A Quick & Simple Guide To The Skin Barrier.

We may love good looking skin, but its primary function is to protect us from environmental injuries, prevent harmful invaders from entering our bodies, regulate our temperature, and maintain hydration. Good looking skin usually signals good health so it makes sense why we want good looking skin and why it feels good.

A Quick & Simple Guide To The Skin Barrier. Woman Touching Face. 

What Is A Skin Barrier?

Our skin has a system to enable it to function properly. When the system is working then the result is skin that looks healthy, plump and soft. When this system isn't working properly our skin doesn't show up that way.

The skin barrier is part of a well-balanced skin system. The skin barrier is really important as it is the skin's first line of defence. Its primary function is to protect the skin from external pollutants and environmental factors and prevent moisture loss; all needed to maintain a balanced skin system. A functioning skin barrier indicates a balanced skin system and presents itself as normal skin. If the skin barrier is disrupted then the skin system is forced to react in defence which causes an imbalance in the skin system and presents itself as unbalanced skin.

Where Is The Skin Barrier And How Does It Work? 

The skin barrier is at the superficial top layer of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) called the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is like the bricks and mortar of the skin. The bricks are corneocytes made mainly from keratin, a protein also found in our nails and hair. These bricks are held together with lipids which form the mortar, which fills the gaps and floods over laterally to form a film that prevents moisture loss and protects the skin from the outside.

Disrupted Skin Barrier.

There are several factors that contribute to a disrupted skin barrier.

  • Over exfoliating and washing with harsh cleansers - Although skin cleansing helps us shine up our skin like wiping mist off a mirror, aggressive cleaning goes too far by dissolving the lipids of our skin barrier, leaving it unprotected and exposed to allergens, irritants and microbes. If your cleansing rituals make your skin sting then you're probably overdoing it.
  • Age - As we age, the bricks (corneocytes) become smaller and our natural lipid production (mortar) decreases leaving us with an ineffective skin barrier and therefore moisture loss. This contributes to the signs of ageing.
  • High Skin Ph - Your skin Ph creates an imbalance in the skin system and allows external irritants such as bacteria to thrive and destroy the skin barrier. When external irritants damage the skin barrier they also destroy the structural proteins which alter the structure of the natural oils your skin produces. Skin Ph is a result of many factors which we will discuss in another article.

Bringing Back Balance

Plant oils are extremely useful as they are able to become the mortar lipids of the stratum corneum to form the skin barrier and contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants needed to restore the balance. The essential fatty acids repair damage to protein structures and restore the balance in the fatty acid composition of the natural lipids our skin produces. Therefore the skin barrier function is restored and presents itself as balanced skin and gives us the appearance we desire.

With Love,

Crush N Mix

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