What to do when your skin betrays you? This is one of the unpleasant feelings when your skin begins to turn dull, dehydrated, sensitive, and saggy. What brings more frustration when you fail to figure out what is sabotaging your epidermis? Dermatologists explain that a healthy skin barrier is extremely important for your skin health. Environmental stressors and your daily skin care habits have damaging effects on your skin’s moisture barrier, which in turn leads to irreversible damage to your skin. Don’t lose your morale because there is a myriad of possible ways to repair your damaged barrier.
The outermost layer of your skin is called the stratum corneum. This layer consists of fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides that form your skin’s moisture barrier. It plays a major role in preventing Transepidermal Water Loss (TWL), which in turn keeps your skin moisturized. It also acts as a shield against environmental pollutants, harmful UV rays, and microbes that can cause skin damage.
Factors that affect moisture barrier
Numerous research studies reveal that countless factors contribute to a compromised skin barrier.
- Extreme weather conditions i.e. too cold or too dry
- Prolonged unprotected sun exposure
- Use of harsh skin care chemicals
- Skin conditions like atopic dermatitis
- Environmental pollutants
Dermatologists explain that your skin barrier is the front line of defense against external invaders. However, when your skin’s barrier is damaged, you are at a greater risk of numerous dermatological concerns like premature aging, over-sensitive skin, acne exacerbation, rough texture, and so on. Hence, maintaining the healthy barrier functions is of utmost importance to keep your skin happy, healthy, and glowing.
How do you tell if your skin moisture barrier is damaged?
A research study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology has explained that a damaged moisture barrier increases Transepidermal Water Loss (TWL). Chronic dry skin is identified as the biggest sign of impaired skin barrier. Improving skin hydration is considered the more crucial step to repair the cracked barrier in inflammatory skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. Luckily, there are numerous easiest ways to prevent dry skin.
Other symptoms may include
- Atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema
- Itching and irritation
- Skin peeling
- Acne flare - ups
How to repair your skin barrier?
- Limit your shower time
- Wear sunscreen
- Moisturize your skin
- Avoid over-exfoliation
- Maintain healthy skin pH
- Eat healthy
1. Limit your shower time
Skin care experts explain that over washing or excessive cleansing of your skin can lead to more damage to your skin barrier. Avoiding hot water and switching to gentle skin care ingredients are great ways to keep your skin nourished and healthy.
2. Wear sunscreen
Wearing a good broad-spectrum sunscreen is another easiest way to keep your moisture barrier healthy. Physical sunscreen filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are known to provide maximum sun protection to your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, physical sunscreens are considered ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.
3. Moisturize your skin
Numerous research studies have elucidated the benefits of emollients and humectants in restoring the barrier functions. Skin care ingredients like ceramides, phytosterols, and madecassoside do an incredible job in preventing transepidermal water loss (TWL), meanwhile repairing the damaged barrier.
4. Avoid over exfoliation
When you over-exfoliate your skin, it takes away the essential skin fatty acids and natural oils. This further leads to dry and dehydrated skin. Skin care experts recommend using chemical exfoliants instead of physical ones. The reason is physical exfoliation can wreak serious havoc on your skin if not done properly.
5. Maintain healthy skin pH
Healthy skin pH levels also play an important role to maintain healthy barrier functions. It has been observed that strong surfactant ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) disturb the pH levels of your skin, subsequently leaving your barrier dry and cracked. It is good to be mindful while choosing your skin care regimen products.
6. Eat healthy
A 2021 research study has elucidated the role of a healthy diet in improving barrier functions. This study further elaborates that a diet enriched with omega 3 fatty acids has a great positive impact on barrier restoration along with relieving skin inflammation and itchiness.
Now you are well aware of the importance of your skin barrier and its role in performing healthy skin functions. Hence, to keep your skin barrier intact and healthy, it is good to stick to gentle skin care ingredients and avoiding aggressors. In simple words, taking care of the moisture barrier is probably the best investment for soft, plump, and youthful-looking skin.