Your skin’s barrier (the very top layer of your epidermis known as the stratum corneum) is the first line of defense your skin has from environmental aggressors that can age it rapidly.
But your barrier has a far more important role than we ever imagined.
Some Skin Barrier Facts To Keep In Mind
1) The majority of skin diseases typically begin because of an inherited weakness in the skin barrier.
2) Your skin barrier plays host to a diverse ecosystem of microbes, part of your microbiome/immune system. This ecology needs to be in balance (5.5 pH favors good bacteria) or else skin integrity can be compromised.
3) Small particulate matter (pollution) in the environment can wreak havoc on the barrier, leading to accelerated aging
4) When your skin barrier is compromised, it has been proven that your systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines INCREASE!
5) A true barrier repair product contains a blend of physiologically balanced lipids (fatty acids, ceramides, cholesterol) and not just petroleum occlusive to “hold water in”.
Keeping A Healthy Skin Barrier
As explained above, a healthy skin barrier helps our skin react better to both external and internal stress, making skin less sensitive and less prone to dryness or flakiness. So what can you do to give yourself thicker skin (literally)?
For one, using soothing ingredients on a day-to-day basis can help. Opt for creams that contain ceramides, a natural part of the skin and found within the upper barrier. Niacinamide is another ingredient that boosts the skin barrier by encouraging ceramide and collagen production. Hyaluronic acid, which keeps moisture from escaping the skin, and vitamin B5, which helps to promote healing, are other ingredients to help build up the top layer of your skin.
Another way to protect your barrier, especially if your skin is prone to redness and irritation, is with a less-is-more approach when it comes to in-office and at-home treatments, since some products and services that we use to improve our skin can actually weaken the barrier.
The Link Between Skin Barrier & Rosacea
One of the hallmarks of rosacea is that the skin’s barrier protection is somewhat weak.
Rosacea sufferers often have highly sensitive skin, leading researchers to suggest the skin’s barrier function is impaired.
A recent study showed the facial skin of rosacea sufferers is in fact more sensitive to irritation and prone to dryness compared to normal facial skin.
A weakened skin barrier may be a factor in causing rosacea since this contributes to the inflammatory response seen and is linked to the innate immune system reaction mentioned above.
To boost the protective abilities of the skin barrier and help reduce the effects of rosacea, a medical skincare regimen is recommended. We certainly can help!
Keep your skin barrier integrity intact! This is the golden rule of aesthetics.