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The Importance of Skin Hydration with Dr. Michele Burklund, NMD

In this Q&A session, Dr. Michele Burklund, Puriya’s Chief Science Officer, talks about the importance of skin hydration, the function of the skin barrier, what damages it and what you can do to keep your skin hydrated.

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.

Transcript:

(00:00) – Hi, everyone, Dr. Michele Burklund here, I am the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya. And a lot of what I do is formulations, writing a lot of the medical literature, doing a lot of the research and meeting with you here once a week to answer any of your questions and discuss certain topics. So, this week we are talking about one of the most important things you can do to help protect your skin and help prevent and reduce signs of dermatitis, and it’s so simple. And so, I’m very excited we’re gonna be talking about skin hydration today, it can have profound effects and it’s quite easy to do. So, while we are waiting, let me know who is here, where in the world you are watching from too, I’d love to find out where you are in the world. If you do have questions, feel free to write them in the comments below, if it is live. If you catch us on the replay, you can always send us an email with any of your questions. And for those of you who are new to Puriya, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. There is a link in the description and you get lots of awesome information, and also when events are happening, when interviews are happening, it’ll all be delivered straight to your email. So you don’t have to try to write it down or remember. Because we have different educational sessions every week here Friday at 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, plus interviews with different amazing people. So, lots of great things.

(01:31) – So to begin, we’re gonna talk about skin hydration. And one of the things that I always remember, years ago and now, when I was doing my dermatology shifts in my clinical training, we saw so many different patients suffering from dermatitis. And I will never forget the attending physician, because she always talked about how important it was to support the skin barrier and keep it healthy. So besides addressing the root cause of whatever issue you have, it’s so important to protect the skin barrier. And I was lucky that I learned that many, many years ago and it’s always been a foundational practice for me, and at Puriya that’s one of our goals too, is to keep the skin hydrated, because by keeping it hydrated it protects that skin barrier. So you might be wondering what in the world is the skin barrier?

(02:22) – Well, it’s the outermost layer of your skin, but it has so many different things, so many different jobs going on. It acts as a protective shield from the outside world against harmful microorganisms, it also helps sustain the skin’s immunity and helps regulate inflammation. It helps balance the skin microbiome, and it’s also responsible for making sure you have enough water and electrolytes in the skin so it doesn’t evaporate. So besides just being the outer layer of the skin, it’s your protection, it protects you from the outside world. It helps regulate your skin’s localized immunity and also, it keeps water and it locks that moisture in, which is so important for keeping the barrier healthy.

(03:07) – So another… An interesting study too, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that moisturizing the skin helps to protect the skin barrier and consequently decrease the inflammatory response. So just moisturizing the skin, such a simple thing can help decrease inflammation and protect the skin barrier. So here at Puriya in the Mother of All Creams, one of our biggest focuses was to repair and restore that skin barrier function, because it’s so important on so many different levels. So, what happens when the skin barrier is damaged? So first, the skin actually loses water. Secondly, because the walls are broken down, more things can enter the skin too, and that’s when things like allergens, and bacteria actually get into the skin. And thirdly, this is what triggers an inflammatory response in the skin, is when different allergens, different toxins, different bacteria enter the skin, and then you get symptoms like dryness, flakiness and even irritation to the skin. So picture this, imagine that your skin is like a brick wall, and each brick is held into place with mortar. So when your skin is healthy, nothing gets past the mortar, right, it’s a strong brick wall, but when your skin is unhealthy, if the mortar is loosened at all, that’s how bacteria seeps in, that’s how pollutants enter, and that’s how you lose water and nutrients too.

(04:35) – So it’s so important to keep that barrier strong. And now we’re gonna talk about different ways that can damage it, ’cause there’s a lot of different factors that go into how that skin barrier gets disrupted and gets damaged. One of the first ones is excessive washing, especially with harsh chemicals, like parabens. So over-washing your skin can be a big issue, and if you’re using harsh ingredients it can strip all of that moisture away too. And so, not only does it cause excessive dryness but then the harshness of those chemicals can also break down the skin barrier. Also, sun damage. So, not that long ago, we talked about different ways for sun protection, and that’s very important for the skin barrier on many levels, from water loss, skin dryness, and then also damage to it directly from the UVA and UVB rays. Nutrition. Let’s not forget about some of the core fundamentals of what you put in your body also comes out on your skin too, and a diet that lacks different oils can really show up as dehydrating and having your skin lose that hydration. So one of the things about… That I love since I’ve been in Europe for so long and traveling to so many different countries, is that when you order a coffee, they always give you a glass of water.

(06:00) – And in the States, I feel like they don’t do that as much, but that is such a brilliant habit. Every time you drink coffee, drink a glass of water with it, because coffee is incredibly dehydrating. It’s such a simple practice. I mean, I know it’s very hard for most people to stop drinking coffee, but simply adding that glass of water can help replenish all the water lost when you drink coffee, because it is a diuretic. Also, different things that can damage the skin barrier include, pollution, stress, and of course, smoking as well. So first I wanna talk about oils, because they help nourish the skin, they help replenish the oils, and they strengthen that skin barrier. So there’s so many great oils out there, and we’re just gonna discuss some of my favorites and some that we have incorporated here at Puriya, because there are so many. So jojoba oil, it’s a very common oil, you can find it at most natural food stores. Native American tribes were very familiar with this oil, and they used it commonly for skin treatments and hair treatments because of its rich mineral and vitamin content.

