What is the skin barrier?
The skin barrier is the outermost part of the skin that controls what goes in or out of the skin. Think of it as your skin's very important security protecting the skin from external threats like germs, dirt and other pollutants while preventing moisture from leaving the skin. The skin barrier is made up of skin cells glued together with a lipid interface made up of essential fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol.
What happens when it is damaged?
The skin barrier can get disrupted for a number of reasons. When this happens, water and irritants can easily pass through and cause problems for your skin. In fact, most skin conditions stem from a damaged skin barrier.
What leads to a damaged skin barrier?
There are a range of things that can lead to a damaged skin barrier. Some common ones are:
- using ingredients that are harsh and strip the skin of its natural oil
- over-exfoliating your skin
- using products with very high pH
- cleansing with hot water
- dry weather and low-humidity conditions like in a flight
- skipping moisturisers
- UV radiation
*this list is not exhaustive
How do you know if your skin barrier is damaged?
When your skin barrier is damaged you'll likely experience dryness or dehydration, and tightness in your skin. Other symptoms include itching, redness, flaking, stinging/burning sensation when you use certain products, skin rashes and increased breakouts.
How can you repair damaged skin barrier?
- Use a pH balanced cleanser for your skin (pH close to the skin's pH of about 5.5).
- Use lukewarm water while cleansing.
- Use an alcohol free toner like Lavender and Rose Hydrating Toner, which also doubles as a face mist, which can be used in low humidity like during harmattan or winter, or while on a long flight.
- Use a moisturiser rich in plant oils like Radiance Facial Oil, Bloom Body Oil or Whip't Body Butter.
- Cut back on exfoliation for at least 2 weeks then slowly incorporate it into your routine.
- Use sunscreen daily.
- Avoid products with heavy fragrance (including essential oils)
- Keep your routine simple and be gentle with your skin.
With this measures, you skin will repair itself in no time.
If you believe you have a damaged skin barrier or are unsure, you can contact us for a free consultation. Simply click on the WhatsApp button on the bottom right or use the contact form.