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The skin is a complicated thing, made up of many layers to protect it from external environmental aggressors like pollution and UV rays.
To keep our skin healthy and performing at its best, our skin is armed with a barrier layer – AKA the skin barrier.
When it becomes compromised, you’ll notice symptoms like dryness and inflammation. It can occur anywhere – your face, arms, chest, back, or legs. Basically, anywhere there’s skin!
That’s because it cannot complete its two primary functions, which include inhibiting moisture loss and shielding it from environmental pollutants, microbes, and irritants.
Keep reading to find out how to protect your skin barrier all over your body using the right skincare ingredients.
A healthy skin barrier is essential to normal skin function.
“It protects us from mechanical injury, low humidity, cold, heat, sun, wind, chemical exposure, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens,” explains board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D.
In addition to supporting skin health, it also affects our overall health.
A 2019 study found a connection between skin dysfunction and various health conditions caused by inflammation. Researchers discovered that with the use of barrier repair moisturizers, the pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood reduced. This just goes to show how important the skin’s protective role is for our health.
Several factors play a role in comprising the skin barrier. Some of them include changes in weather, UV exposure, and overly acidic products. In the wintertime, especially, the skin barrier is at its most vulnerable.
“Cold temperatures break down this protective layer, creating cracks in the skin, dryness and inflammation,” says dermatologist Dr. Onyeka Ohioba. “Indoor heaters decrease humidity levels, accelerating water loss from the skin and resulting in dryness. Those who suffer from chronic inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, are more likely to flare due to these moisture-stripping triggers.”
Even over-washing your skin can damage the skin barrier. That’s because it strips away the skin’s natural lipid barrier, weakening the barrier’s protective superpowers.
Certain ingredients can bring your face and body’s skin barrier back to its prime. Let’s take a look at the best ones to choose from!
Humectants like hyaluronic acid draw and lock in water. While they cannot repair the skin barrier on their own, they do play an essential role in keeping the skin moisturized and protected. According to skincare experts, hyaluronic acid hydrates the epidermis and prevents the skin from losing more water.
Dermatologists advise starting with a topical humectant like hyaluronic acid first, followed by an occlusive cream to speed up the repair of a damaged skin barrier.
Alternatively, use nourishing creams that already contain hyaluronic acid and other hydrating ingredients. We recommend Truly’s Flawless Skincare Bundle, which features face cream, serum, and eye cream, all enriched with hyaluronic acid.
According to King, “Ceramides are thought to be the most important component for maintaining barrier function.” It’s considered is one of the most critical building blocks of our skin cells.
“Ceramides are fatty molecules that make up the natural skin barrier and help to retain moisture,” adds Marisa Garshick, M.D., FAAD. “Specifically, ceramides serve as the glue that helps keep the skin cells together.”
Research shows that phytoceramides applied topically significantly improve the rate of repair of the top skin layer (otherwise known as the stratum corneum).
Give your lips a large serving of ceramides with Truly’s Heartbreaker Lip Plumping Mask to keep them looking smooth, soft, and kissable.
This powerful plant does more than soothe sunburns.
According to skincare pro Harold Lancer, M.D., “It promotes barrier repair, reduces dryness, and alleviates skin irritation.” You can use it as part of your daily skincare regimen combined with other ingredients to keep your complexion clear and healthy.
“In terms of skincare, aloe works best when it is used in creams and serums,” explains Dr. Lancer. “A cream with aloe will allow for hydration and alleviate dryness, and serums are incredibly important as they can soothe irritations and provide a protective barrier by inhibiting water loss.”
So if you’re seeing signs of a compromised skin barrier, arm yourself with aloe vera to speed up barrier healing.
Try Truly’s Aloe-Formulated Hemp Jelly Bundle to take control of your skin!
Another fabulous ingredient for firing up your skin barrier anywhere on your body.
Clinical studies show that manuka honey has powerful repairing benefits and can be effective in healing wounds, scrapes, burns, and other topical damage. It does this by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.
Thanks to its abundance of antioxidants, manuka honey is a potent anti-inflammatory, too, proven to ease skin issues like acne, dermatitis, and eczema. These are all conditions linked to a damaged skin barrier. Thus, dermatologists believe this household ingredient may be key in repairing the barrier layer of the skin.
Last but not least, plant oils. According to research from 2018, certain plant oils may help repair the skin barrier and prevent it from losing moisture. Some of the best plant oils to use on your skin include almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and rosehip oil.
To reap their skin-barrier-strengthening benefits, you can apply the plant oils directly to your skin. Or, you can apply creams and serums that contain one of these plant oils or more.
Truly’s Pineapple Haze Bundle is loaded with plant oils such as jojoba, coconut, and almond oil to nourish, hydrate, and repair your skin barrier.
The skin barrier is a critical component of our skin and essential for maintaining a healthy, hydrated complexion. Not only does it protect us from external stressors that cause irritation, inflammation, and premature aging, it can also improve our overall health. It’s a win-win-win-win.
Think of your skin barrier as a protective shield against environmental irritants. Take care of it, and it’ll take care of you.
Now that you know how to take care of your skin barrier and offer it protection, you can look forward to a glowy, dewy, vibrant complexion all day long. All it takes is a little know-how and the right ingredients.