What Causes a Compromised Skin Barrier & How To Fix it
A strong and healthy skin barrier is crucial in achieving and maintaining nourished, glowing skin. Sealing in moisture and hydration, a healthy skin barrier can also reduce skin sensitivities. Learn how to support your skin’s barrier, helping your skin to look and feel its best.
Skin Barrier Function
Covering our whole body, the skin is the biggest organ and acts as the first layer of defence in keeping us healthy. A shield, the skin barrier helps defend us from harmful irritants and external aggressors. This moisture barrier protects against pollution, UV, irritants, and other harmful aggressors. A damaged, thin, or compromised skin barrier may allow irritants in more easily. Maintaining and strengthening your skin’s protective barrier can reduce dehydration, sensitivity and signs of ageing, resulting in nourished, healthy, and radiant looking skin.
Understanding Your Skin
Effective skincare routine starts with first understanding your skin and what it needs. The skin structure consists of different layers, the external layer is called the stratum corneum and acts as a brick-like structure on the epidermis. Each corneocyte, or brick is made up of a carefully formulated ratio of intercellular lipids, ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. The intercellular lipids act as the mortar, holding the different elements together and the ceramides provide necessary oils. Each element has a specific purpose, and they all work together to create a healthy skin barrier.
When these elements are depleted or compromised, the skin’s barrier can begin to weaken which allows for quicker moisture loss. Additionally, harsh chemicals and potential irritants can disrupt the skin. Signs of a damaged moisture barrier will present in dryness, dullness, inflammation, and sensitivity.
How Our Skin Barrier Become Damaged
There are several causes of a compromised or damaged skin barrier, including external influences, genetic predispositions, and age. Moreover, the skin barrier can continue to weaken with age, this can be attributed to a loss of moisture within the skin cells and reduced hydration in the body over time. Born with 75% water content, this figure diminishes as you age, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, and aged looking skin.
The skincare products you choose can also affect the healthy function of your skin. Using harsh chemicals, especially those formulated with alcohol and artificial fragrances can lead to redness or dryness in some cases. While some skincare treatments may help manage breakout-prone and troubled skin, they can also leave the skin’s barrier weakened and more vulnerable to potential irritants. When strengthening a compromised skin barrier, begin by understanding your skin type and any additional skin concerns, this will help you select the right skincare products.
Products To Help Strengthen the Skin's Barrier
Nourishing your skin and strengthening its outer layer will enhance your skin’s overall health, increasing its elasticity and resilience towards external irritants. A healthy skin barrier will retain moisture and keep your skin feeling well hydrated, leading to visibly brighter and fresher looking skin. Hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides are found naturally within the skin, however, your supply can reduce over time. Supplementing with hyaluronic acid for hydration, and three essential ceramides to maintain and strengthen your natural skin barrier will help to improve your skin’s quality and healthy appearance.
Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe’s skincare range focusses on maintaining and strengthening the skin’s natural protective barrier for well-hydrated healthy looking skin. All CeraVe products are formulated with three essential ceramides (1, 3 and 6-II) and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar found in the skin that can retain a thousand times its volume of water, it is a key piece in achieving well-hydrated skin. CeraVe also utilised Multivesicular Emulsion® (MVE) technology, a slow-releasing technology that provides the skin with lasting hydration over 24 hours. CeraVe’s skincare range is fragrance-free, suitable for sensitive skin types, and will not clog pores.
Beginning with cleansing, the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser will gently cleanse your skin, leaving it feeling fresh and hydrated. Follow cleansing with the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion to recharge the skin with three essential ceramides. For skin on the body, the CeraVe Moisturising Cream provides deep hydration for dry to very dry skin.