When you look at your skin, there’s only so much you can see. Maybe it looks smooth, or there’s more skin dryness than usual. But there’s more going on than is visible to the eye — namely, the skin barrier. Maintaining a strong skin barrier is important for radiant, healthy skin. When it’s functioning properly, skin texture appears smoother, which can in turn boost radiance.
The skin barrier is the uppermost layer of skin; the one that serves as your first defense against external aggressors, be they pollutants or irritants. There are several layers to the skin barrier. First, the lipid barrier, which is what many call the moisture barrier, is made up of lipids, or fats, and skin cells. These lipids, which include ceramides, help seal in hydration. When your skin barrier doesn’t have enough lipids, it leads to increased moisture loss and noticeable skin dryness. Plus, wrinkles and fine lines may look more apparent.
Then, there’s the microbiome, which is an ecosystem on skin’s surface comprising both good and bad bacteria. These microorganisms help skin stay balanced; ideally, the good bacteria keep the bad bacteria in check, creating balance. When these bacteria are out of whack, skin can conversely become inflamed or dry.
The more intact your skin barrier is — think moisturized and without any inflammation or irritation — than the better it can do its job of protecting you. But certain things may be working against it. Take protective face masks, for example: When they rub against the skin all day, they create friction on the skin barrier, weakening it and potentially leading to skin dryness, irritation or even maskne. Dry weather and over-cleansing can also contribute to a damaged skin barrier.
To help strengthen a damaged skin barrier and maintain healthy looking skin, look for skincare products formulated with ingredients, such as antioxidants, to help. Here’s how:
Use Products with Skin Barrier-Friendly Ingredients
Environmental aggressors, such as pollution and sunlight, lead to the creation of free radicals on skin. Left unchecked, these free radicals could damage lipids (which, as a reminder, make up the ever-important lipid barrier), The good news: Antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C help to neutralize these free radicals.
Keeping your skin barrier properly hydrated could also help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — in addition to isolated incidents of dryness. For everyday use, a face serum like Advanced Génifique Face Serum has what your skin craves to improve and maintain skin's natural moisture barrier. Infused with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, ceramides and Bifidus Prebiotic, this face serum leads to stronger, younger-looking skin, improving ten key signs of aging such as radiance, resiliency, skin texture, skin tone and fine lines and wrinkles.
When skin is visibly stressed — think redness, tightness, skin dryness and other sensitivities— Advanced Génifique Sensitive Antioxidant Face Serum is a nighttime treatment that is designed to support and reset tired skin. Formulated with two antioxidants, ferulic acid and vitamin E, this product works synergistically to help strengthen the skin barrier and its moisture barrier. It improves skin’s natural recovery.
Also, consider adding a vitamin C formulated face serum like Visionnaire Skin Solutions Vitamin C Serum. This antioxidant serum can help address the appearance of dullness, uneven skin tone and a loss of firmness. After 10 days of use, users reported that skin seemed hydrated, more elastic, revitalized and regenerated.
Cleanse Skin Wisely
You should cleanse skin as you would a cashmere sweater — that is, very, very gently. First, make sure you’re using a cleanser suited for your skin type, and resist the urge to scrub or rub even if you’ve been wearing a mask all day. Also, rinse your face with lukewarm water instead of hot water, which can lead to skin dryness. The right cleansing technique and product can help rinse away surface impurities while still respecting the skin barrier.
A creamy cleanser, such as Crème Mousse Confort, gently melts away makeup (even waterproof) and contains nourishing rosehip oil, making it ideal for those with skin dryness. For those with oily or combination skin, try a purifying cleanser like Crème Radiance to dissolve impurities and waterproof makeup.
Moisturizing ingredients are is essential for the health of skin’s natural barrier. Not only does it fortify the skin barrier, but it also works to keep water in skin and thus reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL describes the process by which water escapes from skin and evaporates, leaving skin parched and slack; a damaged skin barrier makes this even more likely. To offset TEWL, look for humectants, such as hyaluronic acid. These replenish skin with hydration, which in turn keeps the skin barrier functioning properly.
Try a lightweight moisturizer, such as Hydra Zen Glow Liquid Moisturizer, which contains hyaluronic acid. This non-greasy formula helps reduce TEWL, improves skin’s ability to retain water, soothes stressed skin and strengthens the moisture barrier. particularly for those with sensitive or dry skin, at bay.