The importance of Protecting Our Skin Barrier & How to Protect it
The key is balance
What is the skin Barrier?
Your skin is made up of layers, each of which performs important functions in protecting your body.
The outermost layer, called the stratum corneum or lipid barrier is often described as a ‘brick Wall’ this is our fantastic skin barrier our defense mechanism, keeping the right things in and the wrong things out. A Healthy skin barrier means resilient, happy, clear and healthy looking skin.
Our skin barrier front line of our skin, defends against damaging pollution, UV light, irritants, infection..etc.. Without it all sorts of harmful environmental toxins and pathogens could penetrate the skin and cause havoc in the body. It protects the body from excessive transdermal water loss (TEWL) and hence when the skin barrier is intact will lock in hydration.
In terms of defense a vital role is the function of the antimicrobial peptides which are produced in the deeper layers of the epidermis and transported to the outermost layer (skin barrier) where these crucial cells defend against potential harmful pathogens.
Cementing the skin cells together in the skin barrier are ceramides or lipids which work to strengthen the skin. Ceramides can quickly deteriorate due to a variety of factors, including age, over-exfoliating and more.
It is so important to understand the function of the skin and realise the importance to maintain its health and function. Your skin barrier is essential for good health and needs to be protected in order to function properly.
How is your skin barrier compromised?
While environmental and intrinsic factors (internal conditions) do upset the skin barrier, it’s also the things we do to try and help improve our skin that can tip the balance. Such as:
- Over cleansing is a major culprit and while it is important to clean our skin over using a product that strips moisture away can start breaking down our ceramides or lipids
- Over exfoliation
- Over using treatments such as vitamin A
- Over use of acids or too strong concentrations (Glycolic, Salicylic acids… more)
- Lifestyle issues
- Lack of sleep
- Poor diet
- UV exposure
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
- Environments that are either too humid or too dry
- Genetics making you more prone to certain skin conditions
Think about your skin care routines, which products you are using and why, also the frequency. Become your own expert in detecting a damaged skin barrier and how you can repair this.
How can you tell if your skin barrier is damaged?
Look out for signs such as:
- Stinging skin
- Flaky skin
- Acne breakouts
- Excess oil
We now understand the need for a strong skin barrier we must look at our internal and external health, today we are only looking at topical skin products.
The first step to repairing your damaged skin barrier is to follow the right daily skin routine.
It is important to identify products that cause damage and make changes to skin care routines, it may mean simplifying routines, using products with a suitable pH, using ingredients that contain ceramides or humectant like hyaluronic acid.
Skin is unique to you and learning about applying products that will benefit skin repair is crucial to understand, eliminating excessive cleansing, too aggressive treatments and over using is easy to get addicted to as you see a glow in your skin. Yet overtime if harsh products are being used incorrectly or too often, they can potentially lead to damaging the skin barrier and issues associated with this.
Remember without the protection of our lipid or skin barrier the skin is laid bare to every attack and will become increasingly weaker and the ageing process will accelerate the longer the barrier is left out of balance.
Finding the balance between your skin type, sensitivity and skin care regime is key..
Product Recommendations for Barrier Repair
Omega 6 Healing Cream is a rich hydrator and restores skin tissue using 100% active and functional ingredients. This potent formula is packed with omega 6 and lipophilic vitamin C, ingredients known for their skin regenerating and protecting properties. These skincare products do not contain fillers, preservatives, oil or fragrance, so they can be used on irritated and sensitive skin.
- Stimulates the skin’s inherent regenerative properties
- Speeds recovery from cuts, burns, and scars
- Provides relief from inflammation and irritation following skin resurfacing treatments
- Soothes and moisturizes severely dry and damaged skin
- Softens and heals skin with fat-soluble Vitamin C
- Deeply hydrates, brightens and firms collagen depleted skin
NeoGenesis Barrier Renewal Cream is a lightweight, deeply hydrating and reparative cream that is good for all skin types, including acneic and barrier impaired skin. It is an unscented and non-greasy formula that may be used on dry, sensitive or irritated skin. Skin is naturally renewed and repaired through daily use.
- Designed to repair the skin barrier which stops water loss in the skin
- Includes lipids, the skin’s natural fats, for complete healing to the barrier
- Lipids play a key role in maintaining the smoothness and firmness of skin
- Facilitates natural development of the outside layer of the skin
- Contains cholesterol, free fatty acids, and ceramides needed to repair the skin
- Deeply hydrating for even the most damaged skin
- Unscented formula appropriate for the most sensitive skin
- May be used on acneic skin
Dermal Repair Cream is the flagship skin care product formulated with patented HSA (Heparan Sulfate Analog) technology. This unique and elegant formulation is clinically shown to improve the appearance of mature or photo-damaged skin.
- Improves the appearance of skin texture and firmness
- Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Enhances skin tone for a more youthful radiance
SHEALD™ RECOVERY BALM calms and encourages skin recovery while immersing severely dry skin in deep, healthy hydration. Antimicrobial and fragrance-free, this ultra-soothing balm helps to prevent the appearance of scarring and maximize your results.
- Stimulates human keratinocyte differentiation while decreasing inflammation
- Reduces irritation & discomfort with a thick antimicrobial environmental barrier
- Increases collagen synthesis
- Softens & hydrates raw, dry, sensitive skin
- Prevents scabbing & relieves itching or tightness