Have you come across the words “skin barrier” when reading articles on skincare? To put it simply, the skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin. It is made up of lipids and helps protect the skin from external environmental factors. Moreover, the skin barrier helps retain moisture.
It is important to note that the skin barrier is exceptionally delicate. Hence, you need to be careful with the way you treat your skin and the products you use. A damaged skin barrier can cause irritation and sensitivity.
Here are signs of a damaged skin barrier:
If you start to notice signs of inflammation, redness, dehydration, itchiness, flakiness, or acne on your skin, your skin barrier may be damaged. When your skin barrier is damaged, your skin will feel dry and dehydrated as it will not be able to lock in moisture. This allows irritants and bacteria to penetrate the skin’s surface easily.
As mentioned before, moisture loss is one of the most significant symptoms of a damaged skin barrier. If the lipid bilayer of your skin’s outer surface is damaged, it will not absorb moisturizer. This means that you could apply a ton of moisturizer every single day, but your skin will feel dry after a few hours.
Since the impaired skin barrier cannot lock in moisture, you will need to find a moisturizer with ceramides to help repair the barrier.
3. Red Patches
When the outer skin layer is damaged, your skin will be vulnerable to dust, radiation, pollutants, bacteria, and viruses. Even though healthy skin fights inflammation, since the outer layer of your skin barrier is damaged, you will notice signs of redness. Your skin may also feel overly tender and sensitive.
There is a difference between dull skin and dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin means that there is a loss of moisture and plumpness, while dry skin means that the skin lacks the natural oils needed to make it appear healthy.
A weak skin barrier will make your face look dull and lifeless. Moreover, you may also start to notice some fine lines and signs of aging.
What Damages the Skin Barrier?
If you aren’t careful enough, you could easily damage your skin barrier. Instead of following YouTube bloggers and random people on Instagram, learn to recognize your skin. Knowing what works and doesn’t work for your skin is not a one day’s play. However, if you pay attention, you can learn what your skin likes and dislikes.
Here are some things that damage the skin barrier:
- Alcohol-based products
- Sun exposure
- DIY face masks, including lemon
- Excessive shaving or waxing
How to Repair the Skin Barrier?
The good news is that you can reverse the damage caused to your skin. By introducing mild products and switching up your skincare routine, you can heal your skin barrier. Look for products containing a low percentage of Niacinamide as it allows ceramide production and boosts lipid barrier function. Moreover, invest in moisturizers that contain linoleic acid. Linoleic is an omega six fatty acid that helps repair the barrier function. You can find linoleic acid in oils like sunflower oil and safflower oil.
To read more blogs about how to care for your skin, simply click here. Good luck!