The Skin-ny on DMS

DMS stands for Derma Membrane structure and is the base for which many of our Dermaviduals products are made in.

This very unique composition mimics the Sratum Corneum (upper layers of skin) bilayers in both composition & function.

DMS is used as a preventative treatment that aims to maintain the skin barrier in its natural & intact condition. As i have spoken about many times before, having a healthy skin barrier is the key to skin health and always our first priority when targeting skin conditions and improving our skin overall.

Products contain a lipid composition (DMS) that resembles the membrane structure of the natural skin barrier & correspond to the principles of Corneotherapy, essentially acting as "skin in a bottle" made up from plant based ingredients.

Still not sure what that means? below is a break down of the composition of our skin and then the composition of DMS.


Composition of DMS Skin Structure

· Phosphatidylcholine (from soybean lecithin). Phospholipids

· Ceramides (from yeast). Ceramides

· Triglycerides (from coconut oil). Triglycerides

· Squalane (from olives). Squalane

· Sterols (from shea nut). Cholesterol

· Fatty acids from H-PC). Fatty acids & NMF


All of which combine to form the skins protective barrier.


The stratum corneum looks like brick work. The horny cells are the bricks and the lipids between the cells form the mortar. These lipids determine the effectiveness of the protective layer. If the skin barrier is disrupted, the skin has an undesirable look and feel and is more susceptible to penetration of foreign substances and micro-organisms resulting in redness and irritation. Think allergens in the air and bacteria from your hands, no one wants to offer these guys a fast track into the skin.

Therefore, it is important to maintain the integrity of the skin barrier with DMS cream to prevent the breakdown of the protective components and keep the protective layer intact. Trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) will then normalise, creating a favorable environment for enzyme activity. (CHYMOTRYPTIC ENZYMES - CSSE). Enzymes break down the desmosome bonds in the skin which allows desquamation.

In simple terms, its like having the heater going and the door open, you can drink all the water you want but if there is nothing to hold it down, its going to be evaporated out of your skin just as quickly as your drinking it. These enzymes CSSE, need water to function and they have a really important job of shedding away redundant skin cells at the end of their life cycle, so when they hang on to each other and stick around longer than they are welcome we get skin that looks and feels dull, dry, and can be the beginning of the end for many skin conditions.


Chemical composition DMS = our skin’s chemistry.


The DMS cream composition also allows for the products to be free of -

· Emulsifiers – they may influence the integrity of the skin barrier and cause the loss of natural protective factors when cleansing the skin.

· Preservatives – they may not be tolerated and can cause irritations as well as breaking down the skins natural microbiome.

· Perfumes/ fragrance – the number one sensitiser to skin. They should avoided in creams which penetrate the skin.

· Mineral oils & silicones – they may have occlusive effects and therefore affect the natural activity of the skin to produce its own protective substances.

· Amines – they are accompanying substances of so called anionic emulsifiers (Alkaline soap) and stress the skin.

· Colours - made of many more undesirable ingredients

Derma Membrane Structure Properties

Dermaviduals creams possesses neither oil in water O/W or water in oil W/O properties. Due to their special bi-layer structure they integrate with ease with the skins lipids. Usually creams on either O/W or W/O emulsions, are homogenised, and stabilised with the help of emulsifiers. Emulsifiers may build up within the skin and dissolve skin lipids when skin encounters water, essentially washing away all of your skins natural oils and stripping the skin (wash out effect). If you have ever cleansed your skin and felt that tight, squeaky clean feeling then you will have experienced the wash out effect. This won't completly impair your barrier after one wash but accumulated over time becomes very detrimental.

DMS is unique to Dermaviduals, you won’t find this in your over the counter/ department store skincare products.

The acid mantle/ stratum corneum (brickwork of the skin) keeps the good in and the bad out. This means supporting it with skin-loving ingredients is crucial.

There is a common misconception that the outermost layer of our skin is dead, this is far from the truth. Our stratum corneum is very much alive and is an integral part of our skin defense system. It is able to communicate vital information from the outside to the cells and systems deeper down in the skin. A skin cell is not dead until it has hit the floor.

Supporting our skin with products that do not irritate or impair the skin barrier function is essential in maintaining the long-term health of our skin.

If we want skin that will serve us well and stand the test of time we need to be very mindful of what we are applying daily but also being aware of what we are not introducing to the skin is equally as important.

Healthy skin is beautiful skin.


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