A well-functioning skin barrier is key to maintaining healthy skin. A compromised skin barrier is a noticeable sign of poor health for many parts of our body. This article will discuss skin barrier, how to protect it, signs of damage, repair tips, and more.
What is a Skin Barrier?
The skin barrier is the outer layer of the skin that protects us from external and internal elements. It is also known as Stratum corneum or as we like to call it, your body's security guard. Without a skin barrier, you wouldn't be able to survive long-term. A healthy skin barrier is the best defense against environmental damage.
Causes of Skin Barrier Damage
There are a few key causes of skin barrier damage. These include:
- Environmental factors like pollution and smoke can all lead to a weakened skin barrier. And when that happens, the skin is more susceptible to dehydration, puffiness, and infection.
- Sun Exposure: Sun exposure is one of the most common causes of skin barrier damage. UV radiation can damage the lipids that make up the skin barrier, causing it to become less effective. This can lead to dryness, redness, and even breakouts.
- Wind: Wind can also damage the skin barrier. This is because it can strip away the natural oils that help to protect the skin. This can leave the skin feeling dry, tight, and irritated.
- Cold weather: Cold weather can also damage the skin barrier. This is because the cold can cause the blood vessels in the skin to constrict. This can lead to dryness, redness, and even breakouts.
Signs of Damaged Skin Barrier
There are a few key signs that can indicate a damaged skin barrier. If you notice any of the following, it's time to take steps to protect and repair your skin:
1. Rough patches accompanied by itchiness: If your skin barrier is weak and damaged, it becomes more susceptible to irritation and more vulnerable to external attack. The itching sensation may be due to the immune system's response. Scratching will make it worse.
2. Dryness: A damaged barrier can cause dryness or xerosis. Dry skin is one of the most common symptoms of an unhealthy skin barrier because it makes the skin drier and less efficient at protecting itself from irritation or environmental damage.
3. Flaky skin: Your skin's barrier defense system comprises a series of dead cells that helps keep organisms out, cool, and hydrated. The barrier is compromised if these dead cells start to flake off in large numbers. The lower the pH of your skin, the faster the shedding of dead cells occurs.
4. Sensitivity to cold: A damaged skin barrier can lead to irritation and inflammation if you have sensitive skin.
5. Sensitive, inflamed, or irritated skin: A compromised skin barrier can cause irritation and inflammation if you have sensitive skin. Stinging, itching, burning sensation, or other irritation indicates that the barrier is damaged.
6. Discoloration: A damaged skin barrier can cause or contribute to the appearance of discoloration, including brown spots and sunspots.
7. Redness: Red skin is an indication of irritation and inflammation. A damaged barrier will produce more of these red patches to handle the irritation but won't be able to heal as quickly because it can't properly do its job.
How to Protect and Repair a Damaged Skin Barrier
Avoid sun exposure
UV radiation can damage the skin barrier, so it's important to limit your time in the sun and to wear sunscreen whenever you are exposed to sunlight. Sunscreen is a must, especially when going outdoors. Zinc It Over SPF facial mists by Seriously FAB is the first and most important thing that comes to mind when discussing protecting skin from UV rays. This product is a great option for easy, fun, and convenient reapplication to help protect skin from sun damage. Be sure to reapply every two hours or more if you're sweating or swimming.
Use a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser
A cleanser with a high pH level can disrupt the skin barrier and irritate it. So, use a pH-balanced cleanser to cleanse your skin without any adverse effects.
Use a good moisturizer
Damage to the protective layer of your skin allows harmful elements like bacteria and environmental damage to enter. Therefore, it is important to use a good moisturizer to protect the barrier.
Drinking plenty of water is essential for keeping your body healthy and hydrated, including your skin! So, drink up!
Wear protective clothing
Another great way to protect the skin barrier is to wear protective clothing. This includes long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
A healthy diet can help to keep your skin healthy. Foods rich in vitamins such as C and E can help boost collagen production, which helps keep the skin strong and resilient.
Physical activity helps tone your muscles and boost circulation, which may lead to better skin health.
A proper skincare routine should focus on protecting and nourishing the skin barrier. Whether your skin barrier was damaged by the environment, by chemicals, or both, you can get your barrier back to optimum health by consulting your aesthetician or dermatologist. Using the right products at home is an equal vital part of your defense. Products such as Zinc It Over and Cheers Luv can help your skin heal and stay protected.