Skin Barrier: How to Restore Skin Barrier Damage?
The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the epidermis that helps regulate what goes in and out of your skin. It sounds promising and beneficial, but why is it so important, how should you care for the skin barrier, and how do you repair a damaged skin barrier?
The Structure of the Skin
The skin is divided into three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The epidermis is the uppermost layer and the layer that we see and feel. Under that is the dermis and then the hypodermis. Of these three, the epidermis, composed of the acid mantle and skin barrier, is what we will be focusing on today.
The acid mantle is a thin acidic film that sits on the surface of the epidermis. It protects the inner layers from bacteria and other sources of contamination. Additionally, it maintains our skin’s natural pH level of 5.0 to 6.0.
Right below the acid mantle is the skin barrier, or stratum corneum. As stated earlier, the skin barrier regulates what enters and exits the skin, including sources of moisture. A healthy skin barrier keeps bacteria out and locks natural oils in, while a damaged one does neither, resulting in dry and irritated skin.
What damages the skin barrier?
With that said, you might be wondering what damages the barrier?
From environmental factors, like pollution, to irritating product ingredients, your skin barrier is constantly at risk from a variety of sources. As such, it is difficult to determine exactly which components to steer clear from. Fortunately, however, there are a few prevention methods you take to limit your chances of skin barrier damage. Here are a few skin barrier tips:
The sun’s rays are extremely destructive to the skin, causing premature aging and sunburns.
Fortunately, sunscreen is an easy solution as it dissipates or reflects back the dangerous rays. Moreover, sunscreen helps slow the breakdown of the acid mantle, therefore protecting your barrier and its processes.
To learn more about sunscreen, read our post “Why is Sunscreen a Must In Skincare?”
Exfoliation is a key component of a skincare routine and can result in numerous benefits. With that said, it’s important to avoid over-exfoliating as this can result in a compromised acid mantle and skin barrier.
Some signs of over-exfoliated skin include dryness, irritation, sensitivity, and perhaps even stinging during product application. When this occurs, it is best to stop exfoliating and begin using skin barrier repairing products.
How to repair skin barrier and prevent further damage?
Use products with pH levels between 5.0 to 6.0
As we have established, the acid mantle that maintains the skin’s pH levels is naturally acidic. Thus, to avoid drastic shifts in this natural equilibrium, it’s beneficial to use products, specifically cleansers, with pH levels between 5.0 and 6.0. If finding a compatible cleanser is difficult, toners are also a great way to rebalance the skin’s pH level after cleansing.
Incorporate ceramides into your skincare routine
The skin barrier is composed of fatty acid called ceramides that control the barrier’s permeability, or its ability to allow liquids or gases to pass. Thus, by enriching your skincare routine with pseudo-ceramides, dryness is decreased and barrier strength is increased.
Use hyaluronic acid
Along the same lines, hyaluronic acid is another great ingredient. However, as amazing as it is, if used incorrectly, hyaluronic acid is a double-edged sword.
To elaborate, hyaluronic acid draws moisture from nearby sources. Thus if the skin is already dry, hyaluronic acid could draw moisture from the inner layers of the skin, resulting in water loss. As such, it is important to use hyaluronic acid on damp skin in addition to a moisturizer.
Wish Formula’s Solution
One great product with the sole purpose of repairing the skin barrier is Wish Formula’s Reparative – K Cream. Infused with various plant oils known for their skin barrier repairing properties, this cream is perfect for those with sensitive and irritated skin. Moreover, through squalane, a component that helps with moisture retention, this skin barrier cream is sure to lock in all the hydration provided by jojoba, sunflower, soybean, and lavender oil.
To use the Reparative – K Cream, follow through with your normal skincare routine and finish it up with a generous layer of the cream. If worn during the day, make sure to also apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
To conclude, remember that your skin’s natural pH levels rest between 5.0 to 6.0. Additionally, hyaluronic acid are great ingredients to incorporate into your skin care routines!
Despite the skin barrier being such an essential part of our skin’s health, not many people are familiar with its functionality and how to care for it. I hope that through this blog, you learned some tips on how to care for a damaged skin barrier.
To learn more about K-beauty and the latest skincare products, make sure to read our last post.