Skin School: The Skin Barrier
Are you familiar with your skin barrier? It’s one of the most important aspects of skin health. Allow us to get you well acquainted...
What exactly is the skin barrier?
Your skin is made up of layers, each of which performs important functions in protecting your body. The outermost layer, called the stratum corneum, consists of sturdy skin cells called corneocytes that are bound together by lipids. This is your skin barrier. You can imagine it as a brick wall, where the cells are the bricks and the lipids are the mortar that holds it together.
Inside the skin cells, or “bricks,” you’ll find keratin and natural moisturisers. The lipid, or “mortar” layer contains cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides.
Why is it important for optimal skin health?
Without the skin barrier, all sorts of harmful environmental toxins and pathogens could penetrate your skin and wreak havoc in your body. Your skin barrier is also essential for keeping the water inside your body from evaporating, so it’s really essential for keeping you alive, ensuring good health and providing you with an essential layer of protection that is key for a healthy, balanced complexion.
What can damage the skin barrier?
Every day, your skin confronts a barrage of threats, many of which come from outside your body and a few that come from within.
Some of the external and internal conditions that can affect your skin barrier include:
- Coming into contact with allergens, irritants, and pollutants
- Excessive sun exposure
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
- Over-washing or over-exfoliating
- An environment that’s either too dry or too humid
What are the signs of a compromised barrier?
This will show up as various skin manifestations. In fact, many common skin conditions are related to your skin barrier not functioning properly. If this is the case, you may be more prone to developing the following skin symptoms:
- Dry and scaly skin
- Acne and breakouts
- Red and inflamed areas
- Rough patches
- Bacterial, fungal and viral skin infections
How to strengthen your skin barrier
Stop using foaming cleansers that strip the skin. Switch to a creamy cleanser which is gentle on the skin barrier and supports the lipids.
Protect your skin from over exposure to sun, wind, pollution and chemicals.
Simplify your skincare routine. When it comes to skincare and your skin barrier, health, I always advise quality over quantity. If you’re performing a complicated daily skin regimen involving a whole load of different products, you may be inadvertently weakening your skin barrier. That’s why we created a simple yet effective 4-Step Vitamin Skincare System, with only 4 products total, specifically formulated with an array of botanicals and nutrients to support skin barrier health, whilst also being incredibly age-defying and complexion-enhancing.
Top ingredients and nutrients to support your skin barrier
Research shows that certain plant oils may help repair the skin barrier and also prevent your skin barrier from losing moisture. Many of these oils have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects that further protect the skin too. Our vitamin-infused skincare range contains high levels of these natural oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants which all help to protect and repair the skin barrier.
For example, the non-stripping cleanser features nourishing Avocado Oil and Vitamin E, which are both incredible for supporting the skin barrier.
The Luminous Vitamin Oil features our signature Super-Oil™ Blend of Buriti, Marula, Sacha Inchi and Macadamia, plus organic Oat Kernel, Avocado, Grape Seed and Sunflower Seed Oils.
Then our Probiotic Vitamin Moisturiser actually contains a natural, vegan source of Ceramides that mimic those naturally found in that lipid “mortar” layer of the skin barrier to replenish levels. It also contains vegan Squalane, a substance that is present in your skin in the form of fat produced by oil glands. It prevents moisture loss while restoring skin’s suppleness and flexibility.
Our special JSH-V7™ Complex, which is infused into the cleanser, serum and moisturiser, contains 7 key nutrients and botanicals for optimal skin health, including Pro-Vitamin B5 which is very hydrating, protective and strengthening for the skin barrier, so is another go to.