Everything You Need to Know About Your Skin Barrier Function
At Skin Over Everything, we gladly encourage people to learn more about their skin and how they can take care of it throughout their lives. You can use this information to make educated decisions regarding your skin health and skincare routine so that your skin will look and feel healthy for as long as possible.
A highly important aspect of skin health is the skin barrier function. People will often wonder what they can do to help their skin and the answer is often to focus on the state of their skin barrier, targeting it as the source of their skin frustrations. Consider this an easy guide for learning about your skin barrier and what you can do to help it stay strong and healthy.
What Is the Skin Barrier?
This is a great place to start our discussion. The skin barrier is part of the outermost layer of skin known more formally as the stratum corneum. It is comprised of skin cells called corneocytes and is held together by lipids including ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol.
The main skin barrier function is to offer protection against transepidermal water loss and environmental stressors like allergens, pollutants, etc. It serves a great role in protecting your body, so you want to support it as best you can and keep it strong to continue its work.
What Causes Skin Barrier Damage
Your skin barrier will naturally weaken as you get older, but there are other factors at play that can expedite the process much sooner than you would like. Knowing what can damage your skin barrier can help you to avoid those issues in the future and help heal your skin. You may have even been exposing your skin to some of these harmful factors without realizing it, but this knowledge can help you moving forward.
There are many things that can cause your skin barrier to become weakened or damaged to some extent, but some of the more common causes are things that you likely do every day without noticing the effects they have on the state of your skin.
One way that we often see people causing harm to their skin is by over washing or exfoliating. These are two important steps in a skincare routine, so it makes sense that people would want to perform them thoroughly, but overdoing things can lead to more harm than good. Using an overly harsh or stripping cleanser can go beyond simply cleansing the skin and begin to wear away at the first protective layer of the skin.
Exfoliating too much can have similar results. You do not want to use too many exfoliating products (chemical or physical) within a short window of time. Exfoliation is great for removing dead skin cells at the surface, but if it is overdone, your skin will become more vulnerable with a weakened skin barrier.
Other environmental factors can also reduce our skin barrier function by weakening the surface of the barrier, such as air pollution or poor weather. These things can dry out the skin and leave it feeling more sensitive. This is why we often notice our skin becoming more difficult in the colder, drier months.
What Are Signs of Damaged Skin
You always want to keep an eye on your skin health to see how it is responding to your skincare routine or your natural environment. This can help you to spot signs of damage right away and take action to reduce the harm being done. You will want to look out for these signs of reduced skin barrier function.
Although the damage being done to your skin may be happening under the surface, it will often reveal itself for you to see pretty easily. Keep track of changes to your skin especially if your skin becomes more dry or irritated than usual. You may even notice some flakiness, which is a clear concern if your skin is not prone to severe dryness any time of year.
These are all signs that your skin barrier has been weakened, but you will be relieved to hear that not all hope is lost. It is not too late to make changes to your lifestyle and get your skin barrier function back to its prime. Just be observant and figure out what you need to do in order to help your skin bounce back beautifully.
How to Protect and Repair the Skin Barrier
Once you begin to notice that your skin is dealing with damage to its barrier level, you will want to immediately make some changes to your personal care habits to stop the damage from getting worse and to reverse the harm done. Examine your lifestyle and skincare habits to look for the root cause of your skin’s stress, then target that issue directly.
As you choose new skincare products, you will want to pay special attention to certain types of ingredients that are known for helping the skin barrier. Look for ceramides, fatty acids, peptides, squalane/squalene, hyaluronic acid, and natural moisturizing factors like plant-based oils.
With this information regarding your skin barrier and what you can do in order to maintain it, you should be better able to protect your skin and help it to stay in good condition. Keep your skin healthy and strong so it can perform its best and continue to benefit you.
At Skin Over Everything, we formulate our products with skin barrier function in mind so all of the ingredients we use are compatible with the skin and provide it with what it needs to be healthy. A well-curated skincare routine can help you to support and even recover your skin barrier from damage, so choose your products wisely.
If you need any assistance in selecting the right products for your particular skin concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com. We would be glad to offer our own recommendations for products that support skin barrier function or treat other concerns you may have.