Celebrate Dead Skin Cells

Celebrate Dead Skin Cells

Anne Willis

How you choose to develop self-satisfaction with yourself and your skin is a major component in reducing certain skin conditions like oxidative stress, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, acne, and just plain unhealthy skin. 

There are so many misguided skincare methods such is the case with the misunderstanding of the importance of dead skin cells. So, I wish to help reframe the value and benefits of these surface sentinels, thus allowing you to have the knowledge you need to care for your skin without experiencing any unnecessary disturbances.

Dead surface cells even at death serve a purpose. Hold everything!  Are you starting to hear alarm bells?  Did you just say to yourself that you thought dead skin cells were to be exfoliated, eradicated, peeled, burned, and sloughed at all cost? If you did, then it’s even more important for you to keep reading. 

First, dead skin cells are skin’s initial line of defense. While they not only act as a shield, it is through a chemical synthetase that they send messages to healthy cells to prepare them for intruders that are attempting to cause harm such as toxins, unsafe chemicals, viruses, harmful bacteria, and at times, even yourself.  

Dead skin cells limit water loss (dehydration) and also diffuse light through cutia waxy, water – repellent substance that coats its membrane.  The cell walls of the multilayer cuticle are responsible for secreting cutin, and when combined with sweat, and sebum (skin oil), this powerful homogenous mixture is one of your skin’s most commanding protectors.  

In addition, dead skin cells provide valuable nourishment for the skins microorganisms, collectively termed the microbiome (bacteria).  The microbiome is the foundation for the skins eco system performing key functions that include circadian rhythmicity, breakdown of nutrients to release energy for metabolic responses (i.e., cellular responses)production of vitamins for skin cells long term sustainability, and immunity.

The most important seed I want to plant within your new paradigm about dead skin cells, is that the process in which the microbiome feeds on decomposed skin cells for nourishment is not only vital, but plays a key role in transforming dead skin cells into usable compounds. So, dead skin cells are not something that should be gotten rid of because they are unsightly or annoying, or because standard skin care says it’s the only way your skin can stay young, but because they serve a vital purpose for skin’s nutrient cycle.

With that said, how should skin care products work in conjunction with this process?  The goal is to break down dead skin cells into smaller units. Once this occurs the microbiome can liberate the nutrients, and complete the decomposition of organic material. There will be remnants from this process and those can be digested through natural enzymes.  

When I began the process of formulating products for De La Terre Skincare, it was vital to take natures lead and to support these biochemical and physiological behaviors. The result are two product options to be included in your skin care sequence. 

The first product is Active Support Skin Lotion  This lightweight emulsion is formulated with a high ratio of 14 varieties of mushrooms.  Why mushrooms? Mushrooms are the engines of the process of decomposition. They are highly effective in the breakdown of decomposed organic materials (dead skin cells) creating the conversion of nutrients, protection from pathogens and repair to damaged skin cells.

Active Support Skin Lotion also provides lightweight moisture, brightens pigmentation, and boosts skin’s immune response.  Active Support Skin Lotion should be thought of as treatment lotion, because it does so much more for the skin than moisturize.  The recommended application for this product is 1 - 2x a day.  This product is not generally recommended for use on skin that is actively being treated with retinA, medical grade skin resurfacing products or procedures.  This is not to say that it can’t be used on these skin’s, but it may be counterintuitive. 

The second valuable product that supports the biochemical and physiological behaviors of dead skin cells is Herb Rich Clay.  Following the breakdown of dead skin cells, remnants of organic waste will need to be digested. Not exfoliated, but digested.  

Herb Rich Clay's unique powder compound has pure botanical actives that do just that.  Besides its energetic digestive capabilities, I also wanted this product to address instabilities within skin’s layers. Therefore, Herb Rich Clay is available in four unique formulas offering skin that is either inflamed, damaged, neglected or in need of purification, the support it needs to stabilize.  The recommended application for this product is 1 to 2x a week. 

So, the take-home message is: Celebrate your dead skin cells and avoid removing all chances for skin to take back its power to thrive naturally.