What Is Your Skin Barrier and How Can You Protect It?

We spend so much time on skin care routines to cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and plump our skin. But we seem to be missing a key step: supporting our skin barrier.

What exactly is our skin barrier? Simply, our barrier is the top layer of our skin. It helps us to keep moisture in and repel damaging sources like environmental pollutants.

Is My Skin Barrier Damaged?

You may be wondering about the current health of your barrier. If you’ve been experiencing unexplained skin discomfort, that top layer of skin could be to blame. Here are the most common symptoms of a damaged barrier:

  • Increased sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Scaly or uneven skin
  • Itchiness and irritation

If you are dealing with any of these uncomfortable conditions, we hear you. We’ll teach you how to strengthen your skin so that you can get back to feeling soothed and moisturized.

How To Support Your Skin Barrier

Now that you know if your barrier needs support, how exactly can you support your skin? The first step is to strip back your skincare completely. You could be overloading your skin with too many products at one time. 

Stay Away From Harsh Ingredients

The most important step to take when streamlining skincare is to cut out harsh ingredients. Here are some skincare ingredients to avoid:

 

  • Sulfates - these foaming agents completely strip your skin of all of its natural moisture. They have also been known to increase sensitivity and discomfort. 
  • Physical/Mechanical Exfoliants - these scrubs, sometimes called microdermabrasion, work to physically remove dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. Since the nature of these products is to scrub the skin off, they can sometimes cause tiny tears in the skin that result in irritation.
  • Drying Alcohols - Alcohol Denat, also known as denatured alcohol, kills bacteria on the skin. Unfortunately, it also kills the good bacteria that keep skin healthy. In addition, this type of alcohol causes skin dryness that results in feeling tight and uncomfortable.

Nourish Your Skin Deeply

Focus on adding deeply moisturizing ingredients into your skincare routine that are going to calm and soothe your skin barrier. 

Ingredients like Vitamin C and Vitamin E add essential antioxidants back into your routine which supports skin health and protects against skin stress. 

Deeply hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid act as a skin humectant. Humectants are crucial for barrier health because they assist in pulling moisture from outside sources and retaining that moisture in the skin. 

Support Your Microbiome

You’ve probably heard of your stomach’s microbiome, but your skin’s bacteria is just as important. Your skin’s microbiome is made up of healthy bacteria that protect you against sun exposure, air pollution, and other forms of skin damage. 

In order to maintain a healthy microbiome, ensure you are filling your diet with foods that support good bacteria. Eat lots of fruits and leafy green vegetables, as well as fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, and yogurt. These will help to keep your microbiome balanced so your skin will look bright and healthy.  

How do you keep your skin barrier healthy? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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