Whether you’re a skincare junkie or not, you must’ve heard about ‘skin barrier’ at least once in your lifetime. What is the skin barrier and why is it always discussed especially among skincare experts?
Skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin, think of it as the brick walls of your face. Scientifically speaking, the skin barrier is made up of tough skin cells (Corneolytes) and they are bound together by mortar-like lipids, just like a bunch of bricks bound together with cement!
Okay, a wall, big deal. What’s the harm if it’s destroyed? You might wanna rethink that twice because the skin barrier helps to preserve healthy skin from various aggressors. Skin barrier keeps your skin happy, smooth, clear and comfortable (free from irritation).
Why is the skin barrier important?
The skin barrier protects your skin more than vanity purposes. It protects your inner skin layers from being exposed to dangerous environmental toxins. But usually the skincare experts always relate the main function of the skin barrier to hydration. Without your skin barrier, the water content inside your skin will evaporate and it will result in dehydrated skin.
What does a destroyed skin barrier look like?
When one’s skin barrier is destroyed, your skin will experience various symptoms, including itchiness, scaliness, discoloured patches on your skin, to an extent of inflamed skin. Skin infections are also one of the biggest indicators of a ruined skin barrier. If your skin is super oily but at the same time feels tight, then your skin barrier is most likely already destroyed. But don’t give up just yet! We will circle back to this section after this.
What ruins the skin barrier?
There are many culprits that can destroy your precious skin barrier, among those include being exposed to super dry or super humid conditions, high sun exposure, harsh chemicals, allergens, irritants and pollutants. Over-washing and over-exfoliating can cause this too. Psychological distress also poses a risk to disrupt the skin barrier.
How to repair or maintain your skin barrier?
Recheck your skincare ingredients and be sure to get rid of those that contain irritants. If you’re planning to repair your skin barrier, you should stop using skincare products with active ingredients during this period to avoid further irritation. Don’t slap a lot of skincare products on your skin as an attempt to save it. During this period, keep your skincare routine simple and once you’ve restored your skin barrier, your skincare products will be absorbed well without any issues.
A simple rule of thumb to maintain your skin barrier is if a skincare product makes your skin feel tight, stop using it right away. It’s important to have a skincare routine that’s gentle on your skin and avoid going heavy-handed on your skin, it’s super delicate!