One of the main reasons the skin becomes dehydrated or sensitive is when the skin’s barrier function becomes compromised and weakened. Once identified, you can restore the skin’s barrier function.
The barrier function is a layer of lipids that act as your skin’s shield against the environment.
A healthy lipid barrier ensures the balance of moisture in the skin and the intrusion of microbes and toxins.
It also regulates the natural exfoliation of dead skin cells that have moved to the outermost layer of your skin.
When the lipid barrier function is working as it should, the skin responds by remaining moist and dewy regardless of seasonal changes in the weather.
For some of us, a weakened barrier function can show itself as facial irritation, flakiness or dehydration that does not respond to moisturisation.
What’s causes a weakened skin barrier function?
Imagine a shell washed up on the beach. Over time as the waves wash over the shell, it begins to lose its structure and eventually, slowly but surely, wear away to nothing more than sand.
In a way, this is what’s happening to your skin’s barrier function. Without proper care, it wears away, leaving the layers of the skin vulnerable to damage.
There are two primary reasons why this happens.
Your skin is deficient in essential fatty acids, or you’re using products on your skin that may be disrupting your lipid barrier. If both are at play, you will certainly struggle to keep your skin glowing with good health. What can become a long-term skin condition can be resolved with a few simple solutions.
Four ways to restore your skins barrier function.
#1 Feed your skin with essential fatty acids.
The lipid barrier comprises three components to function correctly:
- Free fatty acids.
The essential fatty acid, also known as Omega 3, is integral to the health of your skin and can and contributes to the formation of your lipid barrier.
Omega 3 can only be obtained from the foods you eat.
Fatty fish such as salmon, swordfish, mackerel and sardines are all abundant in Omega 3. Or, if you prefer a plant source, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, soybeans and soybean oil, walnuts and walnut oil, algae oil, and leafy vegetables are excellent options.
A compromised skin barrier showing redness, irritation, and chronic dehydration indicates an essential fatty acid deficiency.
In which case, diet alone may not be enough, and supplementation will be your best option while your skin recovers.
#2 Harsh cleansers disrupting barrier function.
If you’re wondering if your skincare may be part of the problem, there’s a simple test you can do.
Next time you cleanse your skin. How does it feel? Does it feel tight and dry or squeaky clean? Do you reach for your moisturiser immediately to alleviate any feeling of tightness?
If the answer is yes? Your skincare cleansing routine is probably taking more from your skin than it should and disrupting the protective properties of your lipid barrier.
The goal of a good cleanser is to remove surface oil, makeup and environmental pollutants gently. After cleansing, the skin should be calm, relaxed and balanced, not tight or dry.
BioCleanse is a luxurious cape rose geranium cleansing lotion for fragile, dry or sensitive skin types. Designed to gently remove surface pollution, cell debris, and makeup without stripping the skin’s natural acid mantle.
Cleansers should also be balanced to work in synergy with the acid mantle of the skin. A cleanser is only in contact with the skin for less than a minute. Hence, it is not necessary to incorporate active ingredients or AHA’s in cleansers.
A complimentary Gentle X-fol Cloth is included with every purchase of Bio Cleanse. This 100% muslin cotton cloth boasts a superior quality weave to boost your daily facial cleansing routine, leaving skin smoother and even better prepared for the application of daily serums and creams.
#3 Ease up on harsh chemical acids.
There are times when chemical peels and other topical acids can be highly beneficial to your skin. However, overuse or when the skin is already compromised can exacerbate the problem.
Consider reducing the use of chemical acids until your skin barrier has been restored. During this time, opt for gentle exfoliation to sweep away excess dead cell buildup until your skin can tolerate other more intense treatments.
A fragrance-free exfoliating powder with rice bran granules, betaine, and antioxidants gently micro-polish, cleanse and brighten skin.
A physical micro-exfoliating powder combined with exfoliating enzymes to smooth away dead skin cells, leaving the skin fresh, clear and radiant.
#4 Choosing a moisturiser or add a facial oil.
When the skin is feeling chronically dehydrated, you may think the problem lies with inadequate moisturisation. While this can be true, it’s not necessarily the answer.
What to look for? A balanced moisturiser that mimics your skin’s natural barrier function will contain glycerin, ceramides, and other lipids usually sourced from fruit and botanical oils. If you’re not sure, we can help you with this.
If the skin is chronically dehydrated and needs extra support, a calming facial oil is the perfect restoration saviour.
Adding a facial oil to your skincare routine is an excellent way to restore your skin’s barrier function.
DeStress Calming Facial Oil is an antioxidant-rich facial oil to replenish and calm the skin by restoring essential barrier lipids.
This lightweight formula combats visible redness and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving a hydrated, dewy and even complexion.
Apply one pump over the face and neck. Always follow with solar protection in the morning.
Putting it all together.
- Increase Omega 3 oils in your diet.
- Switch to gentle cleansers and exfoliants.
- Take a break from chemical acids.
- Support your barrier function with high performing moisture protection and a calming facial oil
And of course, it goes without saying; but we’ll say it anyway, protect your skin from the sun all year round.
If you want to know more about how to restore your skin’s barrier function, or you’re wondering if your current skincare routine is up to the task, you can reach us here.
See you soon,