From serums to creams, a number of products are offering the possibility of restoring, strengthening, and revitalising your skin’s barrier. It makes sense, air borne pollution levels are rising and your skin increasingly under attack from environmental aggressors. All good reasons to maintaining a strong skin barrier - but what exactly does this phrase mean, and how do you know if the product you’re buying will actually strengthen your skin barrier? Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

What is your skin barrier?

We’re ultimately referring to the top few layers of our skin- your body’s first line of defence against the environment. It serves many roles, including fighting off bacteria, defending itself against pollution, and retaining hydration in the deeper layers of your skin.

It’s a vital front-line, protecting us against the perils of the environment; UV, pollution, infection, toxic chemicals and so on. On a more superficial note, it’s the bit that we see, so it’s very important from a cosmetic point of view."  It thus makes sense that keeping it healthy and happy is THE priority to prevent dermatological issues, like acne, dryness, chronic inflammation hyper sensitivity. (A thin, weak or damaged skin barrier allows irritants in, or irritates more easily - and so building up this surface layer could be the key to reducing skin sensitivity long term.) 

What weakens it?

Here’s the bad news – your skin barrier weakens with age and in fact genetically, some people naturally have a weak skin barrier. Ultimately, it’s about hydration - we’re born with a body composed of 75% water, yet die with closer to 0%; we dry up as we get older. Genetics (generally, the whiter or paler the skin, the thinner the barrier), environmental factors (UV rays, pollution, and toxins all break it down) and your skincare regime (harsh ingredients, over exfoliation) can weaken your skin barrier. Additionally, many preservatives in ingredients can disrupt it by preventing growth of good bacteria that helps to ward off infection. Let’s put it this way- your skin barrier goes through a lot.

Here's how it can be strengthened

Strengthening your skin barrier can happen in one of two ways: by making up for lost aspects of the barrier or by layering on products that stimulate regrowth to protect it from further damage. In a good skin care routine, you should have some of both—a bit of repair, and a bit of prevention.

Two great choices here are our QUENCH! Boost Face moisturiser which boasts hyaluronic acid to boost moisture and support lipid production, and DOWNLOAD! Longevity Mask which is formulated with revitalizing niacinamide (Vitamin B3).


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