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Over years, skin dehydrates itself. This natural phenomenon is the consequence of many changes in the skin’s layers: the production of sebum - which hydrates the skin – and hyaluronic acid - which captures water molecules – indeed diminishes with age. These are the two main causes of the dehydration of the skin.
The role of sebum
Sebum is the substance which gives the skin a shiny appearance when it is produced in great quantities by the sebaceous glands, located just under the epidermis. Largely unloved, sebum nonetheless has numerous beneficial functions:
- Mixed with sweat, it forms a protective film over the skin, which helps to keep it supple
- It limits water evaporation from the skin when the air is of low humidity
- It protects the hair and stops it from breaking.
Hormones control the production of sebum but, with age, this production decreases, rendering the skin more vulnerable, notably to the evaporation of water.
The role of hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a very big molecule which is naturally found in the skin and which is capable of fixing water: it helps to maintain good skin hydration. The production of hyaluronic acid is significant in a young body but, with time, it also decreases. Skin therefore loses its capacity to retain and fix water and tends to dry out.