Why Taking Care of Your Skin Barrier Matters
Whether you prefer a simple skincare regimen or a more elaborate multiple-step program, it can show if you are not taking proper care of your skin barrier. For example, if your skin feels dry, dull, itchy, or extra sensitive, you may need to focus on strengthening your Skin Barrier.
What is the Skin Barrier?
Your skin comprises three layers, the epidermis, the outermost layer; the dermis, the thick middle layer of skin that contains collagen, elastin, and the skin's nerve and blood supply; and the hypodermis, the subcutaneous fatty layer that forms a barrier between skin and muscle.The stratum corneum, or the skin barrier, is the outermost part of the epidermis.
Shari Marchbein - New York City board certified dermatologist says, "The skin barrier has two general roles: Keep the good stuff in - and the bad stuff out. Your skin barrier is also the primary determinant of how healthy and even your skin looks. If it's working properly, your skin barrier will retain water to keep your skin hydrated, smooth, and elastic. It'll also fend off environmental aggressors, like pollution, and be less prone to sensitivity."
Here are some proactive ways to promote and maintain a healthy Skin Barrier
• Use a Gentle Cleanser (Sans Sulfites)
• Moisturize with your Skin Barrier in mind
• Use Fragrance-free products
• Use Mineral-based sunscreen
Use a Gentle Cleanser (Sans Sulfates)
Skincare experts say, over-washing your face can be just as troublesome as not washing your face enough. The ideal cleansing routine removes makeup, other impurities, and dirt without stripping the skin. And skip the suds. Sudsy cleansing agents indicate sulfates, which can strip the skin, leading to a compromised skin barrier and redness.
According to Athena Hewett, aesthetician and founder of Monastery Skincare, "There isn't a need to rewash our face in the morning as there isn't anything to remove such as makeup or sunscreen. The natural oil our bodies produce is good for our skin and provides a first defense barrier for the external factors of the day." While there is debate among the experts on how often to wash your skin,
I have found using Micellar Water (you can buy on Amazon or the drug store) is all I need in the morning to cleanse after a workout and before sunscreen. I do a full cleanse at night with Restoracell's Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser. Its non-foaming sulfite-free formula removes dirt, oil, makeup, and impurities without stripping my skin barrier while gently exfoliating the dead skin cells.
Moisturize with your Skin Barrier in mind
According to Marchbein, you can still use your acids or retinol but balance the ingredients with products designed to support the skin barrier. You can use either layer these ingredients with your actives or use them on days you skip your actives.
Vitali Restoracell's enhanced Skin Awakening Moisturizer is designed to stimulate the rapid production of collagen and fibroblast and provide vital protection to the critical skin barrier. Its primary ingredient, GHK-Cu (Copper Peptide), improves the skin barrier (lessens the risk of skin irritation), protects it from adverse effects of UV radiation, reduces excess skin oil production, and helps the skin deal with microbial infection.
Several new and vital ingredients have been added to the Skin Awakening Moisturizer that protects & nourish the skin barrier. D-Alpha-Tocopherol(Vitamin E) was added to the formula as it is one of the most recognized predominant barrier antioxidants.
According to the Journal of Molecular Medicine, Vitamin E preserves the integrity of skin lipid components and protects against UV-induced photodamage. Photodamage contributes to the development of wrinkles, uneven skin texture, and hyperpigmentation. Most significant, Vitamin E helps protect the skin barrier by preventing harmful toxins and free-radical damage (a by-product of things like UV and pollution) from entering your skin.
The Hyaluronic acid included in the new Vitali Restorcell formula penetrates the skin's barrier, creating moisture from the inside out without clogging your pores. Hyaluronic acid binds water to skin cells, infusing all layers of the skin with rejuvenating moisture.
The essential fatty acids in Sea Buckthorn form a protective barrier on the skin, strengthening the skin's barrier and reducing water loss. This barrier helps to maintain hydration levels, keeping skin firm, smooth, and soft. It also improves blood circulation, removes excess toxins from the body, and quickly penetrates through the epidermis.
We included Meadowfoam Seed Oil (Limnanthes Alba) because it contains one of the highest amounts of natural Ceramides. It balances the skin without being heavy or oily, and because it has the same molecular structure as our natural sebum, it is suitable for all skin types.
Use Fragrance-free products. Fragrances can irritate your skin and are one of the leading causes of contact dermatitis, which is a condition that causes inflamed skin. "Both natural and artificial fragrances in high concentrations can irritate the skin," says Paul Bigliardi, MD of contact dermatitis, a professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Use Mineral-based sunscreen with physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Avoid chemical sunscreens, which include avobenzone or oxybenzone, which can aggravate the skin. They also can include preservatives, dyes, and fragrances which can cause irritations.
Taking care of your skin barrier is critical to maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. Practice nourishing your skin with the right ingredients and avoiding those that can cause harm. The results will show!