How to Strengthen Your Skin

How to Strengthen Your Skin: A Guide to Thicker, Healthier Skin

By Britton Strickland, Ph.D.

JUN 15, 2023

As we explore the complexities of aging and uncover the mysteries of our bodies, we must not overlook the importance of our skin. After all, it's our first line of defense against the outside world. Our skin protects us from environmental stressors such as UV rays, pollution, and bacteria. However, factors such as aging, genetics, and lifestyle choices can weaken the skin barrier, leading to skin dryness, skin sensitivity, and other systemic issues. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of thick, healthy skin and provide tips on how to strengthen your skin barrier naturally.

01 What it means to have thick skin

It's not just a metaphorical phrase. Thick skin refers to the thickness and integrity of the dermal layers. The outermost layer of skin, the epidermis, acts as a barrier against environmental stressors such as UV rays, pollution, and other harmful agents. Thick skin provides a better barrier function, protecting against damage and promoting healthier skin.

Understanding the difference between thick skin vs thin skin is crucial for comprehending variations in skin sensitivity across different areas of the body. A thicker epidermis contains more skin cells, which can help to reduce the effects of aging and maintain skin health. Thinner skin is more susceptible to signs of aging and damage. Skin thickness can be compromised by extrinsic and intrinsic aging factors and bolstered by healthy lifestyle choices. It's important to note that healthy thick skin should not have a rough or tough texture. Instead, healthy thick skin should be smooth and even textured, making it less prone to wrinkles and other signs of aging skin.

02 Epidermal thickness in aging

The epidermis is composed of several layers of skin cells. The outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, is composed of flattened, older skin cells called corneocytes that are held together by a matrix of lipids. This layer plays a crucial role in maintaining the skin's overall health and function. By forming a water-resistant barrier, the stratum corneum helps to regulate the skin's hydration levels, preventing excessive water loss or absorption. This barrier also serves as a physical barrier against harmful environmental factors, reducing the risk of skin damage and infection.1

As we get older, our epidermis begins to thin at a rate of about 5-7% per decade.2 This is partly due to the fact that skin cell turnover and collagen and elastin production slows as we age. With fewer new skin cells being produced at the base of the epidermis and less structural integrity, the entire epidermal layer becomes thinner. Additionally, external stressors such as UV rays and pollution can also contribute to a thinner epidermis.3
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03 Why having thick skin is important

Having thick skin is important because it provides a strong barrier against external stressors, which not only helps prevent external signs of aging, but also protects your body from harmful factors. A thick skin barrier also helps to retain moisture, which is essential for healthy skin and a healthy body. Additionally, thicker skin contains more collagen fibers and elastin fibers, which provide structure and support to the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

04 Signs of a weak skin barrier

Identifying signs of a weak skin barrier is an essential step in developing the right routine to maintain a healthy skin barrier and retain proper moisture levels. Common signs include:
  • Dryness
  • Flakiness
  • Sensitivity
  • Crepiness
  • Premature development of fine lines and wrinkles
If you have a weak skin barrier, you may experience sensitivities such as pain or discomfort when using skin care products or when exposed to environmental stressors such as wind or sun exposure. You may also notice an increase in the number of breakouts or a change in your skin texture.

These symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, aging, and environmental stressors. However, don't fret, as there are ways to restore skin barrier.

05 How to restore the skin barrier

If you are wondering what treatment you should follow to restore skin thickness, there are several ways to restore your skin barrier and increase epidermal thickness. First, avoid using any harsh skin care product that can strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, opt for a gentle gel cleanser, peptide eye cream, and peptide moisturizers that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which can help to retain moisture and strengthen the skin barrier without inducing excessive sensitivities. Other tips for maintaining a strong skin barrier include staying hydrated, avoiding excessive sun exposure, wearing sunscreen, and eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids.4

Additionally, certain topical skin care products and ingredients have been shown to bolster the skin’s barrier and improve skin elasticity. One way to get thicker skin is by using peptide creams, such as OneSkin's OS-01 Topical Supplements. OneSkin's proprietary peptide, OS-01, is scientifically proven to promote an increase in the thickness of the epidermis of ex vivo human skin samples, with up to a 28% increase in 55-year-old skin samples.5

OS-01 FACE is clinically validated to improve skin's barrier function, with an average improvement of +15% observed in a 12-week clinical study conducted by a third-party organization. OS-01 BODY is a peptide body lotion that has been shown in lab studies to increase epidermal thickness up to 40% in human skin samples.

Key Takeaways

  • Our skin acts as the first defense against environmental stressors, but factors like aging, genetics, and lifestyle choices can weaken its protective barrier.
  • Thick skin is essential for a stronger barrier function, offering protection against damage and contributing to healthier skin. Thin skin is more vulnerable to signs of aging and damage.
  • The epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, plays a crucial role in maintaining overall skin health. However, it can thin over time due to aging and exposure to external stressors like UV rays and pollution.
  • Having thick skin is important for multiple reasons, including preventing signs of aging, shielding the body from harmful factors, retaining moisture, and diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Prioritizing the health and strength of our skin is crucial for overall well-being. Scientifically validated skin care, such as OneSkin's OS-01 Topical Supplements, can help restore and maintain a thicker, healthier skin barrier.


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