And why is the skin barrier important?
The skin barrier is the outermost layer of our skin and has two main functions.
First, it keeps out harmful substances and second, it keeps in necessary elements like water and electrolytes. This layer of skin also produces antimicrobial proteins, lipids, and peptides to create an invisible protective shield.
The skin barrier is largely responsible for the general health of our skin. When the skin barrier is compromised, you may experience inflammation, redness, breakouts, rashes, dryness, tightness, and generally sensitive skin.
How do you fix a compromised skin barrier?
Look at the exfoliating products in your skin care routine. Any product that contains a physical scrub, a chemical exfoliant (retinol, glycolic, AHA, BHA, salicylic acid) or an enzyme exfoliant can compromise your skin barrier.
How often are you exfoliating? Over exfoliation is the number one cause of a compromised skin barrier
Is your cleanser a cream or a gel? Gel cleansers can be more drying, especially if they contain exfoliating ingredients like glycolic acid or AHA’s. If your skin barrier is compromised, use a cream cleanser.
Are you nourishing your skin with antioxidants? Use a serum or cream with calming, nourishing ingredients twice a day to help your skin rebuild the lipid barrier.
A compromised skin barrier is often a temporary condition but you need to identify the cause and change your habits. The right skin care products and treatments will heal the skin barrier and eliminate sensitivity.