their contents overboard. And as they're dumping their contents overboard, they're kind of changing shape. And they go from round and plump and juicy to progressively flatter and less alive. In fact, dead. Once they reach a certain point after the basal layer, until they get to the top where they become essentially flat and dead. So they start their life round and plump and juicy end it flat and dead just like us. [laughter]
0:12:25.6 TD: I was just thinking that I was like, "just like... "
0:12:27.1 BF: Just like people.
0:12:31.3 BF: Round, plump and juicy at the beginning, flat and dead at the end.
0:12:33.4 TD: Yeah.
0:12:34.4 BF: But the cool thing is, is that as they're rising, they're dumping their contents overboard and their contents become fatty acids and fatty factors like serums ____ and also amino acids and sugars that compose what are called the natural moisture factor. And this is how skin stays hydrated. And so hydration of the skin is a function of the movement of these cells from the bottom to the top, which tells you something very interesting. The more movement you have from the cells of the cells, going from the bottom to the top, the more hydrated your skin will be which is the exact opposite of what people think. Exfoliation, stimulating the movement of cells from the bottom the top is actually pro hydration, it's actually how you improve hydration. It's actually how you improve the barrier to prevent water from leaking out. And it's how you strengthen the barrier as well. And I'll talk about that here in a second. So exfoliation using alpha hydroxy acid is to me the most important step. Number two is the fats. And that means... Especially the essential fats. There's lots of fats and most of them...
0:13:35.3 TD: Ingesting?
0:13:35.3 BF: Ingesting.
0:13:36.2 TD: We're talking about ingesting.
0:13:38.1 BF: Ingesting.
0:13:38.2 TD: Yeah.
0:13:38.2 BF: Absolutely ingesting. There're some topical things you could do to strengthen the barrier, but for the most part, your strategies are going to be internal. And that to me is a missing link in skin care. I'm a skin product formulator. I have formulated thousands of products, and I have a business where I formulate skin care products, I make money off it. But to be perfectly honest, the bulk of your... The health of your skin is determined by what you're eating or what you're not eating, what you're getting or what you're not getting. And that is a critical thing to understand for us in the skin care business, not so much for me as a formulator but for therapists, the clinicians.
0:14:12.7 TD: Right, to cause change, to make things happen, results.
0:14:16.3 BF: Yes, yes. Yes. But the clinician has to understand, if he or she wants to create a change in the skin, you have to understand how the thing is built. And it's not built from what you put on top, although you can stimulate things a little bit. It's built from what you're putting in the blood, I.e, what's getting it into your digestive system and then into the blood. That's why supplementation is critical. Not only for the patient who's dealing with an issue but for the therapist who wants to make a change, and also dietary strategies and digestive strategies as well.
0:14:46.2 TD: Okay, so talking about... I just had to ask this quick question.
0:14:49.5 BF: Okay.
0:14:49.6 TD: So talking about supplementation, and we were talking about hydration, I have been seeing on the market more and more, these supplements that are saying that they promote hydration in the skin, and I believe that it is hyaluronic acid. Is that...
0:15:05.1 BF: Say that again.
0:15:06.7 TD: I know, I know.
0:15:07.8 BF: My friend says, "Highly ironic acid." [laughter]
0:15:10.4 TD: Highly Ironic Acid, that sounds fun.
0:15:15.8 BF: Yeah, it's funny 'cause I've been talking about hyaluronic acid for a long time, because in pharmacy school we learnt about it. When I started formulating with hyaluronic acid, you can only get it from rooster combs. And so, it was incredibly expensive. Feel your earlobe. Did you ever... You grew up on a farm, didn't you?
0:15:32.2 TD: Well, I grew up in the country.
0:15:33.6 BF: In the country.
0:15:34.6 TD: And I've been exposed to farms.
0:15:34.7 BF: Did you ever see roosters? No roosters?
0:15:36.1 TD: Oh yeah.
0:15:36.7 BF: Did you ever squeeze the rooster comb?
