What is a damaged skin barrier?
In order to answer this question, first, we need to know what the skin barrier is.
It is the function of isolating the body from the outer world and, at the same time, interacting with it.
Why? Because our skin is our natural border. Not only does it keep the body’s integrity, but it also stops external elements from easy access. To fully figure it out imagine yourself as a house. You have the skeleton as the foundations, the organs as the interior wrapped with muscles and then comes the skin as the walls of the house. These walls need ‘insulation’ for best protection and this is what the skin barrier is as well as providing a ‘border checkpoint.’ The reason we need a ‘checkpoint’ is that we can’t be fully protected from the outer world. Our skin needs to evaporate sweat in order to cool itself and we need to be able to apply cosmetics and medicated ointments that should penetrate the layers. So we need to let the good stuff in and keep the bad stuff out. That makes our skin barrier a very intelligent and competent mechanism for keeping the skin in good health. When we have a well-functioning skin barrier, we have well-hydrated, smooth and glowing skin. But what happens when it is damaged?
The healthy skin barrier is configured in a certain way.
It consists of epidermal cells and the secretion of the sebum and sweat glands. Its structure reminds that of bricks and mortar where the skin cells are the bricks and the oil and sweat secretion are the mortar. This structure allows controlled water loss and stops pollutants, allergens and bacteria from reaching the deeper layers of the skin. But sometimes the integrity of that barrier gets damaged. It happens due to the use of harsh cleansers, alkaline soaps, over-exfoliating, chemical peels, application of certain drugs or some medical conditions like atopic dermatitis and overly dry skin. This leads to dehydrated skin that feels tight and irritated, increased sensitivity, risk of allergic reactions and overall poor skin quality.
Therefore, restoring and maintaining our skin barrier is the top secret of a healthy, flawless
For that purpose we need to follow several simple rules:
Cleanse the skin with the mildest possible product. It should have a balanced pH of 5.5 and gentle cleansing ingredients that won’t strip off the skin’s natural oils.
After cleansing apply a pH-balanced toner which will help with keeping the skin’s acid mantle. La Thea’s Bulgarian Rose Water is a perfect choice here.
Apply a moisturiser that restores the skin’s barrier.
Avoid ingredients and treatments known for causing damage to the skin.