You may be wondering what this latest new buzzword in the skincare world is all about because all of a sudden it’s everywhere. Every “skinfluencer”, every dermatologist and skin specialist seems to be focusing on taking good care of your skin barrier and strengthening it. While this may seem like a newfound trend, it’s not one at all. We’re just happening to realise its importance right now. So let Dr Kiran Sethi, MD Skin and Aesthetic Specialist, founder of Isyaderm tell you a little about this.
What Exactly Is The Skin Barrier?
For everyone who happens to be a little confused about what a skin barrier exactly is, Dr Kiran tells us that—
The skin itself is a barrier and has 3 layers— the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. This barrier is what is responsible for preventing various pollutants, toxins and allergens from entering your skin. In short, your skin barrier is what keeps your skin healthy. This barrier also conducts frequent temperature regulations using your sweat and oil glands, which lubricate the skin just enough which keeps it strong.
Why Is It Important To Have A Strong Barrier?
Now that we’ve established what exactly the barrier of the skin is, you must have a faint idea of why it happens to be so important. A strong and nourished skin barrier will do a stellar job at keeping all the toxins out and keeping all the moisture and healthy lipids in. And we’re all aware of what healthy lipids and great moisture levels can do, hello glowing skin! Whereas, a weak barrier automatically translates to damaged skin which makes way for these toxins to enter, wreaking havoc and causing all sorts of concerns like inflammation, dry patches and pesky breakouts.
How Does The Barrier Of The Skin Get Damaged?
In reality, most of us tend to damage the barrier of our skin a lot more frequently than we’d like to think so! Like every other part of the body, the skin’s barrier tends to react to different chemicals and changes in various ways. Dr Kiran sheds light on a plethora of ways in which we damage the barrier and says—
A lot of factors are to be taken into consideration when we talk about a damaged barrier. When one uses too many physical exfoliants and excessively scrubs the skin, that can weaken the barrier. Even the usage of AHAs along with retinol is responsible for deteriorating the barrier since this happens to be a dangerous combination of chemicals to be used together. Another common factor that causes this is too many home remedies and DIYs!
What’s The Best Way To Repair The Skin’s Barrier?
Fret not because the journey to repair the skin’s barrier is quite a simple one. Dr Kiran’s tips on doing so are—
Moisturising is the biggest key to repairing a damaged skin barrier, because a damaged barrier has little to no moisture, making it appear flaky and rough. Another process one must follow is to skin-fast. Skin fasting is nothing but reducing the number of products and active ingredients you use in your skincare routine for a while. Keep your routine at a minimal number of products and stay away from ahas and retinol for a while. And always listen to your dermatologist/skin specialist!
What Ingredients Are Crucial For Strengthening It?
When it comes to strengthening your skin’s barrier, it’s always important to opt for ingredients that are nourishing and hydrating to the skin and work to restore the loss of moisture and natural oils. Dr Kiran advises us that—
It’s best to opt for products that contain ingredients like ceramides, essential fatty acids, vitamin c, squalene, natural moisturising factors, oils and butters.
Here are a few products you can use if you’re dealing with a damaged barrier—
Embryolisse, Lait-Creme Concetre
D’You, In My Defence
Vaseline, Petroleum Jelly
Dermalogica, Barrier Repair Moisturiser
Krave Beauty, Great Barrier Relief