0:15:38.2 TD: No, never, I was afraid of them. They're a little mean.
0:15:40.4 BF: Yeah, they're kinda mean.
0:15:42.1 TD: [laughter] They're mean.
0:15:42.2 BF: I get it, you guys haven't felt it, right? If you feel the rooster comb, it feels like your earlobe. Feel your earlobe.
0:15:46.5 TD: That's kinda softer than I would think it would feel.
0:15:49.1 BF: Your earlobe has a spongy quality, that's the hyaluronic acid.
0:15:51.9 TD: Are you talking about the little red things?
0:15:53.2 BF: Yeah, the little red things.
0:15:53.8 TD: The little red things, okay.
0:15:54.8 BF: Yeah. And when I was in pharmacy school many years ago, the only place you could get hyaluronic acid, it was well known as a very important molecule in the body, but the only place you could to get it was in rooster combs. So it'd cost like $1,000 for a gram of that the stuff.
0:16:07.1 TD: All those roosters running around without their cute little hats on.
0:16:09.4 BF: Well, they killed the roosters first of all.
0:16:10.8 TD: Oh, okay. [laughter]
0:16:11.9 BF: But nonetheless, it was very difficult to get "Highly ironic acid."
0:16:14.9 TD: "Highly ironic acid." Okay, anyhow, is that effective?
0:16:18.3 BF: So yes, it is. It's incredibly effective...
0:16:20.2 TD: Ingesting it?
0:16:21.0 BF: Ingesting it. It's not only effective, it's important. It's critical for anti-aging. Not just for hydration, but for connective tissue, for joints, for the dermis, for the fascia inside the body, for the cartilage, between the vertebrae, for anywhere we have connective tissue. Hyaluronic acid is amazing stuff. In fact, it's so amazing that it's gotten a reputation for being a topical ingredient.
0:16:45.1 TD: Right.
0:16:45.6 BF: Because it's so amazing. But it doesn't really have the same kind of benefits topically.
0:16:49.7 TD: Really?
0:16:50.1 BF: It will have some because it traps water. Hyaluronic acid... And I was kidding when I said, "Feel your earlobe," but I'm kinda serious because the spongy quality of your earlobe is a result of the combination of hyaluronic acid and molecules like hyaluronic acid and water. And that's what makes it spongy. And so, hyaluronic acid can attract a lot of water. In chemistry, we say it's "hygroscopic", meaning it attracts water but it's really hygroscopic, so that a gram of hyaluronic acid can hold a thousand grams of water. That means a teaspoon of hyaluronic acid powder can hold a gallon of water. That's an incredible amount of hygroscopicity or water trapping ability. In fact, hyaluronic acid is so water trapping that in products, you will only see it in very low concentrations, less than 1%.
0:17:44.2 TD: Really, 'cause everyone is out there putting it all over their bodies.
0:17:47.6 BF: Any more than 1% of hyaluronic acid in a solution or a product would create this jelly mass that would not be very appealing or very attractive or very functional because you couldn't rub it on your skin. So you're really limited in the amount of hyaluronic acid you can put in a product because of its incredible water trapping properties. Nonetheless, the water trapping properties can kinda soften the dead skin... The dead skin cells on the surface. Remember the skin cells here are dead, and so softening and the moisturizing of the dead skin cells is really where a lot of people feel like they have problem skin. This is one of the biggest complaints people have is the lack of moisture in the corneum sites in the stratum corneum. So hyaluronic applied topically can relieve some of that.
0:18:33.0 TD: It's faking you out?
0:18:33.7 BF: It's faking you out.
0:18:34.4 TD: Okay, let's just say it.
0:18:36.1 MS: If you are using a hyaluronic serum, and let's just say it's straight hyaluronic, and you are not supplementing by putting a moisturizer on top or you are already dehydrated, is it going to have the alternate effect and dehydrate you further?
