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Let's Talk Skin! Part 4 — Importance of Lipids for Healthy Skin Physiology and the Effects of...

The fourth, and last, in a series of expert seminars in skin science called TRI Talking Skin will take place on Wednesday 1st December with a talk from Dr Apostolos Pappas on the ‘Importance of Lipids for Healthy Skin Physiology and the Effects of Age and Ethnicity’.

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Skin oil synthesis is fundamental for skin functions. Their chemistry and biology seem unusual, as many skin lipids are not found in other tissues within the human body. These surface lipids are of sebaceous and keratinocyte/epidermal origin.

Triglycerides, waxes and squalene are secreted by the sebaceous glands and are deposited via the hair canal on the surface of the skin. Sebaceous oil is involved in the pathogenesis of acne, seborrheic dermatitis, oily hair as well as hair loss, since unique, complex and unusual desaturated fatty acids, waxes and unusual squalene accumulation are unique manifestations for hair biology and health.

Image courtesy of Biox Systems Ltd
Image courtesy of Biox Systems Ltd

On the other hand, epidermal lipids as ceramides are fundamental for the skin barrier’s properties. Recent studies have demonstrated the involvement of the epidermal oil barrier in eczema and dry skin conditions.

The lecture will summarize the studies that demonstrate their importance for healthy skin physiology and how age and ethnicity could alter the various skin lipids.

Dr Apostolos Pappas is an Adjunct Fellow at TRI Princeton and has long held a strong research interest in skin biology. He was one of the first skin biologists to culture human primary sebocytes and human facial preadipocytes, and has also authored two important textbooks in the field: “Nutrition and Skin”, published by Springer in 2011, and “Lipids and Skin Health”, published by Springer in 2014.


For details of other presentations in the TRI Talking Skin series go to

If you missed the first three seminars, they are available to stream on the TRI Library
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