Alumier Skin Experts / May 26, 2023
It’s official: #skinbarrier is a massive TikTok trend. Just a few years ago, if we had mentioned the skin barrier at a party (yes, we talk skincare at parties, no shame!), we would have needed to explain it. Nowadays, the term is widely used, although not fully understood. So, what’s behind the incredible rise of the skin barrier? We have always been obsessed because we know how amazing skin looks and feels when the barrier is healthy. Also, the lockdown led to more people getting interested in skincare, which resulted in some overzealous experimenting with skincare treatments and devices at home, leading to damaged skin barriers. We always recommend connecting with a skincare professional for a thorough assessment of your skin type, needs, and lifestyle factors. You’ll receive a personalized routine recommendation and a direct line to your skincare professional, ensuring that your at-home skincare routine is optimal and won’t damage your barrier.
All this skin barrier talk is incredibly positive for the skin, but let’s go back to basics with the Skin Barrier 411, starting with…
What is the skin barrier?
Firstly, it has multiple names: the skin moisture barrier, the skin barrier, the stratum corneum, or the outermost layer of skin. As these names suggest, the skin barrier is the protective top layer of the skin. It keeps the delicate lower layers safe from harm by blocking pollution particles and free radicals from penetrating and causing skin issues. It also helps to retain moisture in the skin. Made up of lipids, fatty acids, and ceramides, when the skin barrier is in good working order, the skin looks plump, hydrated, smooth, and healthy, with no blemishes or redness.
What can damage the skin barrier?
As the first line of defence against skin threats, the skin barrier must work effectively to repel not just pollutants, but also irritants and allergens. Environmental factors like extreme temperature changes, icy winds, very hot or cold weather, and UV exposure can cause barrier damage. Ageing also impacts the skin barrier function, as the skin naturally becomes thinner with age, resulting in a weaker barrier. Lifestyle factors, such as stress and smoking, can deplete the skin barrier as well. Moreover, using skincare products that are inappropriate for your skin can strip it of moisture and disrupt the barrier function.
How can you tell if the skin barrier is damaged?
A damaged skin barrier makes the skin highly sensitive and reactive. Skin is likely to flare up with redness and itchiness when skincare products are applied. The skin may also feel uncomfortably dry, tight, and flaky. Breakouts, redness, and rashes are also very common. Fortunately, strengthening the skin barrier is very much possible and will quickly address these issues. Our skincare professionals can help by providing advice on a personalised skincare routine tailored to repairing and building a healthy skin barrier.
How to protect the skin barrier
First and foremost, consistency is key. Stick to your morning and evening skincare routines, and never forget to cleanse your skin. Ineffective cleansing can lead to harm as free radicals and other debris remain on the skin for too long, damaging the skin barrier. As the weather warms up, we’ve noticed that our clients love to put down the retinol and exfoliating acids. However, we’d like to urge you not to do this! Exfoliating acids and retinol help to improve the skin barrier function when used correctly, and suddenly stopping may cause unnecessary issues. If you have an effective skincare regime that suits your needs and lifestyle, stick with it, and you can always visit your skin care professional for a seasonal skincare review. Next, it’s time for our regular reminder: the number one skincare essential for everyday use is Broad-Spectrum SPF. The sun can damage the skin barrier with both UVA and UVB rays, leading to premature ageing and skin cancer. Therefore, always finish your skincare routine with an application of SPF and remember to reapply throughout the day.
Which ingredients support the skin barrier?
A healthy skin barrier will retain moisture and remain hydrated throughout the day. The skin will feel soft to the touch and look plump and youthful. Moisturizing products help support the skin barrier with ceramides and oils. Our HydraRich contains shea butter, inca inchi oil, and Squalane to help restore the skin’s lipid balance. We expect niacinamide to become a top trend on TikTok soon, thanks to its ability to calm the skin, strengthen the skin barrier, and reduce the impact of damaging environmental factors. You’ll find niacinamide in our SensiCalm cleanser and our Ultimate Boost Serum. Of course, Broad-Spectrum SPF is an essential daily skin protector that prevents damage from the sun.
What products will keep the skin barrier healthy?
Working with a skincare professional will ensure that your skincare routine includes the products you need to help keep your skin barrier functioning effectively. We must mention our Ultimate Boost Serum, which is specially formulated to enhance the skin’s natural moisture barrier with sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide. Our Recovery Balm is formulated to soothe and heal the skin post-procedure, making it an excellent booster for repairing and hydrating a damaged skin barrier.
So, if you’re struggling with an uncomfortable, damaged skin barrier, reach out to one of our skincare professionals, and you’ll soon discover the impact of a healthy #skinbarrier!”