What Is the skin barrier?
The skin is composed of different layers, each serving an important function within the human body.
When we talk about the skin barrier or cutaneous barrier, we're referring to the outermost layer, whose function is to protect the skin from external aggressors such as UV radiation, prevent water from escaping the skin, and allow the entry of nutrients.
This layer is called the stratum corneum and is made up of skin cells, lipids, and natural moisturizing factors like amino acids and fatty acids. Its structure is similar to that of a brick wall, with cells being the bricks and lipids, such as ceramides, serving as the mortar.
Without the functioning of the cutaneous barrier, pathogens would enter the body. That's why it's crucial to keep it well cared for and protected.
Main aggressors of the cutaneous barrier
The aggressors of the skin barrier include:
- UV and UVA radiation
- Soaps and cleansers with overly alkaline pH
- Cold weather
- Environmental humidity and dryness
- Allergenic and irritating components
- Certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits
To determine if the cutaneous barrier is damaged, you can simply observe it, as it will appear dull and less smooth. This can be a gradual process, where this layer deteriorates over time, or it can happen suddenly after using treatments with strong exfoliating acids or other high-concentration actives that can harm the skin's health.
Characteristics of a damaged cutaneous barrier:
- Dull and lackluster skin
- Redness and inflammation
- Dryness and flaking
- Itching and sensitivity
- Rosacea or eczema
- Slower healing of scars
How to restore a damaged cutaneous barrier
Gently cleanse the face
It's essential to remove all residues from the face at the end of the day to prevent them from penetrating and worsening the skin's condition.
Use a very gentle gel cleanser with a pH suitable for your skin type. If your skin is very sensitive or dry, it's preferable to use a creamy cleanser with more emollient ingredients to care for the skin barrier while thoroughly cleansing. Use lukewarm water.
Apply a Moisturizer with Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, and/or Petroleum Jelly
Before the skin dries out after cleansing, apply a hydrating facial cream and gently massage it all over the face.
If the barrier is weakened and dry, it's ideal to use moisturizers with lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. It's also beneficial if it contains hyaluronic acid and some type of mineral oil.
Try a skin oil
An oil suitable for your skin type will help regenerate the damaged cutaneous barrier. Apply it right after the moisturizer to seal it in.
Some of the best oils are:
- Coconut oil
- Borage oil
- Rosehip oil
- Almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Argan oil
Use sunscreen every morning
Daily facial sunscreen use is essential, and it's important to note that if it doesn't work correctly, solar radiation will penetrate the skin more easily.
Manage stress levels
When stress levels rise and lifestyle habits are poor, it will be reflected directly in the skin, so it's essential to ensure you have tools to control stress and anxiety.
Getting enough sleep (around 8 hours a day), not smoking, and maintaining a daily healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet that provides your body with everything it needs is crucial.
In addition to considering all of the above, you can also use products that help care for the skin from the outside and others that act directly from the inside.
This is the case with the Set Glowing Skin by Matcha & CO, which will help repair and radically improve your skin's condition by combining two powerful products that will act on the inside and outside of your skin.
On one hand, Skin Cure is developed to significantly improve the skin's protective barrier, hydration, firmness, and elasticity. It contains a unique blend of probiotics specific to skin health, as well as collagen, hyaluronic acid, matcha, and vitamin B2.
On the other hand, Facial Glow Serum is a highly concentrated serum that combines the brightening power of stabilized Vitamin C with the antioxidant power of Niacinamide and Matcha to hydrate, firm, and brighten your skin, reducing the signs of aging.