Why should you care about your skin barrier ? The bottom line is that a compromised or damaged skin barrier causes all kinds of skin problems from dryness, acne, sensitivity, discoloration all the way to possible bacterial or fungal skin infections. Ok, so let’s agree, keeping your skin barrier healthy is important!
So what is this barrier and how do we keep it healthy and how does it get damaged in the first place. The skin barrier is essentially “ The outermost layer, called the stratum corneum is often described as a brick wall. It consists of tough skin cells called corneocytes that are bound together by mortar-like lipids.”* This is your protection layer, it keeps bad stuff like toxins from coming in and good stuff like water from leaving your skin.
On a daily basis environmental factors like heat, pollutants, allergens and sun exposure wear down this protective skin barrier. Additionally harsh chemicals in cleansers and overuse of exfoliants and chemical peels can compromise this layer.
How can one keep this skin barrier healthy ?
Less is more! Be careful not to over do your skin care. Too many products or too much exfoliation puts you at risk of weakening this layer. Simple routines with clean products are best to help you repair and maintain a healthy skin barrier.
Also incorporating a plant oil in your routine can help repair damage and protect your skin barrier. Plant oils help repair the lipid layer of the skin barrier by providing nourishing fatty acids. Plants oils can also be anti inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant, helping protect your skin from damage. Plant oils are also occlusive, they help prevent loss of moisture from the skin. If you have acne or oily skin and are unsure about using oils, the key is to use oils that are low on the comedogenic index, that is, oils that are light and will not block your pores. Jojoba, Rosehip seed oils are great light oils to use for all skin types.