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All that you need to repair that damaged skin barrier

Have you all heard that there is a shield to your skin? Most probably, yes. But has anybody stressed the importance of the skin barrier? Maybe not. Today we are going to sip some tea on the importance of the skin barrier. Not just that, we will also help you recognise if your skin barrier is damaged and what to do to repair the damaged skin barrier.

What is a skin barrier?

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The skin barrier is the sole shield of your skin. It is composed of 50% lipids. It also has good bacterias that help fight the growth of pathogens or any environmental hazards. This is known as the skin microbiome. Along with these factors, a balance of oil and water also makes a difference to the skin barrier. These are linked factors which together come to form a healthy skin barrier. It is important to keep the skin barrier healthy because our skin faces hazards every day which you might not know because the skin barrier fights them off.

Learn more about the skin barrier here.

What can damage the skin barrier?

Skin damage is affected by everything around you and everything that you put on your skin, including your fingers. Learn more about the factors that damage your skin barrier here:

1. Environment

Poor air quality or extreme climate can damage your skin. How? Poor air quality leads to irritation of the skin by pollutants and hence damages the skin. The same goes for extreme climates. Extremely cold weather takes away moisture from your skin and leads to a damaged skin barrier. Extremely hot climate leads to sweating to cool down the skin which disrupts the oil-water balance.

2. Wrong products

Certain ingredients can irritate your skin while the same ingredient may work fine for someone else. Certain combinations of active ingredients can also be unsuitable for your skin. It is best to patch-test before including it in your regime. 

3. Unhealthy diet

Diet can also impact the skin barrier. Healthy food means less gunk for blood to dump on the skin. It is said that what you eat will show up on you. Certain times acne episodes are related to the gut disorder

4. DIY skincare

Everything from the kitchen cannot go on your skin. Some commonly used ingredients from the kitchen are Besan (gram flour), Tomato, Lemon, Curd, and Honey. However, these ingredients can prove to be too strong for topical application. Thanks to science, we can get the benefits that these ingredients offer in a bottle that is much more suitable for the skin.

5. Lack of moisture

When your skin is dry, its natural response is to activate oil glands to produce more oil to moisturise your skin. However, this also makes your skin vulnerable to damage since it has 

6. Excessive cleansing

This is for all the OCD freaks or the ones who believe over-cleansing wouldn’t harm a soul. Well, it is harming your skin real bad. Our skin has an ecosystem of good bacteria which helps us destroy the pathogens that could cause us acne, inflammation, lesions, etc. When you over-cleanse, you will end up wiping off these good bacteria and making your skin vulnerable to further damage.

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What are the signs that your skin barrier is damaged?

At times it is pretty obvious that your barrier is damaged but we’re jotting down some key signs to test your barrier right now. If any of the following is a yes to you then you probably have a damaged skin barrier.

1. Skin peeling

If your skin has started peeling then it is because it lacks moisture or has been damaged by sun rays, harsh weather, etc. The upper layer of the skin is dead skin but they form a part of the barrier to help maintain the ecosystem of the skin by protecting the cells below.  Skin peeling signifies that your upper layer of skin does not have enough intercellular lipids to hold it together.

Learn more about the difference between peeling and pilling here.

2. Excessively oily

Continuing the point above, when there are not enough lipids, they also lead to transepidermal water loss (TEWL). This leads to dry skin and pushes the cells to produce extra oil to shield your skin and prevent water loss. However, this makes the skin vulnerable to infection since bacteria love oil and so does dirt.

3. Acne

Acne occurs due to multiple reasons but when a skin barrier is damaged, it is easy for the pathogens to enter your pores and thrive there to create the annoying and dreadful bump. Once you focus on your skin barrier health then you will notice a lot less occurrence of acne.

4. Redness

Redness of the skin is due to inflammation which occurs when the skin is irritated. Let’s dig out how the skin gets irritated. When the barrier is damaged, the skin has nothing to protect itself from environmental factors. Hence, the skin is inflamed which leads to redness. If you don’t take care of your skin right now then the list of skin concerns will only go on.

Learn more about how to treat skin redness here.

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How to heal a damaged skin barrier?

To heal the damage to your barrier, you need to step back from overwhelming your skin with multiple fixing tips and follow the simple routine that we have curated for you:

1. Moisturiser

Moisturiser balances the cell’s functions which helps to avoid the imbalance of oil-water on your skin. This strengthens the skin barrier. A moisturiser containing Fatty acids, Cholesterol, Ceramides, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, etc. These are not just good moisturisers but are also good in terms of providing your skin with protection from Antioxidants. You can even go the extra mile by picking a moisturiser that has probiotics in it. Probiotics help to maintain the skin microbiome which plays an important role in destroying any pathogen trying to harm your skin. If you have a damaged skin barrier then probiotics can save your skin.

Sublime recommends The Formularx Barrier Relief Lightweight Gel. Along with Ceramides, Cholesterol, it also has Free fatty acid, Hyaluronic acid, Niacinamide, Colloidal Oatmeal and much more to hydrate and nourish your skin.

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2. Sun protection

It goes without saying that sunscreen is the hero for all skin concerns. In the modern age, blue light from our screens is what hits our skin day-in-day-out along with sun rays. While physical sunscreen reflects the rays, chemical sunscreen absorbs the skin and stops it from harming the skin. There would be days when it will be cloudy but don’t be fooled because UV rays can travel through them. You must always check the UV index for the day to understand if it is a good day to step out. For a damaged skin barrier, you just cannot start your day without sunscreen.

Learn more about how to read a sunscreen label here.

Sublime recommends Dr. Sheth's Ceramide & Vitamin C Sunscreen. It is a non-greasy, hydrating formula that suits even sensitive skin types.

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3. Soothing

Some of the initial signs of a damaged skin barrier are when your skin is inflamed and has turned red. This then forms into acne or rashes, etc. The best way to calm your skin to repair your barrier is by using ingredients like Green Tea, Rosewater, Aloe Vera, Snail Mucin, Centella Asiatica, etc. They not only soothe your skin but also provide Antioxidants which help to fight the free radicals present around you. 

Sublime recommends Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner. It has 80% Jeju Green Tea leaves along with Hyaluronic acid and Centella Asiatica. It soothes your skin instantly.

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The skin barrier is an important constituent of the skin to keep your skin nourished and healthy. Some common signs of a damaged skin barrier are when you experience skin peeling, inflammation, redness, acne, itching, and oiliness. To heal a damaged skin barrier, you need to soothe, moisturise, and protect your skin. Happy skin translates to a healthy skin barrier!

- Divya Salvi

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