As your skin protects your body from the change in the environment, any forign invasion protects the body against anything and everything outside. Where skin protects your body from all the harmful elements and this protector needs a little protection too. As our skin is made up of multiple layers and each one of them performs an important function in protecting us. Out of all these layers stratum corneum is often described as the brick wall of the skin which is the outermost layer. As this brick wall has tough skin calles known as corneocytes that are bound together by mortal lipids which works as a skin barrier. Let us take a deep dive into this article and learn more about skin barrier, skin barrier damage, its causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention tips with Dr. Vibhuti Dhaundiyal, Cosmetologist, Aesthetic Physician.
What is a Skin Barrier?
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Our skin is composed of multiple layers. Out of these layers the outermost layer is known as the moisture barrier or the skin barrier. The function of this barrier is to protect our skin from any forign invasion, environmental change or irritants. Out of all these layers stratum corneum is often described as the brick wall of the skin which is the outermost layer. As this brick wall has tough skin calles known as corneocytes that are bound together by mortal lipids which works as a skin barrier. Moreover this skin barrier also helps to retain water inside your skin and keep it from evaporating and escaping. As this skin barrier helps to keep the water retained, it helps to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. By retaining moisture in the skin, your skin barrier helps to make your skin dewy, bouncy and healthy
Skin barrier is essential for maintaining a good skin health, keep it protected and help it to function properly by keeping the irritants out.
What is Skin Barrier Damage?
As now you know what skin barrier is, its functions and the ways in which it benefits your skin. Let us take a step ahead and learn about what skin barrier damage is?
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To understand it in a simple way, skin barrier damage means disruption in the core functioning of this skin barrier. The damage in this barrier causes your skin to lose hydration, exposes it to environmental hazards and results in dehydrated skin.
Causes of Skin Barrier Damage
After understanding the importance of skin barrier and the meaning of skin barrier damage, let us take a look at the causes of skin barrier damage
- Extreme weather conditions
- Over Exfoliating
- UV radiation
- Harsh physical exfoliants
Symptoms of Skin Barrier Damage
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Knowing the causes is not enough, one needs to know about the symptoms of the barrier damage in order to detect the issue at an early stage and treat it accordingly. Here are some early signs and symptoms of skin barrier damage that you can look out for-
- Tight skin
- Dehydrated skin
- Delayed Wound Healing
- Dry or flaky skin
- Inflamed skin
- Extremely shiny skin
Ways to strengthen your skin barrier
A damaged skin barrier can lead to many issues and make your skin itchy, dry, flaky and attract acne. It is important to strengthen your skin barrier and maintain it as well. Here are some tips suggested by Dr. Vibhuti, that will not just help you to damage control but will be beneficial for maintaining the health of your skin barrier as well.
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Ways to strengthen damaged skin barrier are-
- Go to your basic cleansing, moisturizing and SPF skin care routine and maintain a healthy distance from retinoids, vitamin C and exfoliators.
- Try to control or eliminate any possible triggers
- Do not over exfoliate
- Use some healing ingredients which will help to heal the skin barrier
Ways to maintain the skin barrier are-
- Keep your skin moisturized
- Too much of skincare can be harmful as well so do not go overboard
- Use SPF and protect your skin from sun
- Use a gentle pH balanced cleanser
Ingredients that can help to repair this skin barrier
Taking prevention is good but once the damage has taken place there is a must. Dr. Vibhuti suggests some of the skincare ingredients which you can include in your regime in order to repair the barrier and get a healthy and glowing skin.
- Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a skincare ingredient which helps to keep your skin hydrated, stimulates ceramide formation and has an abundance of antioxidants.
- Ceramides: Ceramide is a major skin barrier component which helps to prevent environmental damage. Although ceramide is naturally produced by your skin, using it externally can also be of great help.
- Fatty Acids: Well not all fats are bad for you and to your surprise fatty acids can do wonders to your skin by strengthening the skin barrier.
- Glycerine: A skincare product that even your grandma is well versed about and is a part of many Skin care home remedies. Glycerine is known for its hydrating and moisturising properties which helps to repair the skin barrier.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic Acid is a component that provides a structure to your skin and makes it look plumed and hydrated. It plays a major role in the wound healing process and hence is useful in repairing the skin barrier damage.
(This article is based upon Dr. Vibhuti Dhaundiyal, Cosmetologist, Aesthetic Physician on her instagram page)