Learn: Why is the skin barrier important?

Learn: Why is the skin barrier important?

Skin is the largest organ in our bodies and serves more than an aesthetic purpose. Your skin works to keep you protected from environmental toxins, diseases, ultraviolet rays, and pathogens.

Skin has a few layers. On the topmost surface is the skin barrier, otherwise known as the stratum corneum. This layer is made of corneocytes, a brick-like cell that’s thin but incredibly tough. These cells are held tightly together with lipids or fatty molecules.

Contained inside this layer are keratins and molecules that keep skin naturally moisturized.

This is the layer that we love to care for and have whole routines dedicated to keep healthy.

If you are new to the skin care world or are learning about the skin barrier for the first time, here are some things to look out for to know if your skin barrier is damaged:

  • Frequent breakouts and acne

  • Itching

  • Flaking, scaling and dry skin

  • Discoloration

  • Wrinkling

  • Loss of elasticity

  • Fungal, bacterial, and viral skin infections

  • Inflammation

  • Sensitive skin

The root cause of a damaged skin barrier can stem from many things. It can be caused by unhealthy habits such as lack of sleep, poor hygiene, lack of nutritious food, lack of stress management and smoking. It can be caused by environmental factors such as pollution, UV exposure, humidity, weather (hot and cold), and toxins. Then there are genetic and biological reasons such as age, ethnicity, and family history of skin conditions.

To put it plainly, the daily assault on your skin barrier is ever-present and inevitable. 

But there are ways to reduce the barrage of skin damaging assailants and keep your skin healthy and glowing.

  1. Moisturize your skin daily. Hydrated skin is better suited to keep irritants out and keep inflammation away. Look for products that contain ceramides. These keep the lipid layer strong and healthy and keep moisture locked in.

  2. Reduce exposure to the sun and UV rays. Too much sunshine and UV rays can cause premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles when they unleash free radicals on your skin. Wear sun protection such as a hat and wear sunscreen to keep your skin protected.

  3. Try a minimalist skin routine. Often 10-step skin routines are too irritating for skin. Look for products with clean ingredients and see if you can decrease the number of products you use by getting a product with multiple functions.

  4. Be gentle with your skin. Avoid hot showers, pat your skin dry, don’t scrub or scratch too hard. Use gentle cleansers.

  5. Manage your health and stress. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated reduces acne breakouts leading to a healthier skin barrier.

  6. Be mindful of the pH mantle. Your skin pH mantle is 4.7. Skin care products have pH levels with a wide range of acidity and alkalinity.Using too many products with pH outside of skin range can damage the barrier.

  7. Add a plant oil. Oils provide the perfect properties for skin healing you need. They are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and contain antioxidants. And they keep skin plump and hydrated.

Ready to heal and repair your skin?

Our ‘No Dirt’ Balancing Cleanser offers a deep clean, effectively removing dirt, oil and debris without disrupting pH, so the barrier remains intact and the skin isn’t susceptible to irritation. An our ‘Everywhere’ Antioxidant Oil is formulated for all skin types and keeps balance within the lipid barrier to strengthen the surface, hydrate, sooth and promote skin health.

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