The outer most layer of your skin is called the epidermis. It has two main functions:
1. Keep hydration in; and 2. Keep out external pollutants. The outermost layer of the epidermis is the skin barrier which is made up of lipids. Lipids are a combination of fatty acids, ceramides and other nutrients that prevents sun damage, promotes moisture retention, and aids healing when required.
When your skin barrier is damaged it is unable to protect us effectively causing increased sensitivity to heat, cold & dry air; this can lead to redness, itchy and/or flaky skin. Has your skin ever felt tight and dry while having breakouts? You may have a damaged skin barrier.
There are many factors that can result in damage to the skin barrier. The most common causes include:
To maintain a healthy skin barrier, make sure you are choosing the right skincare routine:
It is important to understand your skin type before choosing products to implement into your skincare routine. There are four different skin types, dry, oily, combination or normal. Many people believe they have dry skin while they are still producing a lot of sebum or having active acne, this is often mistaken for dehydrated skin which can be resolved with a suitable routine.
Prevention is the best way to maintain a healthy skin barrier, this can be achieved through having a good moisturiser and using SPF protection everyday even through the winter! Because damaging UV rays are present all year round so protection is key.
To treat a damaged skin barrier ensure you are maintaining the right level of exfoliation for your skin. Over-exfoliation or harsh skincare (such as skincare wipes, baby wipes, alcohol, acetone) are often triggers to cause irritation and dryness. Home remedies are not always the best option either (such as Lemon, vinegar, toothpaste, sudocream, Vaseline) as these are often highly acidic or clog your pores and cause more damage to your skin. Ensure you are using products that have been created for use on the delicate skin on your face.
Our practitioners often recommend beginning your skin journey with a facial to clean your pores and understand your concerns. We can also assess any damage and create a bespoke plan just for you.
For personalised advice on understanding your skin type and treating your skin to restore a healthy skin barrier, book a consultation with one of our Advanced Skin Practitioners or call our team on 0118 334 7879.
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