Ever come across terms like ‘damaged skin barrier’ or ‘repair your skin barrier’ only to be left feeling confused about what it actually means? Well, fret no more, because we’re about to break it all down for you.
So what is the skin barrier?
Your skin is made up of several layers, with the skin barrier being the outermost layer. This is the layer that protects your skin from the environment stressors and prevents it from losing moisture. Your skin barrier is like your very own defense mechanism, protecting your skin from all kinds of pollution, dirt, gunk and most importantly, the damage caused by free radicals.
The skin barrier is often described as a brick wall because this is what it looks like from under a microscope. It is made up of lipids and cells. The skin barrier helps to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. The number one priority of the skin barrier is to hold on to hydration which is the key to healthy skin. When the skin barrier is doing its job properly, your skin will look plump, hydrated and will feel smooth and soft.
What happens when your skin barrier is damaged?
During the day your skin goes through so much. It gets exposed to a dry and humid environment, too many pollutants, harmful UV rays and a lot of psychological distress which takes a toll on it, leaving it feeling stretched thin and overwhelmed while also looking dull and drab. Also, when we try out new products in hopes of improving our skin, we unintentionally cause more harm and damage to it than good if the products are not suitable to our skin type. Use of harsh acids, actives and acne treatments can cause damage to the skin barrier. Also, over-exfoliating can also damage the skin barrier by stripping it off essential oils.
If your skin barrier is not properly functioning, it becomes more vulnerable to the damage. With a damaged skin barrier, your skin will not be able to fight off damaging aggressors such as free radicals which cause discoloration, blemishes, dull and premature aging.
How to identify if the skin barrier is damaged?
If your skin barrier is damaged or not functioning properly, you might notice some or all of the following skin symptoms and conditions:
- Dry or scaly skin
- Itchiness and redness
- Rough or discolored patches
- Bacterial, fungal skin infections
How to protect your skin barrier and restore it?
It is very important to maintain a healthy skin barrier as it performs a lot of different functions for the skin’s healthy maintenance. Keep on reading to find out strategies to keep your skin barrier healthy and functional.
- Simplify your skincare routine: Nowadays, people have skincare routines that consist of many steps with all kinds of different products. Having an extensive routine is not a bad thing but sometimes it can be problematic if the right products are not used. Also, too much of a complicated routine can weaken your skin barrier as some products don’t work well with others, and mixing them up can cause the skin barrier to weaken. Always consider talking to a dermatologist or a skin expert before trying out any new product.
- Pay attention to PH levels: A well balanced pH level is the key to a healthy skin barrier. It is best to use products that have a range of 4.0 to 5.0 because too high or too low pH levels can be problemsome. Also, if the pH level is maintained at a healthy level, then it can protect you from several skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne and ichthyosis.
- Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate: Keeping the skin hydrated by using a nourishing and hydrating moisturizer should be the key step in any skincare routine and is a great way to keep the skin barrier intact and functional. It is best to use a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin in it. Leovard’s Multicream is a lightweight and non-comedogenic moisturizer that will help in keeping the skin moisturized and will keep it looking fresh and healthy.
- Use products with plant oils to replenish your skin barrier: Plant based oils have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant effects that help in repairing damaged skin barrier and also prevents the skin from losing its natural moisture. Try to incorporate products that have plant oils such as jojoba oil, almond oil, coconut oil and argan oil. Leovard’s Oil Fusion makes a great choice for a nourishing and hydrating facial and body oil and works wonders in repairing and rejuvenating a damaged skin barrier as it contains the extract of eleven plant based oils, blended together to make a heavenly concoction. Using this product will give your yearning skin a boost of hydration, keeping it feeling soft, smooth and supple.
Skin barrier, also known as the outermost layer of your skin protects your skin from different environmental threats while also maintaining its water balance. Symptoms such as dry skin, itchiness and inflammation will indicate if your skin barrier is damaged. The best way to prevent your skin barrier from damage is to limit the use of skin products and try to simplify your skincare regime. Keeping your skin barrier healthy is much more than a cosmetic concern and is the key to flawless and radiant looking skin!