Understanding the Skin Barrier

Understanding the Skin Barrier

Achieving and maintaining beautiful, healthy skin goes beyond using the latest products. One crucial element often overlooked is the Skin Barrier Function. This term is gaining prominence in skincare circles, and understanding it is key to making smart choices for your skin’s long-term health. 

What Is the Skin Barrier Function?

Think of your skin as a protective fortress. The skin barrier acts as a shield, safeguarding your body against external threats like pollutants and bacteria while keeping essential moisture in. When this barrier is functioning well, it not only keeps harmful elements out but also ensures your skin looks and feels strong and vibrant. Despite its importance, many skincare products and treatments can damage the skin barrier. Aggressive methods that strip or harm the barrier lead to issues like dryness, sensitivity, and premature ageing. It’s essential to understand how different treatments affect your skin and choose products that support, rather than harm, the skin barrier.

The Three Layers of the Skin Barrier

The skin barrier comprises three crucial components, each contributing to its protective role:

1. The Stratum Corneum: The Outer Defence

The Stratum Corneum is the outermost layer of your skin, made up of tightly packed, dead skin cells. This layer acts like a solid roof, preventing water loss and shielding the delicate layers beneath from damage. However, treatments like microdermabrasion, deep peels, and ingredients like AHAs, BHAs, and synthetic vitamin A can thin or strip away this protective layer, leaving your skin vulnerable.

2. The Acid Mantle: Your Skin’s Natural Barrier

The acid mantle is a thin layer of oil and water on your skin’s surface, maintaining its slightly acidic pH. This layer is crucial for keeping your skin smooth, flexible, and hydrated. Over-cleansing or using harsh foaming cleansers can strip this mantle away, leading to dry and fragile skin.

3. The Skin Microbiome: Your Skin’s Ecosystem

The skin microbiome is a complex community of beneficial microbes living on your skin. These microorganisms protect you as they outcompete harmful bacteria and convert oils into natural moisturisers. Over-washing or using antiseptic products can disrupt this delicate balance, compromising your skin's natural defences.

Janesce’s Approach to Skin Barrier Protection

At Janesce, founder Janice Smith has always advocated for protecting the skin barrier. We steer clear of treatments and ingredients that damage the Stratum Corneum, such as microdermabrasion, deep peels, AHAs, BHAs, and synthetic vitamin A. Instead, we focus on gentle cleansing and nourishing products that maintain the acid mantle and support a healthy skin microbiome.

  • Gentle Cleansing: Cleanse once daily with a gentle, non-foaming cleanser to avoid disrupting the acid mantle.
  • Avoid Over-Washing: Excessive washing and antiseptic products can destroy the protective microbiome. Balance is key.
  • Nourishing Care: Use products that bolster the skin’s natural defences and enhance its barrier function.

Respecting and protecting your skin’s barrier is essential for long-term skin health and beauty. Read more on the Janesce blog here.

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