What is the skin barrier & how to protect it naturally?
For the past two years, skin has come under the spotlight with many trying to understand their skin type and how to take care of it. But the one thing that’s been MIA is the topic on skin barrier and its importance. So, what is it exactly? Well, just as your immune system acts like a barrier to keep out germs and viruses, in the same way, you also have a skin barrier that works round the clock to keep the nasties at bay.
Your skin is made up of 3 layers, the epidermis which is the top layer, the dermis which lies in the middle and the hypodermis which is the lowest layer of the skin. The skin barrier lies on the topmost level and it is your body’s first line of defense. So, if you’re facing skin issues like acne, and dryness then chances are you are dealing with a damaged skin barrier. Scroll down to find out more about your skin barrier and how you can strengthen it.
What is the purpose of your skin barrier?Each layer has a part to play in protecting and maintaining healthy skin. The top layer contains cells called corneocytes that are bound together by mortar-like lipids. These lipids contain keratin and natural moisturizers that make up your skin barrier. Here you’ll find cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides, all of which help in keeping the barrier strong.
Should you be worried about a weak skin barrier? The answer is yes! Not only are skin issues directly related to a weak barrier but it is also an open door for harmful environmental toxins and pathogens. Once these toxins penetrate your skin, they can cause chaos inside your body. But the bad news doesn’t end there. A weak barrier can also lead to quicker water evaporation, leaving your skin completely dehydrated.
What can damage your skin barrier?While your skin barrier is your body’s natural line of defense, it is not indestructible. Every day your barrier goes up against harmful external and internal threats and they can range from something as simple as pollution to something more complex like genetics. Extreme climate, allergens, irritants, and pollutants, too much sun exposure or not using spf, detergents, and soaps, harsh chemicals, over-exfoliation, and genetic factors can all damage your skin barrier leading to numerous skin issues.
Signs you have a damaged skin barrierWondering if your skin barrier needs a little extra boost? Well, if you show any of the following signs the answer is yes.
- Lack of skin elasticity
- Itchy, dry skin
- Discoloration or rough patches
- Thinning of the epidermal layer
5 ways to strengthen your skin barrier at home
1. Don’t complicate your skin routinePaying attention to your skin needs is more important than following the latest skin trend. While the world is obsessed with the 10-step skincare routine, if you have a weak skin barrier, it is important to simplify your skincare routine. A complicated skin regimen can damage your skin barrier. You can also reach out to a dermatologist to find the best products for your skin.
2. Keep yourself hydratedRepairing your skin barrier begins with simple lifestyle changes, starting with consuming more fluids. Drinking sodas and coffee does not count as they dehydrate the skin further and could do more harm than good. If you want to strengthen your skin barrier, you need to go old school and stick to drinking plenty of H2O. Your skin contains 30 percent water, and by drinking plenty of water daily, you can reduce water loss and improve skin hydration.
If you keep forgetting to consume water, keep an alarm and carry around Root7 bottles which are functional and great for the environment, so you needn’t worry about plastic waste. You can choose from a wide range of unique and stylish designs to match your every mood. What’s so great about these bottles is that they have triple-layered insulation which ensures your liquids stay hot or cold for long hours. You can also throw them in your bag and not worry about a watery mess as these bottles are 100% condensation free. Whether you’re hitting the gym, vacationing, at work or even just relaxing at home, make these bottles your trusty sidekick and keep your skin hydrated no matter where you are.
3. Your pH balance is importantThere is a thin layer on the skin’s surface which is known as the acid mantle. This is made up of lipids from the oil glands mixed with amino acids from sweat. The pH balance is around 4.0 to 6.0. According to research, in order to maintain that pH balance, it is recommended to cleanse and tone your face with products that have a pH balance between 4.0 to 5.0. If you are looking for the best cleanser for a damaged skin barrier, it is best to consult your dermat.
4. Use moisturizers with hyaluronic acidWhen it comes to treating dry skin, it’s important to look for moisturizers that are rich in ingredients like hyaluronic acid to help prevent moisture loss.
5. Skin supplementsWhat you consume can have a direct effect on your skin. While foods rich in omega 3, collagen, vitamin A, and proteins all help boost your skin from within, it is not enough to bridge the nutritional gap. Here’s when skin supplements like skin gummies come into the picture. They are filled with the necessary ingredients to help boost skin health from within.
Go ahead and show your skin the TLC it needs.
Nurturing and restoring a damaged skin barrier naturally is a fundamental aspect of maintaining healthy and vibrant skin. By incorporating products like Biotin hair gummies, sleep gummies, iron gummies, and multivitamin gummies into your daily routine, you can provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to support skin health from within. Remember, a holistic approach that includes proper skincare, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep can synergistically contribute to the overall well-being of your skin, ensuring a radiant and resilient complexion.
Can diet and lifestyle choices affect the health of the skin barrier?
A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, proper hydration, and a skincare routine that includes moisturizing and sun protection can help maintain and strengthen the skin barrier.
How long does it take for the skin barrier to repair itself if it's been compromised?
Minor damage may heal within a few days to a week, while more significant issues may take weeks to months. Consistent skincare practices, including gentle cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection, can aid in the healing process and support the restoration of a healthy skin barrier.
Should I consult a dermatologist if I suspect my skin barrier is compromised?
Yes, if you suspect your skin barrier is compromised or you're experiencing persistent skin issues, it's advisable to consult a dermatologist. They can assess your skin, diagnose any underlying problems, and provide personalized recommendations and treatments to restore and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
Are there any habits or practices that can harm the skin barrier?
Yes, several habits and practices can harm the skin barrier, including overwashing, using harsh cleansers, excessive exfoliation, prolonged sun exposure without protection, smoking, and a diet lacking in essential nutrients. These factors can disrupt the skin's natural balance and lead to a compromised barrier, resulting in various skin issues.
Are there any specific ingredients or products that help support the skin barrier?
Yes, some ingredients and products can help support the skin barrier. Look for skincare products containing ceramides, fatty acids, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, as these can help restore and strengthen the skin barrier.