Skin barrier: why it’s important to take care of it

Skin barrier: why it's important to take care of it
ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA SANTNER

 

“To repair” is to beauty what “to nourish” is to food. Evocative, suggestive and promising of restorative qualities, “repair” is one of those terms that is often heard in the field of skin care. Of course, it doesn’t have any standardized or official meaning. Much like the word “nourish” (what is a “nourishing bowl”? Aren’t all foods nourishing?), It offers the perfect antidote to our busy and stressful lives. It responds perfectly to our feelings of exhaustion , overwork and overexposure. But as you say, is it really representative of how our skin works?

 

What is the skin barrier and how do you take care of it?

The skin barrier is a topic that has grown in popularity over the past 18 months or so, alongside the “fix” conversations and in the wake of the general skincare boom. “Your skin has a biological function.” It’s there to prevent water loss and keep harmful substances out, but it’s not just a piece of protective film. It’s sophisticated enough and tougher than you might think. “When you step into a bath, you don’t suddenly sink because your skin forms a mechanical barrier. Your skin also has antioxidant properties and fights infection.”

The top layer of the skin is called the epidermis, which likens to a wall of skin cells. Underneath is the dermis, which is a gel-like barrier. “This is where the support for the skin is, which is the collagen fibers.” “The main skin barrier is the epidermis, but, in fact, a lot of the skin barrier function comes from the top layer of the epidermis, called the stratum corneum. It keeps water from coming out and things from getting out. enter”.

 

How do you know if you have damaged your skin barrier?

More and more of us are using many types of more expensive, multi-layered skin care products, including peels, toners, and face masks. Take the example of glycolic acid peels . They will certainly make the skin brighter, but they can also make it sore, dry and itchy, with greater sensitivity, and can potentially damage the skin barrier. Most dermatologists and skin experts, warned that more and more young people are abusing their skin excessively. So should we submit to cosmetic fasting aka “skincare fasting”?

it is very possible to disrupt the skin barrier and the most common way this happens is the one you have identified: through excessive use of powerful ingredients like exfoliating acids and retinoids or by washing. intensive skin several times a day. A battered and compromised skin barrier is sore, scaly, dry skin with visible redness if you have fair skin. “People end up using vitamin C, vitamin A, azelaic acid and glycolic acid at the same time and, before you even know it, they have very itchy skin.” If you take out too much of it. cells, if you dehydrate the skin and disrupt the pH of the skin, all of these interfere with its normal functioning and disrupt the invisible and normal shedding of dead skin that we produce every day.

Given our collective obsession with a luminous complexion (an obsession to which I am absolutely not immune), it is very easy to double, or even triple, exfoliators without realizing it. We want to be radiant, and skin care brands are more than happy to help us do that. The acids are then found in everything from cleansers to serums to toners. This is even more true for people with oily skin , as products designed for this type of skin are much more likely to contain exfoliators. But that doesn’t mean all skin care is bad or too harsh, or even that acids are bad – it’s all about moderation.

The good news ? Your skin is very, very good at healing itself. “Your skin cells renew themselves every month or so.” Think about what happens when you cut yourself or lightly burn yourself: it heals! This process is no different from any other healing work your skin needs to do.

 

What is cosmetic fasting and does it work?

“So-called cosmetic fasting is not really necessary.” “If you’ve used too many active ingredients and your skin has suffered, you need to stop using them and reintroduce them much more gradually. But I still encourage you to use a good moisturizer with something like glycerin to help rehydrate and soothe the skin. Also continue to wear an SPF to protect your skin “. Experts also recommend creams that include ceramides (fats naturally found in the skin) to repair the skin barrier and keep it intact.

he idea that skincare hurts your skin is cool and counter-cultural, and perhaps a popular marketing message for beauty brands looking to stand out. But for what it’s worth, hair stylists, dermatologists and skin doctors, have some of the simplest skincare routines you can imagine. We’re not doctors, but we’d recommend you use a maximum of six products, including SPF. A word of advice: take it easy.

Daniel Bishopp

Daniel U. Bishopp joined LA MODE in November 2020 to work on the features team covering fashion, culture, food and drink and technology in print and online. Before that, he worked for STYLE ME AFRICA.

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La Mode Magazine an award winning magazine is founded by Mrs. Sandra Odige, a Nigeria based monthly publication established in 2011.  A digital and print publication known for its innovative and creative initiatives and style of publishing.

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