In the complex mechanism of our body’s immune system, our skin stands as the frontline continually safeguarding us against the countless assaults of pathogens and environmental stressors. More than just a mere outer shell, our skin plays a dual role as both protector and communicator within our immune system, acting as the formidable barrier while carrying out essential detoxification processes. Understanding the delicate balance required for our skin to fulfill these vital functions is paramount, as it holds the key to fortifying our body’s overall immunity. In this exploration, we delve into the teamwork between our skin and immune system, uncovering strategies to support and strengthen this vital interface for enhanced well-being and beauty. 

Does Our Skin Have An Immune System?

Absolutely, and our skin is literally the most important part of our immune system. Our skin is a permeable barrier because it must function as our immune system while simultaneously functioning as a detoxification organ. How can we support our skin in its dual mission? Understanding this question and the answers holds the key to what can make or break our immune systems…and our skin.

How Does Our Immune System Affect Our Skin?

Our skin is the physically largest organ of our body and its health and integrity means everything for our immune system. Any puncture in our skin is a potential infection site that has the potential to be deadly under the wrong circumstances. Yet because our skin functions as a release organ, its permeability is a necessity. This creates a conundrum for our skin. What does it keep out, and even push out, and what does it let in? Thankfully, nature’s genius design accomplishes this perfectly if we know how to get out of its way.

First, our skin’s invisible natural acid mantle barrier is slightly acidic to kill pathogens. Keeping this unsung hero supported and intact is the first thing we must do. This means halting the use of astringents and chemical peels. I know this has been prescribed since 1970 for acne but it turns out that these ingredients only chase acne symptoms by disabling our acid mantle and subsequently impairing epidermal function. This also completely disregulates oil production which is problematic in and of itself. Skin with impaired epidermal function is more likely to sunburn and be slow to heal from any mishap or injury.  

Secondly, micro-injuries are inflicted on our skin every day at Medical and Day Spas to “heal” skin which, in truth, is merely sabotaging skin health by weakening epidermal function. Conventional skin procedures are essentially micro/macro skin injuries. Our immune systems are directly weakened by stress/injury/invasive skin care treatments. It is common to get sick after an invasive skin procedure for exactly this reason. This skin injury connection is another reason to take it easy and cocoon after receiving clinical skin extractions.

What Are The Most Common Autoimmune Skin Disorders

We need to keep our immune system strong and unconfused about who to attack. Autoimmune skin disorders happen when our immune system attacks our own bodies instead of intruding pathogens.

Psoriasis: Characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin, caused by an overactive immune system.

Vitiligo: Results in the loss of skin color in blotches, caused by the immune system attacking melanocytes (cells responsible for pigment production).

Autoimmune Urticaria: Causes hives due to the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissue.

Stress & Immunity

Here is the rub. Some stress is beneficial to immunity and some stress only worsens  immunity.  Professionals disagree vastly when it comes to this topic as reflected in the vaccination war we all experienced through covid. When it comes to skin this is still a polarizing and controversial topic.  

Corneotherapists believe that optimized health is brought about by protecting, fortifying, and regenerating  our skin. Conversely, conventional medical skin providers believe that the “harm to heal” approach is effective. This camp gives meaningless lip service to the value of our acid mantle and epidermal function. Each provider draws the line in the sand differently depending on their doctrine.

Each person must ask themselves these questions, “What services and ingredients will give me the long-term results I want?” and ‘What is healthy stress and what is not healthy stress?” Healthy stress takes us closer to long term skin health. Unhealthy stress causes premature aging, suns sensitivity, chronic skin congestion, inflammation, imbalanced oil production, and deteriorates our skin health. Answering these questions authentically, based on our own internal compass, becomes difficult in an industry circus that promises the best ingredients and results via relentless advertising campaigns driven solely by profit.

How To Strengthen Your Skin’s Immune System

Stop using conventional acne and anti-aging ingredients and procedures.  Especially if you have acne or extensive sun damage or peri or post menopausal skin over 30 years of age. Work with your skin to support its acid mantle and natural barrier function. Take supplements to improve your body’s ability to repair skin wounds and regenerate itself  like collagen and amino acids. Reset your internal microbiome. In order to reset your external microbiome, no special probiotic skin care products are needed.

Simply, use a true hydrating mist and serum devoid of essential oils or astringents and a lipid dense barrier cream. Stop using skin cleansers and use warm water, optional gentle washcloth, and coconut oil to cleanse skin. Yep, this is adequate as long as you aren’t wearing stage makeup or 10 layers of non natural sunscreen.

Final Thoughts On Our Skin’s Immune System

Our skin is ever so much more than an object that must be manipulated into looking ok for vanity sake. Our skin is a vulnerable organ that can only maintain its strength if we protect, stimulate it reasonably, and fortify it with bonafide Dermal Nutrients and understanding.