When it comes to protecting the skin from UV rays, pollution, and other environmental stressors, your skin barrier plays a vital role. With a healthy and normal one, the skin is smooth and looks plump, with no redness and inflammation. When the barrier is damaged, however, you’ll notice dryness, dullness, sensitivity, and breakouts.
So, what exactly is your skin barrier?
Made up of lipids and cells, your skin barrier (technical name: hydrolipidic film) is the protective film on the outermost layer of the skin. Also referred to as moisture barrier, it protects you and your body by keeping irritants out and moisture in. Your skin barrier is responsible for the appearance of healthy, beautiful skin.
When the moisture barrier is not functioning properly, it will do a poor job of guarding you against environmental enemies and preventing the skin from losing moisture. This will then make the skin dull and dehydrated, with a loss of firmness, as well as more prominent fine lines and wrinkles.
What can damage your skin barrier?
Several external factors and a few internal ones can weaken and damage your skin barrier. Genetics is one factor you can’t control, as it can make you more prone to developing certain skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Aging is another one, as it affects the skin’s ability to produce and retain moisture.
Other factors that can compromise your skin barrier include:
- UV radiation
- Pollution and dirt
- Too dry or too humid environment
- Over cleansing or over-exfoliation
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
- Health-related factors: poor diet, lack of sleep, dehydration, and stress
If your skin barrier is damaged, you may be more susceptible to developing the following skin conditions and symptoms:
- Dry or dull skin
- Skin redness
- Sensitivity or inflammation
- Rough or discolored patchers
How can you protect your skin barrier?
Here are a few tips that can help.
Keep your skincare routine simple
Less is more in skincare. A complicated regimen involving lots of products can do more harm than good. Using several products all at once also means putting different chemicals on your skin. This overloading can disrupt the natural moisture balance of the skin, causing redness and irritation.
Less is more also applies to handling your skin. You need to treat it delicately, not rubbing the skin excessively or putting too much pressure when applying products. You should also mind your habits and avoid over-washing and over-exfoliation, as well as wearing too many layers of makeup daily.
If you’re in the market for quality and medical-grade skin products, our clinic’s own skincare line, Dr. Sylvia Skin Care, has a good selection. We have cleansers and toner, moisturizers, treatment serums, and more. We also have products for different skin types.
Protect your skin from the sun
Too much UV exposure can damage the skin, make you prone to skin aging, and worsen the look of other skin conditions. This only makes it important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, 20 to 30 minutes before going out. Make sure to apply sun protection even when it’s cloudy or rainy.
Dr. Sylvia’s Clear Defense SPF 45 with Broad-Spectrum is a lightweight formula that offers protection against UV and infrared damage. It also has zinc oxide, an active ingredient that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation, while being gentle on the skin.
Keep your skin moisturized
This is important in maintaining your skin barrier, as moisturizing reduces your chances of having extremely oily or dry skin. Even if you have oily skin, moisturizer should be a part of your daily skincare. Just be sure to use the right amount and choose a formula that is right for your skin type.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, our Deep Hydrating Moisturizer is worth considering. It hydrates and strengthens the skin without the use of oil-based ingredients. This formula also has seaweed extract and hyaluronic acid, which work together to provide moisture and protection needed for healthy skin.
When it comes to protection against moisture loss, you might want to use a combination of humectants and emollients. Glycerin and hyaluronic acids are humectants that draw moisture to the skin surface and keep it from drying quickly. Emollients, on the other hand, make the skin soft and smooth, as well as decrease dryness and itching.
Balance your skin pH
The skin’s pH is slightly acidic, sitting between 4.7 and 5.75. Some skin care products, however, have a pH of below 3 or even higher than 8. These can damage the skin and disturb the skin’s acid mantle, or the barrier that helps maintain the skin’s slight acidity and keeps the optimal environment for the skin’s natural flora to thrive.
This is why it only makes sense to choose a cleanser that is close to the skin’s normal pH. Highly acidic or alkaline formulas can make the skin susceptible to damage or infection. Dr. Sylvia Skin Care has cleansers and toner that can rebalance the skin while also making sure that it is not stripped off.
*If your skin barrier is damaged, you may be wondering how long it will take to repair or restore it. Well, it depends on the severity of damage and your skin type. If you, for instance, exfoliated too much, you’ll need to wait for a week or two for your skin to bounce back. It can, however, take months if your barrier is damaged by harsh products.
How Cutis can help
If you have skin care problems that you wish to treat or improve, don’t hesitate to contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore. Aside from our medical-grade products, we also have several non-invasive procedures that can help you achieve healthy, glowing, and younger-looking skin. Book a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out which procedures are right for your beauty goals and needs.