Do you keep seeing the words ‘skin barrier’ all over the skin care world, but you’re not sure where to start with your own? We’re here to answer your biggest questions about this important part of your skin…
Q1. What is the skin barrier?
Our skin is made up of three main layers; the dermis, hypodermis and the skin barrier, also known as the epidermis. Much like a security guard for your skin, the barrier is what stands between us and the outside world. It has the ability to stop potential aggressors passing through and protects what lies within – it’s the weakness of this layer that is the underlying cause of sensitivity and many other common skin concerns.
Q2. Why is it important?
When your skin barrier is healthy, your complexion will look plump, smooth and youthful, but when this layer of skin becomes depleted, your skin’s overall health will start to go down hill. When this happens, your complexion will no longer be able to hold onto the essential substances it needs to repair itself from within and this is when you’ll start to face concerns such as hyperpigmentation and premature signs of ageing.
Q3. How can it become weak or ineffective?
A weakened skin barrier doesn’t just happen overnight, it occurs over a period of time when the skin is exposed to a number of factors. These can include using skincare products which are too harsh for your skin, over cleansing and exfoliating, overusing potent actives such as Retinol and AHAs, UV exposure or using very hot water when washing your face. All of these factors can strip away the vital lipids on the surface of the skin and damage the barrier, making it more susceptible to irritants.
Q4. How do I know if my skin barrier is damaged?
First, it’s important to note that if you have acne, rosacea, eczema or psoriasis then you have a compromised skin barrier. But it’s not always this obvious. There are few tell-tale signs of a damaged skin barrier that you should look out for: your skin feeling tight after cleansing, your skin completely drinking up any moisturisers you apply to it, your skin feeling rough to touch and appearing red or blotchy. If you notice any of these signs, you need to start focusing on building that barrier back up.
Q5. What can I do to strengthen my skin barrier?
Whether your skin barrier is healthy or damaged, it is still important to nourish it with repairing and strengthening ingredients such as Ceramides, Omega Fatty Acids and Hyaluronic Acid, as your skin can never have too much of these! Applying a barrier-boosting serum or cream like the SKINCITY skincare Barrier Building Second Concentrate will soothe irritation and help the skin feel more comfortable whilst flooding it with ingredients that will support a compromised barrier.