0:18:52.5 BF: Yes, which is why the worst thing you could ever put on dry skin is a moisturizer.
0:18:55.6 TD: Wow.
0:18:55.8 BF: And I know I've said that before. I'm sure I've said that before.
0:19:00.0 TD: I know, but sometimes you gotta hear it a few times.
0:19:00.7 BF: The worst thing you could put on your skin is a moisturizer because what you do is you suppress everything. A moisturizer is an anti-exfoliator. So an exfoliator is disturbing, and removing, and increasing sloughing off, a moisturizer is sealing and putting stuff on top. So just like an exfoliator will stimulate things, turn things on, a moisturizer dumps things down. It turns things off, and this is why we get addicted to our moisturizers. This is why everybody, you guys, I'm sure can acknowledge this or recognize this, you have a moisturizer in your purse and in your desk, and in your locker, and in your car, and in your vanity, and in your kitchen, and you have it everywhere, you got moisturizers everywhere.
0:19:38.1 TD: On your lips.
0:19:38.8 BF: Everywhere people have moisturizer, but everybody has dry skin. How can that be? With all the moisturizers, the millions, billions of dollars in moisturizers that sell, why does everybody have dry skin? Clearly there's something wrong. But what it is is, we're suppressing our skin's ability to moisturize itself. And by the way, I worked for Blistex, that's how I learnt all this stuff, that's why people get addicted to their Blistex.
0:19:57.9 TD: It is so addictive.
0:20:00.0 BF: Because the lips are extreme skin, because they're sticking out, so nature has equipped them to be very, very protective. They're extremely exposed to the wind and to the sun and to the environment, so nature has loaded them with these moisture factors and natural sponges that trap water. When you put Blistex on or ChapStick on or whatever it is, you shut those down. So if you wanna have moist soft lips, guess what? Exfoliate. And that's you know there's a product idea, I'm sure there's probably exfoliated products for lips.
0:20:30.8 TD: Yeah. Well that makes sense why but I'm seeing much more...
0:20:33.5 BF: Lips exfoliation.
0:20:35.0 TD: And I always feel like, "Well, that's gonna make them dry and then I'll have to put more stuff on them."
0:20:38.5 BF: There go you.
0:20:39.0 TD: See, I was wrong.
0:20:39.5 BF: There you go. You're just doing it, but now the... It's very important, recognize it's not enough to go to the gym. If you go to the gym but you're not healthy, don't go to the gym. You're gonna make things worse, right? If your body is not prepared to lift weights or to do some kind of strenuous exercises, you're not only not gonna get the benefits of the exercise, you're gonna at things worse. So if you're skin... You know we're using this analogy of exercise with exfoliation, if your skin is not resilient enough to be able to handle exfoliation, be careful or don't even do it. So what you want is you wanna get your skin prepared, and that's where these ingredients like fatty acids, must have, essential fatty acids, in fact in laboratories, if you want to induce xerosis which is the technical term for dry skin in a laboratory animal, take the essential fatty acids out of the diet, and you'll get xerosis within a matter of days or weeks. Now, how many adult or how many human beings are not getting their essential fatty acids? How many human beings even...
0:21:32.5 TD: Probably everyone.
0:21:33.0 BF: Probably everyone, right?
0:21:33.8 TD: Yeah.
0:21:34.0 BF: And how many human beings who know enough to get essential fatty acids are absorbing their essential fatty acids? And...
0:21:39.5 TD: Are you looking at me? I think you are.
0:21:41.8 BF: [chuckle] Especially as we get older, especially as we get older, and especially women, because there's a relationship between estrogen, the female hormone estrogen and fatty acid absorption. And so as women get older, their ability to process fats becomes compromised, this is why older women are especially prone to gall bladder issues. So as we get older, and especially as women get older, it becomes very important not just to supplement with essential fatty acids and not only omega-3s, there's this kind of myth out there that omega-6s are not important that you need the omega-3s. It turns out that most of the skin's moisturizing and the skin, the health of the skin cells depends on omega-6 fatty acids, not the omega-3s. Omega-3s play a role for sure.
