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What is the Skin Barrier, How to Know If It’s Damaged, + How to Improve It

There has been a lot of buzz recently about the skin barrier, aka the skin’s moisture barrier. If you do not fully understand what that is yet, do not fret, I will break down what it is and how you can tell if it is healthy or potentially disrupted. I will also go over what could be affecting your skin barrier and how you can improve it.

What is the skin barrier?

The outermost layer of the skin is almost like a brick wall. The skin calls would be the bricks and the mortar would be the lipid matrix containing cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides. This wall is the barrier between external conditions and internal organs, not only responsible for beautifully healthy skin, but also important to human life by protecting against infectious chemicals, allergens, UV radiation, and harmful toxins that have the ability to affect the entire body and organs. The skin barrier also helps the body maintain homeostasis by protecting against water loss.

How does the skin barrier become damaged?

The skin barrier can become damaged in various ways:

  • The skin barrier weakens with age

  • Dry and cold weather conditions

  • Skincare products that contain harsh chemicals or ingredients, soaps, and products that contain fragrances

  • Over exfoliating

  • Mental or Physical Stress

  • Unhealthy diet

  • Allergens and pollutants

  • Smoking

  • Lack of sleep

How do you know if you have a damaged skin barrier?

Here are some signs that you might have a compromised skin barrier that is in need of some tender love and care:

  • Dry, itchy skin

  • Sensitivity

  • Stinging sensation with skincare products

  • Lack of elasticity and wrinkles

  • Discoloration

  • Thinning outermost layer of your epidermis

How to improve and maintain a healthy skin barrier

The skincare products you will want to focus on to improve a damaged skin barrier and maintain a healthy one are products that focus on calming, soothing, moisturization, and hydration. We also recommend a “clean” skincare line. What does that mean? Clean beauty is a term used to describe skincare and cosmetic products that are formulated without harmful or harsh ingredients. We use Glo Skin Beauty at the spa for that reason, they are a clean, clinical professional skincare brand mainly found at spas and skincare studios.

Here are some recommendations within the Glo Skin Beauty line to help repair and maintain a healthy skin barrier:

HA Revive Hyaluronic Drops

HA-Revive Hyaluronic Drops reinvigorates and refreshes with a quenching boost of hydration. This fast-absorbing hyaluronic acid serum is clinically proven to instantly soothe surface-level dehydration and dullness, replenish skin’s moisture reserves, and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid retains up to 1,000 times its weight in water, helping maintain the skin’s moisture barrier and ramp up hydration levels, without clogging pores.

Vita E Essential Cream

Soothing, replenishing essential moisture, this rich moisturizer is ideal for calming dry or inflamed complexions, with nourishing and nurturing antioxidants and botanicals. Vitamin E is a deeply hydrating and conditioning antioxidant. This moisturizer protects skin from damaging free radical damage caused by daily stressors and pollution, strengthening skin’s barrier with squalane, locking the moisture deep within.

Soothing Gel Mask

This cooling mask provides instant soothing and calming relief to dry, sensitive skin. The Soothing Gel Mask hydrates and replenishes the skin’s moisture barrier with a healing blend of gotu kola extract and Indian senna, while nourishing and cooling cucumber extract soothes and calms the complexion, reducing the appearance of puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Phyto Calm Flower Mist

Get instant relief for parched, dry skin with this calming and cooling Phyto-Calm Flower Mist. Infused with redness-reducing rose water and anti-inflammatory chamomile to treat and tone, this restorative, antioxidant-rich mist hits refresh on skin’s moisture levels, soothing and settling, for complete comfort.

Eat healthy foods that help maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Given that skin’s barrier includes the lipid matrix containing cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides. There are foods that we can eat that will help enhance our skin barrier from within. Healthy fats and whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are the best “skin food” categories.

Skin barrier loving foods:

  • Water (at least 8 oz per day)

  • Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel

  • Olive Oil

  • Avocado

  • Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews

  • Cucumbers

  • Fish oil supplememnts

  • Citrus Fruits rich in antioxidants

If you would like personalized skincare recommendations based on your individual skin type and goals, please fill out a virtual consultation or recieve customized recommendations when you reserve a facial at the spa.




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