If you’re anything like us and just the tiniest bit into skincare (*wink, wink*), you’re likely to have heard the term ‘skin barrier’ thrown around. While the name kind of gives it away, there is a lot of understanding involved around what the skin barrier is and what it actually does.
Curious? Read on below to find out!
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE SKIN BARRIER?
The skin barrier, as a whole, is what makes up the outermost layer of the skin. Its proper name is the stratum corneum and is what is referred to when you read the words ‘skin barrier’.
The stratum corneum's job is to protect your skin and body from the external environment. When talked about how strong this barrier is, it is usually referred to as the skin barrier function.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Imagine that your skin is made up of bricks, AKA the protein blocks that are held together by lipids and create a protective wall. The lipid layer, which is actually your skin’s oil, is the “glue” that holds this wall together.
Thanks to this, the skin stays strong, looks hydrated, and stays soft. A healthy barrier will hold in natural moisturizers and will keep bacteria and environmental hazards out, keeping acne, redness, and other issues at bay.
HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF A SKIN BARRIER?
Dryness, flakiness, irritation, itchiness, or sensitivity are all signs of a weakened skin barrier function. A weakened or damaged barrier can lead to a load of issues, ranging from eczema to acne.
Preventing damage to the skin barrier involves treating the skin with gentle care (like avoiding physical scrubs, scalding hot water, and extreme environmental conditions), making sure to avoid harsh irritants, and always protecting the skin from UVA/UVB rays.
While we can go to the furthest lengths to protect and nourish the skin barrier, it is also important to note that after the age of 40, the amounts of lipids in the skin decrease significantly. This naturally weakens the skin barrier and explains why we are more prone to dry skin as we age.
That being said, there are many ways to gracefully support an aging skin barrier. Here are a few products we recommend to support its function:
ZO SKIN HEALTH DAILY POWER DEFENSE - $180
SKINCEUTICALS TRIPLE LIPID RESTORE - $162
ELTAMD UV CLEAR BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 46 - $169
BABOR ULTIMATE REPAIR CREAM - $159
Any questions? Drop us a comment below or send us a message across our socials and it will be our pleasure to help demystify more for you!
Until next time,
The BSE Team