0:22:23.0 BF: They're calming, their anti-inflammatory, they're sun-protected, they are a lot of important roles to play, but for moisturization or for barrier repair, omega-6s are vital and omega-6s actually get converted into the latest popular skin care ingredient, which is not gonna really help you so much topically, but it will definitely help you to make them, and that's the ceramides. The ceramides are the most important fat for keeping the barrier healthy and keeping the skin hydrated, and there's a lot of products now that are kind of taking advantage of the science of ceramides by including them in their formulations. You can't really get the benefits of ceramides topically, although it's probably better for you than a vegetable oil. Vegetable oils on the skin, by the way, or... That's a bad idea. Vegetable oil's on the skin.
0:23:04.5 TD: Well, I would think so, is that a trend that I don't know about? That sounds crazy.
0:23:09.0 BF: Yeah, most skin care products have vegetable oils in them. Soya oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil.
0:23:12.5 TD: Oh wow.
0:23:13.3 BF: Yeah. Yeah, vegetable oils don't belong on the skin, the ceramides are a little bit better, nonetheless, the best way to get ceramides is to make sure you're getting your essential fatty acids. Now, you can get essential fatty acids from foods, grains, dish, eggs, most nuts, seeds...
0:23:27.5 TD: Black seeds?
0:23:27.8 BF: Black seeds of course, have essential fatty acids in them, but supplementing is really the best way to get your essential fatty acids to make sure that your body always has a constant supply, and then making sure you're using digestive enzymes and probiotics and if you have intestinal problems or bile problems, gall bladder problems that you're correcting those, because you need all those, all the machinery and able, to be able to absorb these essential fatty acids. Have you ever heard people say, "I have dry skin and I'm drinking so much water."
0:23:56.3 TD: Yeah, actually I'd say that.
0:23:57.0 BF: "But it's not helping." Because it has nothing to do with water. It has to do with water trapping, right? In order for the water to the skin to stay hydrated, the water has to be bound. It has to be trapped, it has to be structured. And what is it that structures the water? Collagen, protein, and also to a certain extent, electrolytes, so building connective tissue is really important, just because the connective tissue will help trap the water. Drinking water is not gonna help your skin stay hydrated as important as drinking water is, a lot of reasons why drinking water is important, but as far as keeping your skin hydrated, you can drink all the water you want and it's not gonna help your dry skin if you're not making the moisture factors, the fatty acids, if your barrier is not strong and if you don't have enough connective tissue or collagen and to trap that water.
0:24:42.8 TD: That's interesting because I actually have been taking a collagen supplement, which is quite delicious.
0:24:47.4 BF: Yeah.
0:24:47.5 TD: And I've been having less problem with dehydration.
0:24:51.3 BF: That's right, because though you have the collagen is now being built up and you can trap the water more effectively.
0:24:56.4 TD: Sold.
0:24:56.9 BF: Yeah. There you go.
0:24:57.4 TD: Okay, alright. What else we got here? Are we good?
0:25:00.8 BF: Yeah.
0:25:00.8 TD: Are we feeling good? You guys, like that... I think the recap was great. We know that what goes on the surface.
0:25:08.8 BF: Yeah.
0:25:08.9 TD: We know what goes in the body to make the barrier the strongest and support it and make it the best that it can. So I think that just wraps up our show.
0:25:18.8 BF: All right.
0:25:19.3 TD: And as always, you guys, I always say this, if you're not an ASCP member, join today at ascpskincare.com, and if you like this episode, 'cause who doesn't? Who couldn't? It's amazing, right? It's so good. Subscribe today, so you never miss a single one. Details from what we discussed today will be in the show notes. And of course, if you can't get enough of Ben Fuchs, the Rogue Pharmacist, you can listen to a syndicated radio program at the brightsideben.com. Thanks everyone, and build that barrier.Page Break