(07:11) – And modern science today can verify its uses from soothing irritated skin, easing wounds, and even vanishing the blemishes. So jojoba oil is very effective and very powerful, incredibly nourishing too. And I love it to infuse different oils in it as well. Avocado oil. So, we’ve actually discussed avocado oil on many different occasions in the last couple of weeks for its nourishing properties, and also eating it as a rich omega 3 too. And so, the medicinal benefit studies have shown avocado oil can actually help to build collagen, speed wound healing, and decrease redness. So, it’s an incredibly nourishing oil, and it can do quite a bit of amazing things too. So we actually have it in the Mother of All Creams here at Puriya. And I’d like to discuss amaranth oil. So not as many people are familiar with it, you might know it more as the superfood, but it’s actually like this very silky oil that’s packed with vitamins and vital nutrients and it’s a very rich oil, and it has a unique constituent called squalene, which is actually supposed to support the skin regeneration and increase hydration.

(08:29) – So amaranth oil is very unique, because it has squalene and that’s a very unique constituent for the oil. So we really like that one. It’s great as a food too, and it’s an amazing oil. Another one is carrot seed oil. So most people think of carrots and they think of the vegetable, but the seeds of the wild carrot plant have a lot of great medicinal actions, from decreasing inflammation to improving the skin’s appearance and even providing UV protection factors. So I think carrot seed oil is kind of like a hidden gem, not that many people know about it, but it’s great at nourishing and protecting the skin. So, avocado oil, amaranth oil, carrot seed oil, and jojoba oil, those are some of my favorite ones. And then besides oils, there are so many great nutrients and natural ingredients that can help protect that skin barrier. So we talked about aloe as a soothing botanical last week. And aloe is also very effective at helping to hydrate the skin and seal in the skin barrier. Also, shea nut butter, I am a huge fan of this. It’s one of my personal favorites. It almost feels like velvet on your skin. And it offers exactly that, the ability to calm sensitive skin while nourishing it from the inside out.

(09:57) – And research has actually shown it to be… To have actually pain relieving properties and anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s great at helping soothe the skin and support skin barrier health. Now, one of my favorites too, which most people already have in their kitchen is honey. It is great to actually help seal in that moisture. So it’s a very effective moisturizer and a hydrator, because it helps lock in that moisture, and it’s packed with vitamins and minerals and amino acids. The ancient Greeks have recorded its healing properties over 2,000 years ago for treating different things from wounds and burns. And recent studies have also been able to confirm its abilities to effectively treat conditions like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, as well as soothe inflamed skin. And a lot of research also talks about its ability to help fight bacterial infections. So, a lot of the issue with disrupting the skin barrier is that once different things come in like bacteria, toxins, allergens, then the skin barrier is broken and it’s more vulnerable to get those infections. So I think it’s very important while you’re helping heal the skin barrier, it’s also giving it something antimicrobial to stop preventing those secondary actions as well.

(11:20) – So, we will talk a little bit about restoring your skin from the inside out. And one of the best things you can do, of course, is diet and really looking into why your skin barrier is disrupted in the first place, right? If you have atopic dermatitis or different things, I would want you to go much deeper and consider a food challenge diet, see if you have any sensitivities. But a basic one to restore the hydration from the inside out is to up your omega 3s and your healthy fat. So you can do this by eating avocados, eating salmon, nuts and seeds, and also don’t forget, water-rich foods. So a lot of water-rich foods are cucumbers, watermelon, and strawberries. And one of the most basic things, which we talked a little bit when we discussed drinking water with coffee is to simply drink more water. Hydrated skin is happy skin. So, I want all of you to remember that. And when you have options to drink different beverages, always go for water. And also, something that I wanna talk about is when you take a shower or when you wash your face, avoid really hot water, because that hot water can strip your skin and over dry it. So go for something more neutral, like tepid water. It would be so much better on your skin and your skin would be much happier.

(12:50) – So please let me know if you guys have any questions. I love talking about this, because it’s such a simple thing. And like I said, when I was first doing my clinical rotations in dermatology, our attending physician always talked about the importance of skin barrier health, because when you have a healthy skin barrier, your skin is so much healthier. I mean, the risk for dermatitis, the risk for all these different things, for allergens entering is dramatically less. So, some simple things to do just to support your skin barrier health. And now, I also wanna talk about learning to listen to your body, because it’s very important to start paying attention to those little signs in your skin, because your skin is a mirror for your overall health. So, do you notice that your skin breaks out more when you’re stressed, or that you might have redness or swelling if you eat certain foods, or does your skin look tired if you haven’t drank enough water? So, all of these little things are a mirror for what’s going on and it can help you keep that balance. So I highly recommend that just tuning in and listening to your body.

(14:01) – So today we talked about the importance of skin health, a little bit about the skin barrier function and what the skin does, picturing it with bricks, and then the mortar and we wanna keep that mortar healthy, so we don’t let water out. Lots of great soothing oils and we could talk more and more about that, and a lot of great natural ingredients, and we use shea butter, we use honey here at Puriya too, avocado oil, carrot seed oil, jojoba oil, all of these great, amazing things, and they are great oils too to infuse different herbs in as well. So, I hope all of you guys learned the importance. Drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, up your omega 3s, and when you drink coffee be sure to drink water with it. Those little things can have profound results. So, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you can get updates and you can stay in the know of future events that are coming up.

(15:00) – And next Wednesday, July 31st, we have Joshua “Native” Kirk joining us. And I think this will be a very fun interview, because he’s going to be talking about off-grid living. So, he lives in nature and he takes it to a whole new level. Most people won’t be able to live off the grid and 100% sustainable like he does, but he can give us great tips on how we can incorporate nature into our daily lives, wherever you live. So be sure to tune in for that, and have an amazing weekend and I will see you next week. Take care.

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