SKINCARE 101: WHAT DAMAGES THE SKIN BARRIER?
How do you tell when your skin barrier is compromised?
Persistent redness, feeling of tightness and uncomfortable itch, dehydrated skin till the point it starts flaking, tiny bumps that somehow can’t be treated? Those are the ultimate signs of damaged skin barrier.
Indefinitely, all these scenarios seem like it makes sense. But, what if we told you everything you did above has been EXACTLY why and how you got acne? Everything we mentioned has nothing but one in common — disrupting the healthy function of the skin barrier.
Wait, before you say anything. Listen us out.
1. Using Chemical Exfoliators Incorrectly
We’re all for chemical exfoliators. Like, FTW. The questions are — How often are you using it? What kind of acid are you putting on your face? What is the concentration? Does it actually work for your skin type?
It's a tricky business, exfoliators. Different acids, different characteristics. However, don’t be afraid. Fear is usually what’s not being properly understood. Let’s hop right into it, shall we?
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
AHA is the longest in the market, known for its amazing dead cell removing capabilities. Lately, the internet has been preaching about how it destroys skin barrier due to its small molecule, which penetrates quickly and directly into the skin – which MIGHT cause sensitivity if it’s being used too frequently. To get the most out of glycolic acid, mandelic acid and lactic acid (just to name a few)...
Identify your skin type. Start with the lowest concentration, use once a week and work your way up!
Recommended for: All skin types, especially dry skin with surface-level concerns like scars & pigmentation.THE ORDINARY 7% Glycolic Acid Toning Solution
Image source: Pinterest
Comes the new sister PHA to gently shed away dead cells on the outest surface and have a larger molecule. A huge hit in the skincare realm lately! The all-perfect exfoliator to reveal, bright and glowing complexion. Let’s stick to the safe side. The ideal results would be indulging in this luxurious acid for 2-3 times per week!
Recommended for: All skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin.AXIS-Y PHA Resurfacing Glow Peel
Saved the best for last, BHA. Oily-skin girlies favourite of the bunch! There’s no talking us out of this. Why? For a myriad of reasons! ONE, salicylic acid is the only exfoliating acid that has deep pore cleansing action. TWO, the magical potion is extremely gentle yet superbly effective in taming inflamed zits and keeps texture out of sight. THREE, it doesn’t cause any issues of sensitizing and works well with regular use. Low concentration of BHA could also be used 5-7 times a week. Crazy right?
Recommended for: All skin tyoes, especially helpful for oily, blemish-prone skin.RNW DER. PORE Peeling Toner Pad
Of course, let’s not leave out the exceptions! If you’re diagnosed with rosacea or other skin vulnerabilities, any kinds of exfoliating acids might irritate you.
2. Not Moisturizing Oily Skin
Oily skin is dehydrated skin, PERIODT. Our body is super intelligent and does what it needs to keep you surviving and healthy, including the skin! When your skin is dry, it sends a signal to the brain to produce more oils to lubricate and protect the skin so it’s not prone to bacteria infection.
So that means, we don’t need to waste money to buy moisturizers? Hang on. That’s not the case. Oils only lubricate the top of our skin. Beneath that layer of grease is our poor skin deprived of necessary hydration and ceramides! A moisturizer is essential to replenish the skin.
If you’ve a hard time picking moisturizers, the first thing you should ask yourself is: What is my skin type? Secondly, what kind of finish am I looking for? Glowing & dewy? Matte & soft? Then you can narrow down your choice!
VERDICT: Never skip moisturizers. In fact, add more of it! Your skin will thank you later.
3. Excluding Sunscreen From Your Routine
Yes, we’ve heard of sunscreen causing breakouts. GUILTY! That was our mentality about sunscreen back then, but it’s 2022 now. So, really? Who are we kidding?! Sunscreen doesn’t cause breakouts, not cleaning it properly afterwards does - double cleanse when you apply sunscreen.
First, balm. Then, gel. Unclog your pores and let them breathe! You know how adhering sunscreens can get! Food for thought, if sunscreen is so easily washed off, how well does it protect your skin from harmful rays then?AXIS-Y Complete No-Stress Physical Sunscreen
Another question we get a whole lot about sunscreens — should I choose a chemical or physical sunscreen? Really, we only have one answer to that. It doesn’t matter! As long as you’re using a sunscreen that does what it does, fending off the UV rays, you’re in great hands. Just find a formula that you feel comfortable wearing and wear that everyday! Capiche?
BEAUTY OF JOSEON Relief Sun : Rice + Probiotics
4. Dermablading, thinking you can achieve glass skin from it.
A little daunting, don’t you think? A micro blade “shaving” away all the peach fuzz and supposedly exfoliate the skin? Nah uh. It’s really subjective when it comes to this topic but dermablading as a home routine is risky as hell! The wrong pressure might end up with cuts and wounds that might turn out nasty.
Cuts and wounds might cause scarring, skin to be susceptible to harmful bacteria and affect the skin barrier in general! We don’t think it’s necessary if this technique has the potential to cause such serious mayhem to the skin. However, if you really want to try, please get it done professionally and NEVER. AT. HOME.
KEY INGREDIENTS TO RECOVER YOUR SKIN BARRIER
So, what should you do about your damaged skin barrier? One, avoid all sorts of harsh active ingredients. Two, focus solely on these continuously for at least a week:
1. Hyaluronic Acid
Produced naturally by our skin and holds more than x1000 water of its molecular weight. Amazing, isn’t it? Let’s take a beat. If HA could produce on its own, then why do we still need it? Blame the sun. Harmful rays destroy its full capability of supplying sufficient moisture to hydrate our skin. As sad and inevitable as it is, our body loses the ability to produce this important acid as we age.AXIS-Y Aqua Boosting Essence Toner
2. Green Tea
Filled to the brim with EGCG, this anti-inflammatory component has the superpowers to fight free radicals that potentially lead to cellular damage. That’s not even the most impressive part! Studies have shown that Green Tea also serves as an effective remedy for many dermatological conditions – such as psoriasis, dermatitis & rosacea! Deep-rooted skin issues that not many ingredients could heal.
Hot topic of the year! Ceramide has lately been taking the market by storm and we seriously wonder why haven’t we stumbled across this miracle ingredient earlier. Present in our fatty lipids, this component plays a crucial role in repairing and strengthening our precious barrier! What does a healthy skin barrier do? Like a defense mechanism, It protects against bacteria from entering into our skin so we wouldn’t have much to fix in the first place!
Taking care of skin is never an easy task. In fact, it's a full time job! Take some time to listen to your skin’s needs, research more about the ingredients that work for your skin and cultivate habits that nurture your skin. AND! Always, always, always focus on repairing and strengthening your skin barrier.
The truth is, nothing is more essential than that. Healthy skin is perfect skin.