Protecting our skin barrier is one of the most important aspects of skincare, but let's be honest — when was the last time you thought about your skin barrier needs? Only when it was visibly damaged, or never?! Don't worry; your secrets are safe with us! Truth be told, we often overlook the importance of our skin barrier. It does an amazing job every day, shielding us from dirt, grime, and toxins and regenerating itself to fight the good fight.
Instant gratification is often the name of the game when it comes to skincare. From acid treatments, peels, and lasers, when we think about improving our skin's barrier, we don't often consider how effective the slow and steady approach is. At Avari Beauty, we believe that a consistent, custom skincare routine is by far the best way to create a glowing and gorgeous stratum corneum (the science-y term for your skin moisture barrier).
Your skin barrier is a crucial factor in your overall skin health, so if yours is in need — keep reading! In this article, we discuss how you can tell whether your skin barrier is damaged and what you can do to help it heal!
What Is the Skin Barrier?
Your skin is composed of several different layers, with your moisture barrier being the outermost layer. The skin barrier's job is to keep dirt and irritants out and stop good things, such as hydration, escaping. Picture your skin barrier as a brick wall — the skin cells acting as the bricks and the lipids and proteins acting as the mortar that holds them together. Combined, your skin cells, lipids, and proteins help serve as a barrier to protect deeper levels of the skin.
Keeping hydration within your skin is the skin barrier's priority. When healthy, your skin appears dewy and glowing. It's crucial to keep your skin barrier strong to reduce transcutaneous evaporative water loss (TEWL). TEWL is simply a fancy way of describing how hydration evaporates from the surface of your skin. Although this is a natural occurrence, it can become problematic if it leads to conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis.
What Causes Damage To Your Skin Barrier?
Most skin barrier damage is caused by stripping your skin of its natural oils. This can occur with the use of harsh cleansers, acne medication, and acids. You can also disrupt your skin's natural barrier by physically exfoliating too much, waxing, and using harsh ingredients on your skin, such as lemon juice and baking soda.
It's also possible to damage your skin barrier by over-utilizing certain ingredients in your skincare routine. For example, if you use several products in your skincare routine with an exfoliant, your skin can become red and irritated. If you're experiencing dull or oily skin, it can be tempting to overuse exfoliators. Still, it's important to be patient and build up your tolerance — especially with highly effective ingredients such as retinol.
How Do You Know If Your Skin-Barrier Is Damaged?
It's quite easy to tell if your skin barrier is damaged, as you'll experience issues such as inflammation, irritation, scaling, and itching. You may also experience discomfort, such as burning or stinging when applying inactive products. In addition, a compromised skin barrier is often accompanied by acne and blemishes.
Look out for these tell-tale signs if you think your skin barrier is damaged:
- Dry Skin
- Rough Skin texture
- Burning and stinging
How to Repair A Damaged Skin Barrier
If you're experiencing symptoms of a damaged skin barrier, don't panic! With some patience, it's possible to heal your skin barrier and get it back to its glowy, dewy self.
Your skin is a wonderful self-healer, so often, all it needs is a very gentle cleanser and extremely gentle moisturizer to repair itself. It's important to opt for natural products that do not contain harsh ingredients like synthetics and denatured alcohols. You can also give your skin a break by avoiding all active products and exfoliants for a couple of weeks to give your skin a chance to heal itself. Instead, focus on healing and nourishing products that replenish your skin, such as hyaluronic acid and aloe vera.
Remember: when adding new products to your skincare routine, it's essential to introduce slowly, preferably one at a time! In this way, if you notice your skin barrier becoming irritated or inflamed, you can quickly identify which product may be the culprit.
If you're looking for a gentle cleanser that is also lash extension safe, we recommend the Avari Beauty All in 1 Bamboo Charcoal Cleanser. We developed our facial cleanser with Charcoal Bamboo because it provides a gentle but thorough cleanse, enabling your skincare products to penetrate the skin more deeply. Plus, it's kind to skin and suitable for all skin types! Developed with 86% of naturally sourced ingredients, you can even use this cleanser to double cleanse! For more information or to shop, click here!