The skin barrier (stratus corneum) plays an important role in protecting our body, prevents pathogens from entering and keeps our skin moisturised. The lipids within the skin barrier also plays an important role in transporting ingredients and nutrients.
The skin barrier is made up of many layers of dead skin cells. For this reason, it takes time to treat hyperpigmentation or melasma because each layer that is affected need to be treated and removed.
When the skin barrier is healthy, it will retain water more readily, the skin looks moisturised and is less prone to irritation.
Signs of compromised skin barrier:
• Allergic skin reactions
• Sudden dryness, flaky skin
• Sudden onset of a rash
What causes skin barrier dysfunction?
Similar to ageing, both internal and external stressors can influence the health of the skin barrier. The most significant factors that can impair barrier function are sun exposure, smoking, and damage due to excess exfoliation. Stress and limited sleep can also have a negative effect on the skin barrier by not allowing the skin to repair itself.
Skincare ingredients that can help to keep the skin barrier healthy
Keeping your skin barrier healthy does not have to involve a laborious skincare routine as long as we stick to ingredients that supports skin health.
Author: Helen Lam (B. Pharm) MPS
Pharmacist and cosmetic formulator for ellé derm