Surely, you've heard before that your skin barrier is the secret to a flawless complexion, and I couldn't agree more. After years of skin companies promoting the harshest peels and ways to exfoliate your skin, the newest beauty trend focuses on nourishing the skin instead.
What is the skin barrier?
The skin barrier or also called the acid mantle, it's the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. It sits above the dermis which is the layer of our skin that contains blood vessels, nerves and of course collagen and elastin which make our skin plump and firm. Then we have a subcutaneous layer which give our skin a little cushion.
The epidermis is composed of three types of cells:
- Keratinocytes—this is the most dominant cell within the epidermis. They mainly work on repairing the skin. They help restore the barrier to protect your skin against further environmental damage.
- Melanocytes—these cells are well known for their role in skin pigmentation. These cells not only protect your skin from sunlight, but also your eyes. They provide skin tone and also help absorb radiation from UV light.
- Langerhan cells—these are cells that help protect your skin through an immune response to bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They are the cells that interpret our environment and have an immune response against pathogens encountered via the skin.
The skin barrier is composed of lipids, ceramides and essential fatty acids that must be at a certain ratio for the skin barrier to function properly. When the skin barrier is healthy, it works beautifully to keep your skin perfectly hydrated while keeping away pollutants, bacteria and allergens. This is why the skin barrier is the secret to a flawless complexion.
Why is the skin barrier so important?
The skin barrier is responsible for keeping microbes, allergens or chemicals from penetrating the skin and also it helps protect the skin from transepidermal water loss. It can also protect your skin from UV rays. When your skin barrier is healthy, your skin will look plump, smooth, and soft to the touch. Talk about a beautiful glow too!
Common signs that the skin barrier is damaged:
When the skin barrier is damaged, the skin becomes dry and dehydrated, it might also be experiencing some sort of inflammation. Genetics, age, environmental factors and what you put on your skin, all contribute to the health of your skin barrier.
- Dry, itchy, and scaly skin
- Rough skin texture and discolored patches
- Rashes, inflammation, redness, and sensitivity
- Acne or over production of oil/sebum
- Fungal, viral, or bacterial skin infections
What causes the skin barrier to get damaged?
Over cleansing your skin or using detergent based cleansers can harm the delicate skin barrier. By stripping the skin of its natural oils and giving yourself that clean squeaky feeling, this could damage the lipid matrix in your skin barrier. Also, by over exfoliating your skin too frequently or using strong acid peels and ingredients, you can create a mayor imbalance on the skin barrier. Last but not least, there’s the environmental component, like sunburned skin or the dry winter air, including home heaters or air conditioners, can cause moisture loss and harm the barrier.
Life itself creates damage to the skin barrier among also self-sabotage:
- Air Pollution
- Cold weather, air conditioners, heaters, and wind
- Excessive sun exposure
- Frequent cleansing of the skin
- Using detergent cleansers that strip the skin barrier of its natural oils
- Overuse of peels, physical exfoliators, and exfoliating acids
- Lack of sleep
How to repair the skin barrier:
1. Use a moisturizer day and night: Not only this is the most simple step, but the one that will make the most difference. Make sure to use a clean, non-toxic moisturizer (do not use anything chemical as this will aggravate the barrier even further). We recommend using Drench Day Cream and Rejuvenate Night Cream with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to help with trans-epidermal water loss caused by a damaged barrier.
2. Use a vitamin c serum: Vitamin C has been known for its wound repairing effects on the skin and also to help repair sun damage. We recommend using Poet's Garden Alchemist Radiant Vitamin C Serum after cleansing your face every morning.
3. Use an Oil Cleanser instead: We recommend Poet's Garden Alchemist Immaculate Oil Face Cleanser. This cleanser is absolutely fabulous to repair a damaged barrier due to the rare combination of oils and lipids that restore the natural oils for a healthy barrier and its anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Don't forget to wear a non chemical, mineral SPF every single day to keep your skin away from further barrier damage. We recommend using Poet's Garden Alchemist Hydrating Sheer SPF 30+ or Tinted SPF 30+.
Please let us know in the comments bellow what works for you when trying to repair a damaged barrier, we would love you to share your thoughts with us! Make sure to subscribe to our email list to take advantage of 15% off on anything you purchase from our store.