What Is the Skin Barrier?
The skin barrier, also called the lipid barrier, is the outermost layer of your skin that functions as a defender and protector. Internally, the skin barrier helps maintain water balance in your body, protecting it from becoming too dehydrated. And externally, the skin barrier protects against a variety of external threats including chemicals, microbes, allergens, and so on.
When your skin barrier is functioning optimally, your skin will feel and look healthy and hydrated, you’ll be protected from infections, and you’ll be able to maintain homeostasis. If the skin barrier becomes damaged, however, you might experience any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Scaly skin
- Rough patches on the skin
- Skin discoloration
- Sensitive skin
- Skin inflammation
- Viral, fungal, or bacterial skin infections
As you can see, skin barrier issues can range from physically uncomfortable to cosmetically unfavorable to truly dangerous for your health, meaning that it’s important to take steps to prevent and heal damage to the skin barrier.
How the Skin Barrier Can Get Damaged
So what kind of things can make your skin barrier get damaged? There are a few you should know about.
- Harsh environmental conditions. Things like low humidity, sun exposure without proper protection, and strong wind can all be quite harsh and damaging to the skin barrier.
- Over-exfoliation. While gently exfoliating your skin every once in a while can be good for it, doing it too often or too intensely is a sure-fire way to damage the skin barrier.
- Hot water. While it may feel more comfortable, washing your skin with hot water can actually damage the all-important lipids that exist on your skin to help seal in hydration.
- Harsh products. Many skincare products are made with harsh chemicals that can strip your skin of its natural oils which are essential to the skin barrier’s proper function.
- Genetic skin conditions. Conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema can all inflame your skin, causing damage to the skin barrier.
How to Repair a Damaged Skin Barrier
If you believe that your skin barrier might be damaged and require healing, or you simply want to protect your skin barrier from possible future damage, here are some important steps to take.
The largest organ of the human body, the skin plays a very important role in keeping you healthy, protecting you from microbes and external pollutants. But we put our skin through a lot, wearing and scrubbing off makeup, spending time in the blazing sun and the freezing cold, exposing ourselves to wind and all sorts of harsh products.
As a result, our skin’s natural barrier can become weak and/or damaged, making it harder for it to do its all-important job of protecting us and keeping us healthy. So if you want to achieve and maintain balanced, healthy skin, here are some basic steps that you can take to protect and repair your skin barrier.
- Gentle. When it comes to how you treat your skin, the gentler the better. Always use cool water, avoid harsh scrubs, and try to stay away from skincare products with harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Protect the skin. Always be sure to wear an SPF of at least 30 whenever your skin is exposed to the sun, and try to use a humidifier if your environment is particularly dry.
- Rethink your skincare routine. There are many things you can do when it comes to skincare that can help protect and repair your skin barrier. Try choosing products with a pH that is close to your skin’s natural pH (usually around 5.7) so as to not disturb its natural balance. Furthermore, products containing ingredients like plant oils, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, and/or glycerin are all great for the skin barrier.
Blü Fern’s newest addition Blübiome Plant-Based Restorative Serum is formulated specifically to calm and repair the skin. Additionally our Blübiome Plant Stem Cell Repair Cream contains natural clean beauty ingredients like plant extracts, seed oil, glycerin, and vitamin E, the cream is gentle on the skin, keeping your skin hydrated, preventing you from losing moisture, and repairing any damage to the skin barrier. Try it today to experience the healing power of Blü Fern’s plant-based skincare system.