As the body's largest organ, the skin is a defensive barrier that shields against external threats, including bacteria, viruses, and pollution. The outermost layer of our skin, also known as the stratum corneum, is responsible for maintaining this protective barrier.
A strong and healthy skin barrier keeps harmful substances out and prevents moisture loss, which in turn keeps our skin hydrated and glowing. Conversely, a weakened or damaged skin barrier can lead to skin problems such as dryness, sensitivity, and acne. The key to repairing the skin barrier is to use products that can help soothe and nourish the skin. In this blog, let’s explore ways to improve and strengthen your skin's protective barrier.
Why is skin barrier important?
The skin barrier plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin. It helps keep the skin moisturized and protects the skin from harmful external factors. A damaged skin barrier can lead to many problems including dryness, sensitivity, and acne.
How to cure damaged skin barrier?
If you have a damaged skin barrier, the good news is that it can be repaired. Here are some ways to cure a damaged skin barrier:
- Avoid over-exfoliating: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and promotes cell turnover. However, over-exfoliation can damage the skin's protective barrier. Use exfoliants sparingly and opt for gentle chemical exfoliants rather than harsh physical scrubs.
- Use a gentle cleanser: The use of harsh cleansers may remove the skin's natural oils and cause disruption to the skin barrier. Instead, opt for a gentle cleanser that doesn't contain harsh detergents or fragrances.
- Avoid hot water: Exposure to hot water can cause the skin to lose its natural oils and exacerbate damage to the skin barrier. Use lukewarm water instead.
- Use a moisturizer: A good moisturizer can help to repair the skin barrier by providing the skin with the hydration it needs to function properly. When searching for moisturizers, consider selecting products that include components such as ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, as these elements may aid in the repair of the skin barrier.
- Protect your skin from the sun: Prevent damage to the skin barrier and the onset of premature ageing caused by UV rays. Use a high-protection sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher to protect your skin from the sun.
Products that can be used as skin barrier
Numerous products are available to enhance and reinforce your skin's protective barrier. Below are some of the most efficient ones:
- Ceramides: Lipids known as ceramides exist naturally in the skin and perform an essential function in preserving the skin barrier. Products containing ceramides can help repair the skin barrier and improve the skin's overall health.
- Niacinamide: The production of ceramides can be increased by niacinamide, which is a type of vitamin B3 that has been proven to enhance the skin barrier. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe irritated skin.
- Hyaluronic acid: By drawing in and retaining moisture, hyaluronic acid serves as a humectant that may aid in keeping the skin moisturized. It can also help to strengthen the skin barrier by promoting the production of ceramides.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E can help to protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Furthermore, they can enhance the skin's overall well-being and fortify the protective skin barrier.
- Sunscreen: As mentioned earlier, UV rays can damage the skin barrier and lead to premature ageing. Using a sunscreen with a high level of protection, an SPF of 50 or greater, can aid in safeguarding the skin from the sun's damaging rays.
Preserving a healthy skin barrier is essential for healthy skin, and restoring the skin barrier is possible with the right skincare routine and products. Simple habits such as using gentle cleansers, moisturizing regularly, avoiding harsh products, and incorporating antioxidants into your skincare routine can all help strengthen and protect your skin's barrier function. However, it is important to remember that consistency and patience are crucial to achieving long-term skin health.