How You are Damaging Your Skin Barrier
Your skin is constantly at battle with external threats. The first line of defence of your skin is the stratum corneum, also known as the skin barrier.
The skin barrier is also formed by the acid mantle, which helps to defend against the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi that could damage your skin and lead to infections and other skin conditions. A damaged skin barrier can lead to itchiness, irritation and even burning sensations, as well as dehydration.
A protected skin barrier isn’t just the key to healthy skin, but it is also important for your overall health. Because of this, it’s important to understand some of the ways that you may be damaging your skin barrier.
When it comes to skincare, the gentler the better. Using harsh cleansers or over-exfoliating can strip away the oils that preserve your skin barrier, ultimately eroding it away.
Avoid damaging your skin barrier during your skincare routine by using gentle, soap-free products with a pH value of 5.5. By using products with the average pH value of healthy skin, the health of the acid mantle within the skin barrier is strengthened.
All sebamed products are specially formulated with a pH value of 5.5 to cleanse and nourish the skin without destroying the natural protection of the skin barrier. Find out more here.
It’s not just physical stress that can impact your skin barrier, but also psychological stress.
The overproduction of cortisol reduces the production of oils and lipids that gel the skin barrier together. Without this, the hydration maintained by the maintained skin barrier can escape, leading to dehydrated skin that highlights fine lines and wrinkles. Alongside this, cortisol can encourage sebum overproduction, meaning that you become more oily and therefore more acne prone.
By taking some time to practice self-care and removing yourself from stressful situations where possible, you can minimise the effect of stress on the skin barrier. You can read more about finding time for self-care here.
We all love to soak in the sun when it shows its face, but overdoing it can lead to more skin concerns than embarrassing tan lines. Even low levels of UV rays from the sun can negatively impact your skin barrier.
When exposed to UV rays, the proteins that keep your cells appeared together become weaker and lose their ability to bond with other cells. The physical representation of this is when your skin peels after being sunburnt. Moreover, prolonged UV exposure causes further damage to your skin barrier, which can lead to serious diseases such as actinic keratosis or even skin cancer.
Limiting sun exposure is one surefire way to prevent extensive UV damage to your skin barrier. However, regularly using SPF products can offer prolonged protection for your skin barrier; ensure that you’re applying SPF all year round (Yes, even during Winter and whilst it is overcast) for the best defence.
Even the most careful skincare enthusiasts can experience damage to their skin barrier. If you start to experience signs that your skin barrier may be compromised, here are some tips to repair your skin’s key line of defence:
Consider if your skin has experienced any external changes recently. Whether you’ve been spending too long in the sun or have tried a new product or even have been going through a stressful period, try to stop your skin’s exposure to this as soon as possible.
As discussed, using harsh products and even overusing gentler products can impact your skin. Strip your skincare straight back to just 3 steps: Cleansing, hydrating and moisturising with products specially formulated with a pH5.5 value.
SOS: Save our Skin. Look for gentle products with hyaluronic acid, shea butter and vitamin e as a start when soothing your damaged skin barrier. Glycerin and dimethicone also are great to pull moisture into the skin. Prioritising thicker cream moisturisers can help to lock in any added hydration and act as a stand-in for your skin barrier whilst it heals.
Sebamed skincare products are specially formulated to help maintain, strengthen and repair your skin barrier. You can shop our full range of products here.