Hannah Morrill and Judith Newman, Allure magazine
When we think about our skin (and God knows we do), we think hopefully of descriptors like "radiant," "glowing," and "luminous." We generally don't think of a beefy bouncer at a nightclub. But in fact, that's what it is. Skin acts as a defense against the skanks and losers-er, bacteria and viruses; it keeps the undesirables out and the good guys in. Foreign chemicals, irritants? You're not on the list. Water? C'mon in. Or at least that's what skin is supposed to do. When this system breaks down, it's not only our looks that suffer; it's actually our health, too. That's why there is suddenly an explosion of interest in what dermatologists call "skin-barrier function"-the capability of the skin to perform its gatekeeping services effectively. There's increasing evidence, too, that a healthy barrier is essential for aging well.
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