Skin Permeability and Porosity

The skin is an amazing and multifaceted organ designed to protect and enhance our insides as well as our exterior.  Much of the world around us is absorbed through skin, from the sun’s rays and pollution, to cleansers and creams that we apply topically.  The extent to which substances can damage or repair affects our inner cells, tissues and organs and the quality of skin itself.  The permeability and porosity of skin plays a major role in how harmful toxins can enter our bodily systems and how successfully we can nourish skin to protect both our insides and the surface of our skin.

Skin Permeability

Permeability refers to the ability to allow elements to pass through a barrier.  Skin is first and foremost designed to be a huge barrier protecting our bodies against potentially harmful substances.  Visibly, skin shields our internal organs, bones and muscles, but it also contains its own immune system to prevent foreign attacks from bacteria and other microbes.  Skin has low permeability, meaning it can block most substances from entering our bodies via skin.  However, skin is not completely impenetrable.  When it comes to potential threats, that’s not such a good thing.  But when it comes to hydration and absorbing nutrients through skincare products, it’s excellent.

While skin has low permeability naturally, some foreign elements can affect permeability.  Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause skin to be more permeable.  In this case, free radicals emitted by the sun’s rays can seep into skin causing damage to cells.  Additionally, some skincare techniques also aim to make skin more permeable to attack acne, smooth wrinkles and improve the texture of skin.  Through harsh treatments that may include synthetic chemical peels and electrical pulses applied to skin, skin permeability increases with the hope that medications and nutrients will be more effective.  But these abrasive methods can leave skin more susceptible to microbial attacks and to be damaged by the toxins being used in the procedures themselves.

Skin Porosity

Our entire skin organ is covered in pores, which are small holes that correspond to each hair on the body.  Porosity refers to the size and quality of pores, which work as a two-way street pushing out hair and oil from the dermis, and taking in substances – good and bad – that comes in contact with skin externally.  We have approximately 5 million pores on our bodies, but most of them are too small to see.  The size of our pores is usually genetic, but larger hair follicles and oil glands can create larger pores.  As skin ages intrinsically and extrinsically it loses firmness, also creating larger pores.

Beneath pores are hair follicles where hairs actually grow.  Pores also contain the sebaceous gland where we secret natural oils that help protect skin.  Pores, especially on the face, can become clogged by dirt, oil and dead skin cells, which also make them look bigger.  This happens as a result of environmental conditions but can be managed with great skincare.  When pores are cleaned regularly with natural products, they will remain open and ready to take in nutrients to improve skin quality.  That’s why the first step to every skincare regimen includes cleansing.  Once the skin is clean, it can relish the nutrients and hydration of moisturizers, oils, serums and facial masks.  Because facial pores are exposed to so many more elements than the rest of the skin on our bodies, exfoliating is a superb deep pore-cleansing practice several times a week. Exfoliation is particularly helpful in removing dead skin cells from pores.  After exfoliation is the perfect time to apply a nourishing mask to allow nutrients to absorb into fresh, open pores.

How Skin Permeability and Porosity Affect Skincare

The permeability and porosity of skin is important in protecting skin from what can damage it from the outside, but also in determining how to treat effectively support skin through skincare products.  Toxic chemicals may increase permeability and cleanse pores, but they can create additional skin problems and are dangerous to the entire body. 

We believe in skincare that delivers all-natural plant-based nutrition without sacrificing results at the expense of the ultimate quality of our skin.  With Moringa-infused products, Natura Veda can achieve these goals.  Moringa has a potent oleic acid content, a natural chemical known to penetrate deeply into pores and layers of skin.  With Natura Veda’s skincare line, oleic acid allows cleansers, moisturizers, oils and masks to naturally, gently and effectively clean, hydrate, repair and rejuvenate skin. 

Like many aspects of our health, permeability and porosity of skin is a double-edged sword and requires balance.  Our bodies naturally work hard to protect skin. To maintain this natural beauty, it’s our responsibility to care for skin in the most natural way possible.  And at Natura Veda, that’s all about the nutrients that Mother Nature has to offer.


Erin Stieglitz
Erin Stieglitz

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