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Skin Barrier 101: Everything you need to know for healty skin!

by Kendra Ruebsam |

The outermost layer of your skin has a natural, protective barrier that when healthy keeps it safe from trans-epidermal water loss and potential irritants and allergens from getting into your skin. When damaged it can cause a variety of dermatological issues, like acne, dryness, chronic inflammation and overall sensitivity.

What can damage my skin barrier?

Using harsh or very-alkaline cleansers or strong acne-medication can cause major damage. Common skincare mistakes like over-washing, over-exfoliation or applying too many products. Also, stress and hormonal changes can weaken the skin barrier function.

Has my skin barrier been compromised? Or is it just acne?

One of the most common indicators is when your skin is excessively oily but feels really dry and tight at the same time. Oily-dehydrated skin is a weird sensation! People who secrete a lot of oil are more likely to demonstrate aggressive skincare habits that strip away the natural oil and all bacteria (even the good stuff), which further damages your barrier function.

Once your skin barrier is damaged, your skin loses water quickly and you often experience a dehydrated sensation. This is called  'transepidermal water loss' (TEWL). 

You can also tell your skin barrier is out of whack when the skincare products that you have may have been using for a long time irritate, sensitize or even cause redness.

How to repair a damaged skin barrier.

Implementing a facial oil can help restore the barrier function tremendously! We recommend our Luminous Hydrating Glow Complex or Face Elixir. Also, replenishing the skin with natural moisturizing factors can help, as well. Panthenol (Vitamin B5) and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) also help improve the barrier function. 

And by the way~ Dope Barrier Repair is an easy to use sheet mask that directly targets this skin concern. 

So what did we learn? 

Less is more! If your skin barrier is compromised, it also means that your skin's permeability has increased. In other words, irritants that your barrier would otherwise block out are coming into the skin much easier, which can eventually cause or worsen inflammation.

Ditch the products that dry out your skin. Limit cleansing to once a day and switch to a moisturizing, barrier-friendly cleanser like Slime Hydrating Cleanser. Supplement your routine with products targeting skin barrier repair like Dope Barrier Repair.