Why You Need To Strengthen Your Skin Barrier
Finally, the skin barrier is getting the widespread appreciation it deserves.
Only recently, mainly thanks to skinfluencers, have we seen a surge in the conversation about the skin barrier and its role in keeping our complexions hydrated, smooth, and supple.
Also called the "skin moisture barrier," it can make the difference between dull, dry skin and dewy, glowing skin.
Here's everything you should know about the skin barrier and how to keep it thriving -- for the sake of your complexion.
What is the Skin Barrier?
Your skin is composed of several different layers. The two top levels of the epidermis -- the sebum barrier and the stratum corneum -- comprise your skin's natural barrier and are responsible for keeping skin healthy.
The lower layer is called the stratum corneum. It’s made up of 15 to 20 layers of dead skin cells, along with ceramides and free fatty acids. The top level, aka the sebum barrier, is a thin, mildly acidic layer of sebum and sweat.
According to dermatologists, a healthy skin barrier is essential for keeping your complexion plump, youthful, and glowing. That's because it protects the skin from allergens, pathogens, pollution, and other free radicals, while locking in moisture.
Some people are more vulnerable to experiencing a damaged skin barrier due to age, genetics, and skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and acne.
Fortunately, with a good skincare routine and a few good products, you can keep your skin barrier going strong.
Signs of Skin Barrier Damage
Experts say it's pretty easy to tell if you're dealing with a damaged barrier. Symptoms can include dryness, redness, rashes, itching, breakouts, and sensitivity.
If you have acne, rosacea, dermatitis, or eczema, you may notice these symptoms looking worse. Without strong barrier function, acne and signs of aging can begin to show and worsen.
If you suspect you have a weakened barrier, speak to a board-certified dermatologist. Request an assessment of your barrier function by measuring transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Then you can begin your skin therapy.
What Compromises a Healthy Skin Barrier?
A number of factors can contribute to a weakened skin barrier. The most common culprits? Environmental factors, like sun exposure and pollution; physical damage from harsh skincare products and over-exfoliation; and genetics and age.
With this damage comes water loss, which causes your skin to become irritated and dehydrated and irritated.
But that's not all. Even internal factors like stress and hormones can lead to a damaged skin barrier.
How to Strengthen Your Skin Barrier
Looking for barrier repair tips? If you think your skin barrier isn't performing its best, it may be time to show it some TLC. Here's what you can do to repair your skin barrier and get it back to its fully functioning self.
#1: Re-Introduce Moisture
When your skin barrier lacks a healthy balance of fats, the hydration that makes your skin look smooth, supple, and plump will not be maintained. For optimum skin health, start using moisturizers that contain ceramides and humectants, which attract and hold onto moisture.
An excellent humectant is hyaluronic acid. This powerhouse skincare ingredient helps support natural collagen while making your skin cells absorb water, promoting young, plump skin.
You'll find it in Truly's Cream Skin Face Cream, a nourishing daily moisturizer for keeping skin plump and dewy all day long.
#2: Quit Retinol -- Temporarily
When your skin's surface isn't working its best, it's a good idea to adopt a stripped back skincare routine. In other words, take a few weeks off from active products and ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and certain exfoliants.
Instead, focus on healing, hydrating, and nourishing your skin with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramides, glycerin, and cholesterol.
Once your skin barrier strengthens, you can slowly bring your retinoids, acids, and scrubs back into your routine.
Try a soothing, hydrating formula like Truly's Glass Skin Facial Serum which is made up of a blend of glycerin, willowbark, and sea kelp.
#3: Keep Things Simple
To enable your skin to recover, stick to a stripped back routine that includes no more than a gentle face cleanser, followed by a hydrating face oil or serum, and finished with a barrier-repairing moisturizer.
"So many people are overdoing it with their skin-care routines and harming themselves in the process," says New York dermatologist Shereene Idriss, M.D. "I strongly encourage you to take the time to understand your skin issues in order to address them one by one and not all simultaneously."
As a rule of thumb, sensitive skin types should always keep their skincare regimen as simple as possible to swerve irritation.
Nourish your skin with Truly's Pineapple Haze Bundle -- featuring a body balm, hand and foot cream, all-purpose skin salve, lip polish, and butter, all designed to repair, restore, and soothe skin anywhere on the body.
#4: Wear Sunscreen
When your skin moisture barrier is damaged, you want to avoid exposing your skin to more damage. This means avoiding sun exposure by always wearing SPF when you plan on going outside.
Environmental stressors like the sun and pollution are known for weakening your skin barrier. That's why it's crucial to give your skin all the protection it can get. Remember to re-apply throughout the day to keep skin protected and the skin barrier strong.
#5: Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Besides using topical skincare treatments to build up formidability in the top layers of skin, try making healthy lifestyle choices, like reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake, cutting back on smoking, and upping your intake of antioxidants.
Your lifestyle choices, just like your skincare choices, can have a huge impact on the state of your skin. So, it pays to invest in your overall wellbeing.
Keeping your moisture barrier healthy plays a key role in the health and appearance of your skin. By adopting a stripped back skincare routine, holding off on the actives for a while, and replenishing moisture in the skin, you can get your skin barrier back to normal in no time!