As consumers become more educated on skincare, they have also become more curious about how the skin functions as an organ and how our skincare interacts with our skin as such. Many brands are now claiming ‘skin barrier repair’ as a benefit, so this blog aims to explain what the skin barrier is, what it does, and why it is so important.
What is the skin barrier?
Understanding the function of the skin barrier requires knowledge of the structure of the skin. You’ve probably heard that the skin is composed of three distinct layers, but that’s not completely accurate. Although the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis are the three primary layers of skin, each comprises several sublayers, the majority of which have distinct, specialised roles. This blog post, however, will concentrate on the epidermis, which is the skin’s uppermost layer.
The stratum corneum, or outermost layer of the epidermis, serves as the skin’s defence mechanism. The stratum corneum’s structure is frequently compared to that of a brick wall by dermatologists. The skin cells are the bricks in this scenario. The skin barrier is simply the mortar that keeps everything else together.
What does the skin barrier do?
Numerous functions of the skin barrier are connected to your health. Researchers generally concur that the skin barrier serves three crucial functions: defending your body from external stressors like pollution and UV radiation, holding onto water to keep your body and skin hydrated, and delivering necessary nutrients to your skin. All these different functions are essential to preserve homeostasis, or the harmony of your body’s various systems.
How do I know if my skin barrier is not functioning well?
Your skin will be prone to damage and generally fragile if your skin barrier isn’t functioning properly. It will be more susceptible to trans-epidermal water loss, which leads to dehydration and a lifeless look. Additionally, you’ll be less able to repel harmful free radicals. This is significant because free radicals can lead to discolouration, elasticity loss, and early wrinkles. A dysfunctional skin barrier is frequently linked to many of the most prevalent skin issues.
Why is my skin barrier not functioning well?
There are multiple reasons, such as temperature changes and pollutants, as to why your skin barrier might not be working as well as it should; quite frankly there are too many to list. However, menopause can play a huge role in declining skin barrier health as we age. Our skin often gets drier due to decreased oestrogen production since it is oestrogen which stimulates collagen production and increases humectants like hyaluronic acid. This damage to the skin barrier causes an increase in trans-epidermal water loss, which leaves you with that typical menopausal dryness.
How can Ameliorate help with my skin barrier?
Ameliorate’s focus on benefit-led hydration is ideal for maintaining and rejuvenating skin barrier health and function. Each product within this range has been expertly formulated to improve the appearance of roughness and dryness, nourishing the skin to bring it back to life. Charged with our unique LaH6 Skin Hydration Complex, these skincare solutions deeply hydrate, while other powerful actives such as Lactic Acid in our Alpha Hydroxy Therapy gently exfoliate, without stripping the skin or damaging the skin barrier. This focus on gentle cleansing and deep moisture helps to support the function of the skin barrier therefore improving the appearance and feel of dry skin.