I want to start this article by disclaiming a few things as I understand that skin insecurity is
among the most common. Hormones and pollution are some of the many factors that affect
our skin, and as a result, we cannot always control the outcome of it. We should learn what
our skin needs to make sure it is healthy rather than focusing on it being flawless. In
addition, we should take the time to appreciate it for what it is, and not dwell on what it is
What is a skin barrier?
In a nutshell, the skin barrier is a protective layer filled with ceramides, lipids and fatty acids.
This layer helps to protect your skin from environmental damage and bacterial infection
while maintaining its moisture.
How is damage caused?
In our attempt to do the best for our skin, we buy products that promise to eradicate acne or any blemishes known to man. However, they often strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your face feeling dry and bothersome. This, and other attributes, can lead to a damaged skin barrier. A skin barrier that is damaged by the overuse of harsh products, exfoliators, and a lack of moisturisers can eventually become weakened. This can cause various issues with the skin such as rough dry discoloured patches, itchiness, small bumps and also acne-inflamed skin. Some also experience bacterial, viral, or fungal skin infections.
Do’s & Don’ts
I think a lot of our first thoughts when we see blemishes or dryness is to exfoliate. This is the
worst thing you can do in this instance. Exfoliating red inflamed, and or peeling skin will only
deepen the irritation. Repairing a skin barrier is simpler than it seems. The key is hydration, along with products that help to soothe the irritation. It is always great to have a hydrating face wash in your skincare routine either as a second cleanse, or just to keep nearby for when your skin needs it most. At this point any product with the word ‘exfoliant’ is an enemy of yours, so put the salicylic acid down and let’s go back to the basics with hyaluronic acid.
How do we reverse the damage?
We don’t want to further irritate the skin so the most we can do is keep it simple. Hyaluronic acid is, for most people, the first baby step into the skincare world. It is packed with all the goodness to keep your skin plump & healthy (bear in mind that the goal is healthy, not perfect skin). Any product with this ingredient, along with other hydration & moisturising agents, like ceramides, will have to get your skin right back on track.
My personal favourite is a product you don’t need to search far & wide for, petroleum jelly
aka Vaseline, is amazing for restoring the hydration back into your skin whilst not breaking
the bank. If you don’t mind that little dent in your pocket you can find petroleum-based
products packed with, your now familiar ingredients, hyaluronic acid and ceramides.
Keeping this up for a week or two should have your skin back on track.