Skin Barrier 101
If you take a second to stop and reflect, our skin does so much for us. It heals, grows, feels, soothes. It sometimes gets hurt, will burn or blister, but always scars, scabs, and protects itself - and You. But in order for our skin to be its healthiest and most resilient, we have to protect it ourselves as well. This means, ensuring the skin barrier is happy, hydrated and balanced.
So what is the skin barrier?
The skin barrier is, well, exactly what it sounds like! Think of it as the guards around the castle. It is the outermost layer of your skin and is your skin's first line of defense. If you think about it, our skin is constantly under attack. Whether it’s environmental threats like pollution, or self-induced harm like popping a zit or an accidental sunburn, the skin barrier defends your body and skin against a variety of threats. Another skin threat is dehydration or an imbalance of water, which the skin barrier also works to protect by maintaining optimal water levels, which is critical to happy, healthy skin.
How can I tell if my skin barrier is damaged?
Since the skin barrier protects yourself and your skin from all kinds of harm, it has to be super strong. But like all things, it’s not invincible. The skin barrier can reach to a limit that starts to get damaged. Thankfully, the skin barrier will tell you when enough is enough. Look out for symptoms such as dryness, inflammation, itchiness and reactivity. If your skin feels more sensitive or breakout-prone, it may be a result of a stressed out skin barrier.
What causes skin barrier damage?
It would be impossible to list all of the things that could damage your skin barrier, but there are a few common culprits - and some may surprise you. First and foremost, disturbing the barrier will compromise the skin's strength. That means any and all touching of the face, especially picking, peeling, and popping. Remember: the skin barrier is resilient, but not impenetrable. Second (and just as important), is the sun. Your skin barrier is strong, but the sun is absolutely stronger. Being the outermost layer of your skin, the skin barrier gets hit the hardest when it comes to sun exposure. Lastly, over-exfoliating! This not only means physical scrubs, but chemical peels and exfoliants as well. You know that feeling when your skin is so squeaky clean that it feels tight? Yeah, that means it’s over-exfoliated. Many mistake this for clean skin, but it is a sign your skin is too stripped.
How do I nourish or repair the skin barrier?
Fear not! The skin barrier will heal itself every time, without fail. Patience is key, depending on the damage. But rest assured it will bounce back to a resilient, ready-to-protect state - and you can help it along by practicing some happy skin habits! (These will benefit all skin types, no matter the state of your skin barrier) You can start by making sure to always wear SPF of at least 30 or higher every- day & ven if it’s cloudy. And if you do go outside, seek shade and reapply! Another essential for good skin health is to stop touching it! Let your skin breathe, and let your skin heal itself properly. Lastly, make sure your skin barrier is hydrated and not overly exfoliated. This means to lay off the harsh chemicals and scrubs (which often do more harm than good) and instead use gentle cleansers, soothing moisturizers and top with face oils. Our Luminous Brightening Elixir, which is gentle yet effective and uses clean, hydrating, Organic ingredients, is perfect for this and all skin types, whether your skin barrier is compromised or not!
Make sure to say Thank You to your skin barrier for all of the hard work! Every single day, your skin barrier protects you from damage and harm, and only asks for some light TLC in return. Take care of YOU + your skin!