Your skin is a part of your body and the largest organ, it also needs to be kept health. When your skin barrier is strong, it protects your skin from external stressors and locks in moisture; when it’s damaged, irritants and allergens seep in and water evaporates, leaving your skin dull, dry and dehydrated.
What do we mean by skin barrier?
Your skin barrier acts like a security guard for your skin. The skin is made up of 3 layers: the epidermis (outer thin layer), the dermis (thick middle layer) and the subcutaneous (fatty layer). The two top levels of the epidermis comprise your skin’s natural barrier, the uppermost called the stratum corneum. Our skin is comprised of lots of different layers, and your skin barrier is the outermost of them all. This outermost layer is proposed with two jobs: (1) To keep the good stuff sealed in healthy natural oils, hydration, and moisture), (2) To keep bad things out (like irritants in the environment).
Your skin barrier is essential for good health and needs to be protected in order to function properly.
What could cause damage to the skin barrier?
Over time, your skin barrier can become impaired. There’s genetics, aging, and environmental factors, which are largely out of our control. Other factors such as our everyday activities like over cleansing can cause cumulative damage that compromises its structure. Our skin barriers get damaged when lipids (the natural fats that help our skin) are broken down. Here are a few things that can cause your skin barrier to become damaged:
Natural aging, allergens, irritants, and pollutants, Exposure to harsh chemicals, Over cleansing and over exfoliating, Extreme temperatures, UV and Blue light exposure, Psychological distress, Genetic factors like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, Unhealthy eating, Unhealthy skincare practices…
Symptoms of Weakened or Damaged Skin Barrier
Has your skin been feeling lackluster of late? Disruption in the core functions of the skin barrier can present in a number of ways. Here are some pointers to know your skin barrier has been compromised and weakened:
Lack of skin elasticity, Itchy, dry skin, Tightness and irritation, Sensitive or inflamed areas, Wrinkles, Discoloration, Water loss (called trans-epidermal water loss), Thinning of the epidermal layer, Redness, Skin infections, Delayed wound healing…
How Can You Protect & Repair damaged skin barrier?
1. Apply Sunscreen Daily and avoid sun exposure when the UV index is at its highest (from 10am to 4pm).
2. Keep your skin moisturized and hydrated daily. You can be hydrated internally by drinking plenty of water. Look for a multifaceted Moisturizer (emollient and humectant). Check out the blog on hydrating and moisturising ingredients to look out for in a skincare https://vspbotanics.com/2021/09/17/hydrating-moisturizing-ingredients-to-look-out-for-in-your-products/
3. Load up on antioxidants both in your diet and your skin care. https://vspbotanics.com/2021/03/11/essential-vitamins-for-popping-skin/
4. Be gentle to your skin. No tugging and pulling, no aggressive scratching etc
5. Avoid chemical skin care that can disrupt your skin barrier. Instead, seek out natural and biodynamic products that maintain strength and integrity.
6. Simplify your skin care routine. Less is more (You can check out this blogpost https://vspbotanics.com/2021/12/02/less-is-more-the-skincare-routine/)
7. Pay attention to pH as your skin’s delicate acid mantle hovers around a pH of 5.7.
8. Skin covers your body not just your face. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY.