Everything you need to know about the Skin Barrier

The secret to good skin? Your Skin Barrier.

The skin barrier is EVERYTHING when it comes to your skin health. If the barrier is compromised and not functioning effectively, your skin will send out a cry for help in the form of irritated, red, dry, flakey sensitive skin. A healthy, resilient skin barrier is the secret to good skin. When your skin barrier is functioning effectively:

 

  • breakouts are less likely
  • the skin can heal faster from any damage
  • you can increase the cadence of active skincare / reduce side effects for sensitive skin
  • and your skin can protect itself against environmental stressors such as bacteria 

The list goes on! So how do we support this wonderwall that keeps our skin fresh and glowy? We’ll give you a routine over here. But be sure to read on to learn about what the skin barrier is and how to know if it is damaged. 

 

What is the Skin Barrier

The Skin Barrier or Moisture Barrier (stratum corneum) is exactly that, a protective layer of your skin filled with ceramides, fatty acids, and lipids that acts as a sort of gatekeeper, keeping an eye on and controlling what goes in and what comes out. Sometimes nicknamed ‘bricks and mortar’ due to the fact that it is made up of a collection of sturdy cellular-like structures (corneocytes) and a lipid membrane representing the mortar holding it all together. 

 

The function of the Skin Barrier

A healthy and resilient skin barrier is most well-known for regulating water content as it absorbs and maintains moisture by preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL), or dehydration of the skin. Its lesser-known tasks are no less important:

  • Protection from bacteria and
  • Environmental stressors such as pollution
  • Immunity from allergens
  • Oxidant protection
  • Photo-protection from UV light

Without a resilient skin barrier, the skin is susceptible to irritants and damage, so you see why the role of the skin barrier in our journey towards healthy skin is so important. A good, balanced skin care routine will support your skin and ensure it stays strong and resilient. 

 

 

How do I know if I’ve damaged my Skin Barrier

If you are someone who likes to dabble in cosmeceutical skincare, this unpleasant experience may have already happened to you. Sudden flare up of sensitive, dry, red skin after using a new ingredient for the first time? Or doubled up on too many actives? Even changes in the environment around you or stress levels can trigger this. Either way, there are ways the skin will definitely let you know that something is amiss, the usual symptoms to watch out for are:


  • Irritated skin
  • Redness or a rash
  • Tight feeling
  • Dryness 
  • Flaking 
  • Itching 
  • Blemishes
  • Raised bumps
  • Delayed healing

If your skin just isn’t feeling like its normal self, is sensitive to products that are normally fine for your skin or are experiencing any of the above, then you may be dealing with a compromised skin barrier. But don’t stress, with a little time and care, you can have your skin back to normal without any lasting damage.

 

 

How can I fix my Skin Barrier?

So you’ve got a damaged skin barrier, what should you do to heal your skin? There are a few steps that you need to take in order to restore order. Have a read of our routine to restore your skin barrier function.


The essential ingredients you need to look for when re-building your skin barrier are:

  • Ceramides and oils rich in fatty acids for essential skin barrier building blocks
  • Hyaluronic Acids to hydrate the skin
  • Squalane, Jojoba Oil simulates your skin's natural oils
  • Soothing ingredients such as Allantoin
  • A combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives

You’ll find all these skin-loving items in La Clinica’s dedicated skin barrier support range. 

 


The final word on the Skin Barrier

Skin can’t be its best, glowy self without a healthy, functioning skin barrier. So you’re going to want to take care of it! It is important to know when to put the actives and exfoliants down and return to basics. However, don’t wait until your skin is down in the dumps before focusing on healthy skin, keep up a balanced routine to ensure the skin barrier stays resilient and protected.

 

Want more? How to care for Sensitive Skin

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