Several skin care products are available on the market, all-claiming to offer various advantages such as cleaning, moisturizing, mending damage, diminishing indications of ageing, and more. The skin barrier, or outermost layer of the skin, is the main focus of these products.
We will go over the importance of your skin barrier to skin health, what happens when it is compromised, and how to prevent and treat damage below.
What is the Skin Barrier?
There are several layers to your skin, and each has a specific purpose. The outer layer has a structure akin to a brick wall and is referred to as the stratum cornea or skin barrier. In this analogy, the lipid membrane composed of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids acts as the mortar holding together the skin cells known as corneocytes, which are like bricks.
This brick wall, in the words of board-certified dermatologist Reshmi Kapoor, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and founder of Brooklyn Dermatology, a direct care dermatology practice in Brooklyn, New York.
According to her, the skin barrier regulates body temperature and prevents water loss via the skin in addition to serving as “your first line of defense against external insults, such as pollution, toxins, and infections.”
Infections, toxins, allergies, and other hazardous environmental components may enter the body if the skin barrier were absent.
How Does Damage to the Skin Barrier Happen?
The skin barrier is susceptible to injury from both internal and external sources, even though it can aid in warding off dangerous external influences.
Possible causes of damage to the skin barrier include:
· Sun exposure.
· Pollution and environmental allergies.
· Cosmetics and soaps that deplete the skin’s natural oils and hydration.
· Alkaline products that cause pH imbalances in the skin.
· Low humidity or dry air.
· Growing older.
· Stress on a psychological level.
· Skin conditions such psoriasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis.
Ways to keep and improve your skin’s barrier
What can you do to keep your acid mantle and skin barrier healthy and functioning, considering how important they are? Let us examine five helpful techniques.
· Make your skin care routine smoother.
Should you be following an intricate daily skincare routine with a large number of products, you can be unintentionally compromising your skin barrier. To find out which products are most important and effective, see a dermatologist or other skin care specialist.
When exfoliating, pay attention to how your skin responds to the technique you choose. Some washes and brushes have the potential to harm your skin’s protective layer.
· Observe the pH.
The sensitive acid mantle of your skin has a pH of around 4.7 (Reliable Source). However, certain skin care products have a pH that may vary from 3.7 to 8.2.
Scientists advise using a cleaning solution with a pH of 4.0 to 5.0.
· To repair your skin barrier, try using a plant oil.
According to research published in 2018, certain plant oils may be able to both protect and restore your skin’s moisture barrier. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties are also present in several of these oils.
Seek for combinations that contain ceramides.
Ceramides are waxy lipids found in particularly high concentrations in the stratum corneum.They are essential to maintaining the integrity of your skin barrier. In particular, ceramide moisturizers could be beneficial if you have acne. The barrier is frequently compromised in acne-prone skin, and acne treatments can cause skin to become dry and red. Ceramide-containing products could also aid in the protection of darker skin tones.
Try using moisturizers with glycerin, petrolatum, or hyaluronic acid.
Moisturizers are frequently suggested as a remedy for dry skin, which is a widespread issue. A moisturizing agent that reduces water loss from the skin helps the skin barrier. These creams leave your skin with a thin layer that keeps moisture from evaporating.
Petrolatum is one of the most often suggested occlusive moisturizers; according to Source, it can stop up to 99% of water loss from the skin.
Not everyone responds to all components in skin care products. For this reason, you might want to experiment with a few different products to see which one is most effective in maintaining the health, protection, and hydration of your skin.
Your skin barrier, which is the outermost layer of your skin, protects your vital water balance while also shielding your body from outside dangers.
Dryness, irritation, and inflammation are examples of symptoms that might notify you of a disruption in this vital barrier.
Your skin’s protective layer can be restored by:
· Streamlining your skin care routine.
· Using goods with the appropriate ph.
· Using a humectant such as hyaluronic acid or a moisturizer containing ceramides
Your body’s first line of defense against whatever the environment might throw at you is your skin barrier. Maintaining its health goes well beyond appearances.