Hello, everyone! Today I want to talk to you about one of the most important aspects of skin health: your skin barrier. Your skin barrier, also known as the stratum corneum, is the outermost layer of your skin that protects it from external aggressors, such as bacteria, pollution, and UV rays, and also prevents water loss from the deeper layers of your skin. A healthy skin barrier is essential for maintaining hydration, elasticity, smoothness, and glow.
However, your skin barrier can be easily compromised by various factors, such as harsh cleansers, over-exfoliation, environmental stress, and certain skin conditions. When your skin barrier is damaged, it becomes more permeable, allowing water to escape from your skin and irritants to enter. This leads to transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is the amount of water that evaporates from your skin. TEWL can cause your skin to become dry, dehydrated, sensitive, inflamed, and prone to breakouts.
So, how can you boost your skin barrier and prevent TEWL? Here are some tips that I swear by:
Use gentle cleansers. Avoid cleansers that contain sulfates, alcohol, or fragrances, as they can strip your skin of its natural oils and disrupt its pH balance. Instead, opt for gentle, creamy, or oil-based cleansers that cleanse your skin without compromising its barrier. We recommend the Lady Esther Soft Cleansing Gel and the Soft Skin Lotion or the Kleraderm Startup Cleansing Milk and Startup Tonic Lotion.
Avoid over-exfoliation. Exfoliation is important to remove dead skin cells and improve skin texture, but too much of it can damage your skin barrier and cause irritation. Limit your exfoliation to once or twice a week, and use gentle acids, such as lactic, mandelic, or PHA, that exfoliate without causing inflammation. I highly recommend the Rosa Graf Organic Cell Peeling- Green (Sensitive) and the Thalasso Peeling
Protect your skin from the sun. Sun exposure is one of the main causes of skin barrier damage, as it generates free radicals that degrade collagen and elastin, and also increases TEWL. Always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and reapply every two hours. Look for sunscreens that contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, E, or green tea, that can help neutralize free radicals and boost your skin barrier. You may want to consider any one of the excellent SPF50 sun creams by Dermogenesis that will provide top protection coupled with antiagaing and moisturizing elements.
Use moisturizers that contain humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Moisturizers are essential to hydrate your skin and seal in moisture. Look for moisturizers that contain humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or aloe vera, that attract water to your skin; emollients, such as ceramides, fatty acids, or cholesterol, that replenish your skin barrier; and occlusives, such as petrolatum, shea butter, or squalane, that prevent water loss by creating a protective layer on your skin. Some of my favourites are the Keenwell Moisturizing Facial Lotion with Pumpkin Extract and the Hydrosphere H2O .
Incorporate barrier-boosting ingredients into your routine. There are some ingredients that can help repair and strengthen your skin barrier, such as niacinamide, panthenol, centella asiatica, and oat. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that can reduce inflammation, improve hydration, and regulate sebum production. Panthenol is a form of vitamin B5 that can soothe, heal, and moisturize your skin. Centella asiatica is a plant extract that can stimulate collagen synthesis, calm redness, and speed up wound healing. Oat is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can protect your skin from irritation and environmental damage. For extra strength care you may want to consider incorporating serums and ampules that contain the above ingredients into your skin care regime. Highly recommended are the Keenwell Aquasphera Moisturizing concentrated serum or the Rosa Graf BI - Phase Skin Smooth – Caviar | Pearl Ampoules 10 x 2 ml
I hope this helps you understand the importance of your skin barrier and how to boost it and prevent TEWL. Remember, a healthy skin barrier is the key to a healthy and glowing skin. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Until next time, stay safe and take care of your skin!