Compromised Skin Barrier: What Is It & How to Fix It
What is the Skin Barrier?
The skin barrier, also known as the stratum corneum, is the outermost layer of the epidermis. Physically, the skin barrier protects your skin from external threats and stressors, like pollution, chemicals, infectious agents, and UV radiation, but its number one job is keeping water in your skin and keeping good things in like hydration. But like many things our skin barrier can be compromised , meaning that it is impaired from performing its normal functions, which then can affect the appearance of our skin and show signs of aging.
So now you're probably wondering, What does a compromised skin barrier look like and do I have it? Before you start panicking and running to the mirror, we first need to recognize that we have a damaged skin barrier, because you may think your skin barrier is damaged but it could be a reaction or a contraindication from another product, or possibly contact dermatitis which is causing you to think that your skin barrier has been compromised.
How do we recognize that our skin barrier is damaged? Well for starters you will notice that your skin feels dry and flaky, it may look dull or you may see some erythema (redness or pink), perhaps there are products that once you place on your skin you feel a stinging or burning sensation, you may also have breakouts in areas you normally wouldn't break out. But what is causing your skin barrier to be compromised? Things like over washing, exposure to toxic chemicals, detergents, over exfoliating with harsh scrubs, as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking, how much you sleep and your stress levels, all of these things can cause skin barrier damage, but most of the barrier damage comes from stripping your skin of its natural oils with harsh cleansers. I often see this in my treatment room, most of my clients are either over exfoliating or using the wrong cleanser for their skin, simply because they do not know any better. To maintain a healthy skin barrier, our Routine Needs bundle has you covered.
How to Repair the Skin Barrier
Now how do we repair our skin barrier? The first thing we need to do is simplify our skin care routine, having the right skin care routine can have a huge impact on the repair of your skin barrier. A simple skin care routine would be using a hydrating cleanser with cool water, NOT HOT WATER! Remember we need to repair the barrier, using hot water will just dehydrate your skin further. Next we need a hydrating toner and serum and a moisturizer.
As I mentioned before, the skin barrier's job is to keep water and hydration in the skin, but keep in mind that hydration is different from moisture. Hydration replaces water in the body, whereas moisture is the presence of a liquid, such as water. So what we should be doing is putting that moisture back into our skin using natural moisturizing factors like ceramides which retain our skin's moisture and niacinamides which prevents the evaporation of moisture from the skin and we also need humectants like glycerin, these water magnets will lock in that water in your epidermis.
Last but not least , the most important thing we need is SPF with zinc oxide which is an anti-inflammatory. In conjunction with all of this we want to make sure that we are avoiding active ingredients like AHA's/BHA's and avoid skin sensitizers like essential oils and drying alcohol.
The beauty of our skin is that it repairs itself, so remember to be patient, it will not happen overnight. It can take weeks even months but it will happen, like I tell my clients, " Trust the process."
Are you dealing with a compromised skin barrier? This bundle might be the answer. (And if it's not, we have a 60 day money back guarantee 😉)