The skin barrier is the outermost protective layer of our skin. Each layer plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and health of the skin. The primary functions of the skin barrier are to prevent harmful substances, such as pollutants, chemicals, UV rays and blue light, from penetrating the skin and causing damage in addition to preventing moisture loss. A healthy skin barrier allows the penetration of essential oils and other skincare ingredients into the skin, providing them with an opportunity to do their job in the most effective manner. Therefore, if good care is not taken of the skin barrier, it will be pointless to invest in luxurious creams and oils as they will not be able to work well.

What damages the skin barrier?

It is important to prioritize the health of your skin through knowing what can cause damage to the skin barrier. Factors that can damage the skin barrier include: exposure to harsh environmental factors such as the sun, pollutants in the air, and cold temperatures; the use of harsh or irritating skincare products; and the use of soaps. In addition, dry and damaged skin can impair the skin barriers ability to function properly. Luckily, there are some simple steps that can be followed to protecting the skin barrier:

1. Protect skin against sun damage

We are all very aware of the potential of sun damage on the skin in summer. But, a high factor SPF, such as those available from, should be worn daily even throughout the dull and cloudy days of winter to avoid sun damage to the skin from harmful UV rays. While sunscreen is the best defense against harmful sun exposure, there are other ways to help protect your skin from the sun. For example, wear protective clothing and hats when you are outside and avoid going outdoors during the hottest part of the day.

2. Stay hydrated

The skin barrier also acts to prevent dehydration; therefore, it is essential to drink plenty of water on a daily basis. Try to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day, even in the cooler months for healthier and plumper looking skin.

3. Avoid air pollution

Exposure to harsh environmental elements such as air pollution and cold temperatures can cause damage to the skin barrier as well. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from these environmental factors. For example, make sure to keep your indoor air clean by regularly cleaning your air conditioning unit and removing dust and debris from your home using a vacuum or broom. You should also use air conditioners with a HEPA filter to remove harmful particles from the air. Additionally, you can minimize exposure to cold weather by limiting your time outdoors during the winter months. If you live in a climate with cold winters, you should also make sure you keep your home well insulated to reduce the loss of heat.

4. Limit product use

In addition to protecting the skin from environmental factors, you should limit your use of harsh skincare products in an effort to help preserve your skin barrier. Overusing a wide range of skincare products such as strong exfoliants can cause damage to the skin barrier in a number of ways. They can strip away its natural oils and proteins or upset the natural pH balance of the skin. This can result in dry skin and other skin problems such as rashes and eczema. To avoid this problem, you should use mild and gentle skincare products, particularly gentle moisturizers, that are formulated to help protect the skin barrier. Natural products made with ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, and cocoa butter are particularly effective at helping to protect the skin barrier. And because they are made from natural ingredients, they don’t contain any harsh chemicals that can damage the skin. Avoid frequent hot baths which are an enjoyable way to unwind but can be drying for the skin.

Final note

By having an awareness of your skins needs and protecting it from the damaging effects of sun, dehydration, pollutants and over use of products it is possible to maintain a healthy skin barrier and avoid any potential problems or irritations.


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