Skin barrier: What is it and why is it so important?
Healthy skin has an acid mantle which helps protects our skin from external pollutants, irritants, bacteria and other potential contaminants. Generally, an acid mantle has a pH of around 4.5 and 5.5. A healthy acid mantle not only keeps all the bad stuff away from your skin, your skin is also able to hold moisture — leaving your skin plump instead of tight and itchy by midday. Unfortunately, our acid mantle can be damaged if not carefully managed. Leaving aside factors such as age, harsh aesthetic treatments and UV, the skin care products we use can literally make or break our skin.
Signs that your skin’s acid mantle may be damaged:
- A mix of dryness and oiliness or one of them
- Highly sensitised (reactive) skin
Stay away from harsh cleansers – particularly foamy and mousse cleansers
The foamy, mousse cleanser you so love for the squeaky clean sensation may be responsible for your damaged skin barrier. High pH cleansers are a common culprit when it comes to damaging your skin barrier. High pH cleansers disrupt your skin’s acid mantle — leaving your skin more susceptible to bacteria and a host of other skin issues. Even a few minutes a day will add up, so you may find yourself “suddenly” having skin issues after a few months or years.
Don’t over exfoliate
Reaching out for that scrub may be tempting but over-exfoliation has its consequences. Over-exfoliation, be it with via chemical exfoliants such as AHAs or with physical scrubs, can harm our skin if not managed properly. Over-exfoliation can compromise our skin’s barrier system and accelerate Transepidermal water loss, which can exacerbate conditions such as dry skin. Transepidermal water loss is what happens when water passes through the dermis (the middle layer of the skin) and evaporates through the epidermal layer (the top layer of our skin). It is a natural process. However, it can be affected by factors such as humidity and the products we use. When too much transepidermal water loss occurs, our skin becomes dehydrated, which can lead to a weakened skin barrier, and a host of other problems!
Ceramides and hyaluronic acid are your best friends
Using skin-identical ingredients can help restore damaged skin to its natural state. Skin-identical ingredients are ingredients featured in skin care products that are found in our own skin makeup as well. Ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, suitable amino acids and EGFs can help repair the skin.
Use an occlusive at night
Using an occlusive skincare product can help seal in moisture and prevent moisture loss. Occlusive creams usually contain ingredients that have the ability to act as a barrier function and form a protective film. We love protecting dry, damaged skin with the Phyris RePAIR One Drop – an oil-based gel that contains Matrix Peptide, Ceramides, Vitamin F and Camellia Seed Oil. It’s a great product that restores skin’s lipid levels while acting as an intensive overnight occlusive.
Add Panthenol to your skincare regime
Panthenol is a great ingredient for any skin type. It helps soothe irritation caused by a broken skin barrier, while also reduce oil production from sebaceous glands, great for dehydrated but congested skin types. For mature skin, Panthenol has softening properties, which can help smoothen fine lines. Not only that, this powerful ingredient can also help with scarring!
NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP?
Try the Skin Origin Epi-treatment to help rebuild your damaged skin barrier! This gentle but effective treatment uses peptides and panthenol to heal problem skin. Sensitive and congested skin types have seen marked improvement after going through an Epi Treatment Facial Program at Chez Moi de Beaute.
First Timers get to try it at $98. Book an Appointment today!