The skin barrier is a thin, semi-permeable layer that protects the body from external elements. It's essential for keeping moisture in and toxins out.
The skin barrier is made up of three layers:
The outermost layer of your skin consists of dead cells that are constantly flaking off and being replaced by new ones.
This layer contains collagen and elastin fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity.
This layer is mostly made up of fat cells that help to insulate your body from heat loss in cold weather and protect your organs from bumps or blows.
When the skin barrier is damaged, it can cause your skin to be the largest organ of your body, and it's designed to protect you from external elements. Unfortunately, this means that it can sometimes become damaged by these very same elements.
The skin contains millions of bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as an abundance of pores that allow moisture to pass through the epidermis into the dermis. This process is known as trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). If a person's skin barrier function is compromised in any way, they are more likely to experience dryness or irritation.
Here are some expert tips on how to repair your skin barrier:
Eat Right Food
Make sure that you're eating the right kinds of food. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which will give you plenty of essential vitamins and minerals. Drink plenty of water each day as well to keep your body hydrated.
Drink Plenty of Water
Make sure that you're drinking enough water each day. Dehydration can cause your body to become more sensitive to irritants, so it's important to make sure that you're getting enough fluids to remain well-hydrated throughout the day.
Use Gentle Cleansers
Avoid using harsh soaps or cleansers that contain ingredients like sulfates and parabens. These products can disrupt the lipid layer of your skin, which is what keeps it hydrated and protected from external elements like bacteria and viruses. Instead, use mild cleansers that are free from these ingredients (such as CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser), or use an oil-based cleanser.
Use a Good Moisturizer
Moisturizers help to make the outer layer of your skin more hydrated and supple. They also help protect against environmental factors that can damage the skin barrier. You'll want to avoid harsh ingredients like alcohol, fragrances, and sulfates in your moisturizer because these can irritate the skin and damage it further. Look for ingredients like shea butter or aloe vera to help soothe irritated skin.
Avoid Excessive Washing and Scrubbing
Excessive washing will remove natural oils from the surface of the skin, which can lead to dryness and irritation. Soap also strips away natural lipids from the epidermis, which may make your skin more prone to infection than before you started washing excessively. If you want to wash every day, use a mild cleanser rather than soap so that you don’t strip away too many lipids at once.
Sun exposure is one of the biggest enemies of healthy skin. UV rays break down collagen and elastin, which makes your skin less elastic — and leads to wrinkles.
The best way to protect yourself from UV rays is by using sunscreen every day before going outside. Make sure that you choose one with a high SPF so that it will provide maximum protection against harmful rays (a minimum of 30).
Avoid Washing Your Face Too Often
Overwashing your face can strip away natural oils that keep the surface of your skin healthy, which can cause irritation and inflammation. Try skipping a day or two between washings and see how it goes. If it makes your skin feel better, stick with it!
In the end, maintaining a skin care regimen that is tailored to your personal skincare needs and concerns will help you achieve the best results. To protect your skin and make it look its best, always assess your skin's needs each season.