We all know that feeling when you’re having an off day, week or even month with your skin. With so many active ingredients from retinol, niacinamide to AHA’s and BHA’s it’s so easy to over exfoliate and leave you skin feeling worse off than before using the product. However, active skincare ingredients aren’t the only thing that can have an impact on your skin’s health. Changing weather from hot to cold, dry or warm, pollutants, detergents and soaps and even stress all have an effect on your skin’s health and can lead to your skin barrier being compromised.
Your skin barrier is your main defence from irritants and external (and internal) stressors to the skin but also important in keeping moisture and hydration in. It’s the outermost layer of the skin that’s made up of lipids, such as cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides to protect your skin and your body from harmful toxins trying to get in. A compromised skin barrier can allow these toxins and irritants in easily, which is why it’s important to know how to spot the signs for when the epidermis needs some TLC.
Redness & Irritation
A broken skin barrier will often leave your skin looking red and feeling sensitive and irritated. It can also cause existing skin conditions such as Rosacea and eczema to flare up.
Flakey & Itchy Skin
Often the dryness that is caused by a compromised skin barrier will leave your skin feeling patchy, itchy and flakey, which can cause mild to severe discomfort.
Dehydrated & Dull Skin
As the skin barrier is essential in locking in moisture and hydration, when it’s compromised it’s unable to retain them. This will lead to dehydrated skin that’s looking a bit dull and uneven and can also make your fine lines more noticeable.
Are you seeing more breakouts than usual, especially in areas that you don’t usually see breakouts in? This is another side effect of a compromised skin barrier as more external toxins are able to penetrate and congest the skin.
The good news is that any damage to the skin barrier can also be easily fixed. Make sure you strip back your skincare routine, stop using exfoliants and harsh active ingredients and focus on moisture and hydration to build back your barrier.
Focus on ingredients that nourish your skin, from humectants such as hyaluronic acid and barrier building ingredients like ceramides. Adding rich facial oils, such as Strawberry Booster, can also help lock in moisture and prevent further dehydration. And of course we can’t forget that your overall health is also a big factor in this from drinking enough water, avoiding stress and eating foods that will help maintain your skin’s barrier to get back that healthy glow.