What is the Skin Barrier?
The skin barrier is a crucial part of our body's first line of defense against external threats that can include environmental stressors, allergens, and pathogens. It is made up of multiple layers of skin cells and lipids that work together to prevent water loss, maintain moisture, and protect the skin from damage.
Some beauty practices can harm our skin barrier, leading to dryness, inflammation, and other skin issues. Over-exfoliation, the use of harsh soaps and cleansers, and persistent use of hot water, can strip the skin of its natural oils, disrupt the skin barrier, and cause irritation. Using skincare products containing ingredients such as alcohol, fragrances, and certain preservatives can also weaken the skin barrier, making it more susceptible to damage. As people reach for more targeted skincare products, which can be a great option for treating specific concerns over a limited period. We have seen an increasing trend towards acids as part of everyday skincare, across all skin types. This over using of active ingredients is also a contributing factor as to why more people are experiencing a diminished skin barrier and the problems that come with it.
How do we repair it?
To repair a damaged skin barrier, it is essential to adopt a gentle skincare routine that includes hydrating and nourishing ingredients. Natural ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, and Oats can help soothe and repair the skin barrier. Aloe vera contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce redness and irritation, while chamomile has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help calm and protect the skin. Oat is also known for its ability to soothe and moisturise the skin, making it an excellent ingredient for repairing a damaged skin barrier.
In addition to incorporating natural ingredients into your skincare routine, it is also essential to avoid harsh beauty practices that can further damage the skin barrier. This includes limiting the use of hot water, avoiding over-exfoliating, and using gentle cleansers that do not contain harsh ingredients that strip away sebum from the skin. It is also important to put oil back into the skin regularly to prevent dryness and help support the repair of skins barrier function. Oils can act as a temporary shield offering protection to the skin while it rests and repair itself. Oils also offer additional restorative support from nourishing ingredients.
The skin barrier is a vital component for optimal skin health and function. Our diet and beauty practices will largely dictate the health of the skin barrier. Adopting a gentle skincare routine using natural skincare will have a protective effect on the skin. Reducing the use of harsher off the shelf actives and acids will also help to protect your skin barrier. If you have a specific skin concern you wish to treat, we would recommend visiting a proffessional aesthetician or Dermotologist, who can guide you to treatment that is specific to your needs. Lastly, protect your skin from sunlight everyday by wearing an SPF, especially while working to restore adequate barrier function.
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