Our skin is very important – after all, it’s our largest organ and the piece of us we show to the world every day. Your skin has several layers. When you use a face wash or lotion, you are applying it to the outermost layer of skin, otherwise known as the skin barrier.
Your skin barrier faces the world each day and is subjected to the elements, health and beauty products, air quality, and more. So, it’s important to understand how to understand your skin barrier for the healthiest skin possible.
Things That Can Damage the Skin Barrier
The outermost layer of the skin, known scientifically as the stratum corneum, is your skin barrier. This group of extra resilient skin cells is described as your skin’s “brick wall” – without it, you would be subject to tons of harmful ingredients and toxins.
Though your skin barrier is tough, it can get damaged. Some things that can damage your skin’s barrier are:
- Exposure to harsh ingredients or chemicals
- Too much sun exposure
- Alkaline detergents, soaps, and other products
- Over-washing or over-exfoliation
- Allergens and pollutants
- Extremely dry or humid environments
Some of these risk factors are unavoidable, like living in a dry environment. That’s why it’s important to understand the steps you can take to combat damage to your skin barrier.
How to Protect Your Skin Barrier
Using simple self-care methods, you can ensure your skin barrier is protected and healthy. Some easy steps you can take to protect the skin barrier are:
- Simplifying your skincare routine. Skincare products with lots of ingredients or chemicals can damage the barrier. Instead, opt for clean, minimal-ingredient products.
- Try plant oil as a moisturizer. Moisturization is key to maintaining a healthy skin barrier. Some research shows plant oils, such as coconut oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, and more can repair the skin barrier and keep it moisturized for longer.
- Look for products with ceramides. Ceramides are waxy lipids found naturally in healthy skin barriers. These lipids are key to ensuring your skin barrier is performing at its highest potential. Using products with artificial ceramides can bolster your skin barrier health.
Your skin barrier is your first defense against the pollutants, chemicals, and allergens your skin encounters daily. Therefore, you should try to ensure your skin barrier is healthy. A healthy skin barrier results in better protection and healthier-looking skin!
Skin Barrier Function and How to Repair and Care for It (healthline.com)
Efficacy of a moisturizer containing a pseudo-ceramide and a eucalyptus extract for Japanese patients with mild atopic dermatitis in the summer – PubMed (nih.gov)