Skin barrier: why it matters and how to repair it
Have you ever looked at your red and itchy face in the mirror and wondered ‘what did I do to make it so angry?’ You would probably answer ‘I did nothing!’ but the truth is that sometimes unknowingly do things each day that weaken it. To get that healthy glow, we must understand the importance of skin barrier and how to repair.
What is skin barrier?
Skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin. Think of it as a wall: the cells are the bricks and lipids that carry ceramides and fatty acids are the mortar. The skin barrier has a few functions; the two main ones are: prevents external aggressors, like bacteria and pollution, from going in our bodies and retains the water inside our body (otherwise we would look like raisins). Even though the term “barrier” may make it seem like skin barrier is like a shield, in fact, it is very permeable. Lipids of the skin barrier, also known as ceramides, are the skin’s gatekeepers and allow the good stuff to enter (like your skincare) while keeping harmful things out.
What causes damage to skin barrier?
The skin barrier is damaged when the ceramides are depleted. This can happen from numerous reasons:
- Skincare products. Harsh cleansers strip the skin barrier from its natural oils, over exfoliating, harsh scrubs cause microtears that allow bacteria to enter the skin, products with alcohol dry out the skin and fragrances can sensitize it.
- External factors like very low or very high temperatures (wind, hot showers), pollution, UV radiation etc.
- Skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis can be associated with a weak skin barrier.
- Internal factors like poor diet, lack of sleep and even smoking.
Disruption of skin barrier functions can be manifested in different ways:
- Dry, dehydrated, and flaky skin
- Red and itchy skin
- Delayed wound healing
- Chronic skin irritation
How can I repair my skin barrier?
First things first, be patient! Don’t freak out and start using lots of different products hoping it will fix everything. Stop using any active ingredients; keep a minimalist skincare routine focused on helping skin barrier repair itself and protecting it.
Cleanse: Cleanse with a soap-free and fragrance-free cleanser. Stop using any product that leaves your skin feeling tight and overly clean. Our recommendation: Hydrating Cleanser by Lorde + Belle.
Repair: It’s important to use products with ingredients that help skin barrier to repair. Repair Serum by Lorde + Belle is created with a powerful blend of highly effective ingredients to help improve overall skin health.
Moisturize: Choose a moisturizer designed with skin barrier in mind. As mentioned above, skin barrier damage is due to ceramide depletion, so choose a product that is formulated with these ingredients. Hydra-V Moisturizer by Lorde+Belle contains Ceramide NP, the most abundant ceramide in skin, and skin barrier repair complex.
Protect: Use a sunscreen SPF 50+ every day and make sure to reapply every 2 hours.