What if I told you the reason you’re experiencing skin problems is that your skin barrier isn’t healthy and needs repairing? That it’s actually experiencing abuse? Those pesky pimples, acne marks, fine lines, dull, uneven skin tone, dryness, sensitivity. All the things we’re wanting to erase could very well be symptoms of a neglected skin barrier.
Know this: it’s absolutely not your fault. Many of us unknowingly abuse our skin barrier because we haven’t been taught any better! The beauty industry tries to sell us products and teach us habits that only make our skin issues worse. Don’t even get me started on awful Pinterest beauty advice like using lemons to brighten your skin.
We’re told we need expensive and intense treatments, special serums, peels, and potions. When, in fact, they’re often unnecessary, ignore the root of the problem, and hurt our skin’s overall health. We’re taught we need to “feel it” for products to “work”. And, we’re taught we need MORE to achieve our skin confidence goals. More products, more beauty tools, more medical treatments, more, more, more.
Instead, we should focus on repairing our skin barrier and making it strong and healthy. The thing is, the best way to overcome those annoying skin problems you have right now—whether it’s breakouts, acne marks, fine lines, dull, uneven skin tone, dryness, or sensitivity—is by helping your skin barrier repair and heal.
What’s happening on your skin’s surface are symptoms telling you your skin isn’t well. It needs nurturing, it needs love and pampering.
When your skin barrier is healthy it can more easily combat things that make it sensitive and irritated. A healthy barrier can slow down aging and even help our acne heal more quickly while lessening the severity of acne scars. Your barrier’s health has a direct impact on how your skin looks, feels, and how it ages.
Everything you do impacts your skin barrier’s health. When we’re at our wit’s end of trying to figure out how to get rid of those problematic skin symptoms, it’s time for us to get back to the basics of caring for our skin. Many people fall into at least one of these categories, directly affecting their skin barrier and in turn, unknowingly neglecting their skin. But it’s possible to have more than one affecting your skin’s health. Let’s talk about the biggest one first….
1. Many of us use products that are too strong, too harsh or use several products with too many actives. We might even use them too frequently.
This is all about the ingredients in your products, like exfoliants (scrubs, AHAs, BHAs, and other acids), retinoids (vitamin A derivatives like retinol and tretinoin/Retin-A), sulfates (found in cleansers to help them foam). However, using too many actives like vitamin C and other actives can harm your skin’s barrier, so using too many intensive, active products in your routine at once can cause unwanted skin symptoms. Less is almost always more when it comes to your skin.
Here’s an example to consider: If a brand suggests using an exfoliant or retinol product every day, that’s far too much for 99% of us. No matter how tough you think your skin is, with continual daily use it’s only a matter of time before you start experiencing unwanted skin symptoms.
2. Many of us have lifestyle habits impacting our barrier health, stopping our skin from being as beautiful as it could be
Things like drinking wine, smoking, having a poor diet and even sunbathing all impact our skin internally with external effects.
3. Some of us live in or visit environments that affect the quality of our skin barrier
Whether you’re traveling or call it home, the climate you’re in, elevation, and geography all impact our skin barrier. Living in an arid desert or at altitude in the mountains directly affects your skin barrier health.
4. As we age, our skin stops producing essential lipids that keep our skin barrier healthy
Ah, yes, the wonders of growing older and wiser. Not only does our skin stop producing vital lipids but hormonal changes that come aging further change our body chemistry. Very often, these changes contribute to symptoms we experience when our skin barrier is neglected.
All of this becomes a BIG problem for your skin barrier! Causing unwanted skin symptoms. No matter where you fall, the solution is to use barrier supportive skincare to help your skin repair and heal as quickly as possible.
There isn’t a single person out there who’s excluded from needing to focus on the skin barrier in their skincare routine. It’s a crucial piece of caring for your skin. No matter your age, heritage or skin type, supporting your barrier is essential for living in beautiful skin that’s soft, supple, and glowing.
When your skin barrier isn’t healthy, pimples won’t heal well so acne marks become worse instead of healing with minimal scarring. Your skin can’t properly protect itself against collagen loss or sun damage. Dryness and dehydration become a chronic problem. At first, you might notice a dull skin tone or dry, flaky patches. Then you might notice redness that wasn’t there before, irritation and sensitivity. You might even see an increase in fine lines, wrinkles or acne.
Keep this in mind: everyone’s symptoms will vary. You could feel parched and dry but see no sensitivity. You might only notice a hint of these symptoms or maybe you’re seeing everything go wrong.
Think of it like a choose your own adventure but a lot less fun. The way you experience an abused skin barrier could be very different from your best friend. We’re all unique but the solution remains the same: supporting your skin with a simple, gentle yet powerful routine is key to repairing and maintaining your skin. This is the starting point to make it possible to achieve our goals of overcoming problematic skin, slowing down aging, banishing sensitivity and correcting skin problems for the long haul!
Supporting and restoring your skin’s barrier sounds logical if you’re younger, right? If you’re older, isn’t this all just part of aging anyway? The good news is it doesn’t have to be! Your skin’s natural protective barrier should be supported, healthy and working for you in all stages of life. Your skin barrier health has a direct impact on how your skin handles aging, problematic skin issues, and sensitivity.
Our skin naturally produces a variety of lipids to keep our skin soft, supple and properly functioning. Around the time we turn 40, our skin slows down lipid production, so it’s important to use barrier supporting skincare as we enter later stages of life. It’s very common for people to experience more sensitivity as they age, this is one of the reasons why!
Maintaining lipid balance in our skin helps us prevent unwanted skin problems from occurring, slows down aging, and prevents inflammation from developing in our skin. Otherwise, inflammation causes problems in our skin:
- Inflammation creates acne, rosacea, redness, and sensitivity
- Inflammation speeds up glycation, the breakdown of collagen and elastin, causing fine lines and wrinkles
Around age 30, our skin stops producing new collagen and elastin. So supporting our skin’s barrier is essential in slowing down the aging process and keeping our skin beautiful, plump and smooth!
If you’re experiencing one more of these, chances are your skin barrier is experiencing neglect and needs repairing by barrier supportive skincare.
- Dryness, dehydration, flaky skin, rough texture, enlarged pores
- Redness, itchy skin, sensitivity, irritation
- Dull, uneven skin tone
- An increase in fine lines, wrinkles or breakouts
The good news is it’s really easy to repair your skin barrier! All you need to do is…
- Don’t over-exfoliate, overuse retinoids or other actives. Don’t use formulas that are too strong or harsh for your skin. Less is more, gentle products are your skin’s BFF.
- Use skin barrier supportive products that repair and replenishes your skin’s lost lipids to revive its natural, healthy state. Replenish, restore, and heal.
- Wear a barrier supportive face oil on top of your moisturizer to act as an additional layer of protection. Not all oils support your barrier.
- Patience is key, give your skin barrier the time it needs to repair. It’s taken time for your skin to get to where it’s at now, allow it to heal.
This is how you allow your skin to do what it naturally knows: to repair itself and self-heal. Our skin already knows exactly what it needs to do. We just need to support it along the way!