What Is Skin Barrier And Efficient Ways To Protect It

What Is Skin Barrier And Efficient Ways To Protect It

The skin barrier has been garnering a lot of attention lately and for good reasons. Skin barrier ensures overall skin health and serves as the first line of defense against pollutants, irritants, and various physical and chemical stresses including harmful rays, heat, and extreme hot or cold temperatures. Skin is made up of 3 major layers, the epidermis being the outermost layer that forms the skin barrier. The uppermost layer of skin, stratum corneum is what the skin barrier is in the common vernacular. Skin barrier, if damaged, can pose a threat to our overall health and may increase the risk of infections, allergies, and overall compromised skin health. The skin barrier can be easily protected and repaired by a simple Barrier Repair Lotion that has constituents like ceramides and cholesterol.

Skin Barrier Could Be Explained With The Analogy Of Brick Wall

  • Corneocytes act as a “brick” that make up your skin barrier(wall)
  • Lipids like ceramides, fatty acids, cholesterol, and make up the mortar of the skin barrier(wall) to stay intact.
  • The skin barrier also has filaggrin protein that provides the natural moisturizing factors to the skin.

Why Is Skin Barrier Important?

The skin barrier is the first line of defense that stands strong against all harmful external factors like:

  • Pollution
  • Compromised skin microbiome
  • Irritants and allergens
  • Toxins
  • UV rays 
  • Microbial infections
  • Dehydration
  • Severe heat and cold

What Are The Signs Of Damaged Skin Barrier?

The signs of a damaged skin barrier could vary according to the skin type the degree of damage and the nature of the damage; intrinsic or extrinsic, they could largely be:

  • Dehydrated skin
  • Dull skin
  • Flaking skin
  • Bacterial and fungal acne
  • Inflammation
  • Eczema
  • Premature aging
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Concurrent skin infections and inflammation

Ways To Protect And Repair Skin Barrier

Maintaining skin barrier health is an investment in your overall health. Skin barrier requires a holistic approach to maintain its optimal health. Here are the ways to help you strengthen your skin barrier to ensure its optimal and proper functioning.

Simplify your skincare routine:

Maintaining a skincare routine is encouraged, however, it is advised to keep it concise yet consistent. Following a simple CTM skincare routine suffices for supporting a healthy skin barrier.

Include barrier-strengthening ingredients:

Barrier-strengthening ingredients could help protect and repair the skin barrier for its optimal functioning. Here are a few ingredients to look for while choosing a barrier-repair skincare product.

ingredients that help repair skin barrier-repair

1. Ceramides:

Ceramides are the naturally occurring lipids that are the major constituent of the skin barrier and they make upto about 40-50% of the skin barrier. They work as a cementing agent and are important to keep the Corneocytes intact. Lack of ample ceramides could eventually lead to a compromised skin barrier that may lead to several other complexities. Including a Ceramide Moisturizer or a barrier repair lotion formulated with ingredients like ceramides, cholesterol, and GLA could further help in reversing impaired barrier thereby promoting optimal skin barrier health.

2. Humectants:

Humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin help retain the water onto the outermost layer of your skin thereby ensuring ample hydration of the stratum corneum which eventually leads to barrier strengthening. Including a hyaluronic acid gel in your skincare routine further helps in maintaining the barrier health.

3. Colloidal Oats Cream:

Oats have been used classically as a soothing skincare ingredient as they boost skin microbiome thereby also supporting skin barrier health.

4. Niacinamide:

Niacinamide is one of the ingredients that is well tolerated by all skin types, it has multiple skin benefits one of which is barrier strengthening too. It also has other skin benefits like reducing hyperpigmentation, having a check on sebum production, improving skin texture, and brightening the skin while at it.

5. Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants that help minimize photodamage throughout the day by scavenging the free radical. Including a Vitamin C cream or a serum in the morning skincare routine further helps in fighting the photodamage thereby supporting barrier health too.

Sunscreen Is Non-Negotiable:

Sunscreen protects the skin from harmful UV rays, which is one of the major causes of impaired skin barrier as the harmful rays penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and may cause cellular damage which may result in compromising the skin barrier too. It is recommended to apply and reapply sunscreen of SPF 30 and above throughout the day to protect your skin.

Hopefully, this blog gave you an insight into protecting and maintaining the skin barrier health to ensure that your skin stands strong against all the external or internal factors that may pose a threat to it. Skin barrier protects you from multiple stressing and toxic factors, be it physical, chemical, or biological, it is therefore, our responsibility to protect what has been protecting us forever.

Also Read- How To Pick The Best Moisturizer For Acne Prone Skin

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