Your skin is looking dull, irritated, maybe dry or even flaring up with acne. Whether it's because of external factors like exfoliants, or internal ones like poor sleep and stress, it's very likely that your skin barrier has been damaged at least once in your life. The first step towards healing though, is noticing the problem! Let's take a deeper look...
What is the Skin Barrier?
In order to understand which skin concerns to look out for, you should first know some things about your skin barrier.
There are three main layers of your skin, each with their different functions. The hypodermis (also known as the subcutaneous tissue) is farthest away and conserves your body heat. The dermis is the thickest layer, packing blood cells, plenty of collagen and the biggest amount of water in your body, among other things. This is where most of the skin's functions happen! Finally, the epidermis is the outer layer of skin, working to conserve your hydration and protect you against the environment.
All of these core layers have many other sub-layers. While your epidermis is the outermost layer, the skin barrier is your epidermis' last sub-layer. Your skin barrier (also known as the stratum corneum) is constantly getting rid of dead cells and protecting your body from bacteria, the climate and chemicals.
How Does the Skin Barrier Get Damaged?
1. External factors
Many people seek the benefits of a faster cell turnover rate, yet some go about it the wrong way. Gentle chemical exfoliation can help your skin look softer, brighter and healthier over time, but using them too often always leads to irritation. Those who are impatient may also choose a physical exfoliate because they want to feel instant results.
Over-exfoliating can irritate your skin, as you might get rid of too much surface at once. While the damage might not seem extreme, in many cases your skin will also get much drier, as your epidermis cannot keep moisture locked in anymore. It's easy to spiral into other skin concerns such as dry patches, or over-production of sebum.
Other factors include: UVA and UVB rays, air pollution, detergents, frequent or hot-water washes.
2. Internal factors
Think of your skin as the link between your internal self and the outside world: while it may be true spiritually, it's very much applicable in a literal sense as well. A barrier working both ways, the stratum corneum reacts to your internal environment just as much as it does to your external one.
Things like a poor sleeping schedule and stress do affect your skin: your skin might get duller and, in some cases, thinner. As stress prompts your body to release more cortisol, which in turn triggers sebum production, you might also get acne flare-ups. Everything your body goes through is linked together, and chances are that your skin will bear the burden.
Other factors include: genetics, biological aging, other hormones.
How to Repair your Skin Barrier
You can repair your skin barrier by using moisturisers with lipids - these will build your skin 'wall' back, by gluing skin cells together. You can also look for products with Natural Moisturising Factors - their ingredients replicate the skin's genetic make-up, helping it heal faster and lock the moisture in.
How to Prevent (further) Damage
You can keep your skin healthy in the long run by incorporating organic plant oils into your routine; these are proven to help repair the skin's barrier. Look for oils that are soothing and anti-inflammatory to help calm your skin as it begins its healing process.
We swear by our Superior Complexion Antioxidant Serum; it packs everything you might need to keep your skin nourished, while aiding in recovering from all sorts of skin barrier damage. The organic Baobab Seed Oil improves elasticity and helps treat any scarring you might have experienced, while the Pomegranate Seed Oil stimulates collagen production and prompts your skin to regenerate. To top it off, the organic Rosehip Seed Oil is known to even out the skin tone, for your best all-in-one serum experience.
You can grab your own bottle here:
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