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How skin care can help train innate immunity

Our skin has so many jobs! One of them is to defend us from pathogens, and the skin has the means (and cells!) to do this.

What is the innate immune response? Is the one ready to fight even before our body has actually encountered the new enemy and will help to equip for the adaptive response. It is clear that if we depended solely on antibodies formed days or weeks after the encounter of a brand new pathogen, we could not survive long: the new virus or bacteria would invade, reproduce and kill before the first antibodies were even formed!

Just like plants, invertebrates, and other living organisms, we have a first defense barrier that evolved for millions of years and recognizes stuff that is not like us, like types of molecules present in microbial surfaces and double-stranded RNA that makes up some viruses (we have RNA but only single-stranded).  In humans, phagocytic cells (macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells) and innate leukocytes (natural killer cells, mast cells, basophils, and eosinophils) are a major part of this innate response.

In the skin, epidermal keratinocytes act as active innate immune cells. In response to sensing “foreign” molecules associated with pathogens, innate immune receptors present on keratinocytes become activated, causing release of antimicrobial molecules.

The body’s innate immunity, which is critical for fighting viruses, deteriorates with age (what doesn’t?), and particularly after middle age. If you are looking for actives that will help reinforce this important function, you will find them in Skin Actives products and ingredients.

Have a look at these:

Sea kelp coral

Glycan 7 booster

Sorghum bicolor extract  (in our antioxidant serum)


and more!


Coates M, Blanchard S, MacLeod AS (2018) Innate antimicrobial immunity in the skin: A protective barrier against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. PLOS Pathogens 14(12): e1007353.


DISCLAIMER: These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.