What is your skin’s barrier?
Before we can talk about how to protect your skin’s barrier, you first need to know exactly what that is! Your skin is made up of many layers and each has a specific role and function. Your skin’s barrier, otherwise known as the Acid Mantle, is your shield that helps to keep the bad out, and the good in. It’s made up of oils from your sebaceous glands, fatty acids, sweat, lactic acid and other compounds. It’s the outer most layer of skin that provides protection to help hold moisture, water and keep external irritants, like environmental, bacteria and more out. When it’s intact, skin is more supple, smooth, healthy and calm.
What happens when your skin’s barrier is compromised?
When your barrier has become disrupted or damaged, it has cracks (not visible to naked eye) that allow for your skin’s moisture to escape, and allowing external irritants in. This leads to many skin issues which may not show up immediately but can and will over time.
What are the symptoms of a compromised barrier?
While not everyone, can easily detect symptoms of a compromised barrier, one of the many courses I have taken, focuses on the skin’s barrier, knowing the symptoms, how to repair and how to maintain a strong and healthy barrier.
Symptoms of a compromised barrier include:
- Rough skin texture
- Sensitive skin
- Stinging or burning sensation when products are applied
- Increased acne
- Crepe skin and fine lines
- Skin rashes like eczema (atopic dermatitis)\
What causes a moisture barrier to get damaged?
- Exfoliating too often
- Alcohol-based toners
- Harsh cleansing products
- Not keeping the skin protected from the sun
- Lack of sleep
- Skipping the use of moisturizer
- Topical prescription acne medications
- Chronic use of topical steroids
- Medications that have dryness as a side effect (such as antihistamines)
- Daily use of acidic ingredients like ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
- High concentrations of citrus essential oils
- High concentrations of any essential oils
- Prescription retinoids
- Washing the face with water that’s too hot
- Drinking alcohol
- Synthetic fragrances in skincare products
- Dry climate (low humidity and lack of moisture in the air especially winter months)
- Long plane flights
- Chemical peels performed too often
- Allergic reactions to skin care products
- Genetics (Some skin types will naturally be prone to a weaker barrier)
- Aging (the barrier starts to get more vulnerable as we age)
Wondering how to protect your skin’s barrier?
If you think you have a compromised barrier, first things first, STOP using the harsh products, and whatever might be in arms reach of products, address the factors above. Continuing with the barrier disrupting factors, will make things worse for your skin. Then schedule your consultation with me, so we can get on the right path with home care and treatments.
We have curated specific products to help address the delicate skin barrier and help rebuild and keep it protected. Let us help educate you to keeping your skin in it’s best shape! Contact me with questions or to book an appointment.