THE WHAT AND THE WHY?

October 28, 2021

 

THE SKIN BARRIER – WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

 

Imagine your skin barrier as your battle armour which helps to protect whatever fragile insides you have from the war that is raging outside. Made up of lipids, it is the outermost layer of your skin, helping your skin retain moisture as well as shielding whatever that is beneath it from external threats such as allergens, infectious agents, environmental stressors and pollution. A compromised skin barrier is more susceptible to such external irritants and hence spiraling into a never ending cycle of deterioration. Therefore, it is important to start nursing your skin barrier back to its optimum state for it to better repair and protect itself. 


Extremely delicate. Introducing too many products may cause it to go haywire and in turn lead to irritation and increased sensitivity.

Before we start nursing your skin back to health, it is time to reassess your skincare routine. 

  • Are you using too many products in your routine? 
  • Are you overexfoliating with physical or chemical exfoliators?
  • Is your skin reacting to a new product? 
  • Do your skincare products contain ingredients which may inevitably irritate or increase your skin sensitivity?

The process of restoring your skin barrier may take some time but it is not impossible. There is no better time to start minimising and preventing more damage on your skin.

 

THE HOW – A DEEP DIVE INTO RESTORING OUR SKIN BARRIER


And let’s dive into the main reason we are writing this article and why you are reading it right now – refining your skincare routine and incorporating products to help restore your damaged skin barrier.

A gentle low pH facial cleanser – Maintaining your skin’s natural pH level

Find a mild cleanser with no harsh chemicals and low pH to maintain the natural pH level of your skin. Harsh soaps may strip your skin of its natural oils and essential moisturizing substances which can leave your skin dry and prone to irritation. With an out of balance pH, your skin’s natural processes may also be disrupted.

 

Exfoliators – Use in Moderation

With the wide variety of exfoliating products in the market and the recent trend with chemical exfoliants, people tend to over-exfoliate their skin. While removing unwanted dead skin cells, you may also be unknowingly stripping your functional skin barrier. So be mindful of how often you are exfoliating and avoid harsh physical scrubs which can cause micro-tears on your skin. If needed, go for a milder chemical exfoliant.

 

Active Ingredients – Sometimes more products does not equate to more benefits. 

When incorporating active ingredients in your skincare treatments, moderation is key.  Applying high strength active ingredients like AHA, BHA, Retinol or acne treatments, may irritate your skin unnecessarily. Always start from the lowest concentration and work your way up. It is also important to avoid mixing and using multiple active ingredients simultaneously which may cause more harm than good. These ingredients are amazing but only when used in suitable doses.

So, we recommend using product such as BCXS’s CO2 Crystal Mask Therapy that is suitable for all skin style. this treatment helps with detoxification, cleansing of dead skin cell and ensure that your skin has it’s necessary nutrients, barrier and moist. Use them on alternate days or time of day to achieve better results. Remember to give your skin time to reap the benefit of these ingredients instead of exhuasting it every day by packing this product on. When it comes to skincare, it is never a race.

 

Fragrance-free and Astringent-Free Products

There are many types of alcohol which can be found in skincare products – simple alcohols, aromatic alcohols and fatty alcohols. The word may sound scary but not all alcohols are bad for your skin though we do advise avoiding simple alcohol and aromatic alcohols.

 

Simple alcohols such as alcohol denat, isopropyl, benzyl alcohol may do you more harm than good. They can dry out your skin and strip it of its natural occurring oils. Over time, it can damage the healthy lipids of your skin. Aromatic alcohols which are found in fragrances also have no business doing in your skincare apart from causing skin sensitivities.


And the last on our list – fatty alcohols usually found in the form of cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, lanolin and stearyl alcohol are not something you need to shy away from. It is important that we distinguish these skin-friendly alcohols from the two categories mentioned previously. These are rich in healthy fats which in moderation can help to increase your skin’s moisture content.


Serum
Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramide to nourish your skin and protect it from further damage.

 

SPF / Sunscreen
And we shall end off with one important but mostly overlooked step of your skincare routine – SPF, SPF, SPF! We say it three times for extra emphasis.

Remember to apply SPF everyday no matter rain or shine. Your skin needs all the protection it can get. Prevention is key. Sun exposure is a common factor that can lead to a compromised skin barrier.

The path to healthy and well-hydrated skin is filled with much confusion, some experimenting and a lot of TLC – tender loving care to get your skin as close to its natural state of balance as possible. Remember to read the ingredient lists on skincare products and give your skin some much needed TLC.

 

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References
1st Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
2nd Photo by wayhomestudio on www.freepik.com
3rd Photo Copyrighted by BCXS PTE LTD
4th Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash
5th Photo Copyrighted by BCXS PTE LTD
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