Even though it's one of the most important aspects of healthy skin, the skin barrier is not spoken about too often. For those who don’t know, a skin barrier is part of our skin’s top layers that form the first line of defence against external aggressors. When this skin barrier is compromised, your skin starts to look dull and dry and is more prone to irritation and breakouts.
A damaged skin barrier makes it difficult for your skin to retain essential vitamins and nutrients delivered by your skincare products. A compromised lipid barrier also increases the chances of premature signs of ageing. If you notice any of these signs and suspect that your skin barrier may have been damaged, then don’t panic just yet. Simply look for skincare products with at least one of the three ingredients mentioned below to repair and maintain your skin barrier for soft, supple and youthful skin.
Humectants work like little magnets that help draw water to the topmost layer of your skin, either from the environment or the deeper layers of skin. These ingredients keep your skin amply moisturised by retaining moisture in the outer layers of skin and preventing epidermal water loss. The most common humectants found in skincare products are glycerine, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera gel and shea butter. These ingredients speed up the recovery of your skin barrier and keep your skin soft and healthy.
Emollients are those ingredients that improve the functioning of humectants and are usually used together for best results. Emollients are nothing but occlusives that form a layer on your skin and seal the moisture drawn by humectant into your skin. This further prevents water loss and is great to soothe dry, damaged and rough skin. The best emollient ingredients are argan oil, beeswax, petroleum jelly, to name a few.
BB picks: Vaseline Original Pure Skin Jelly
Antioxidants such as vitamin C, zinc oxide, glycolic acid and niacinamide are some of the best ingredients to include in your skincare routine to heal a compromised skin barrier. Antioxidants protect your skin against UV damage and other environmental aggressors. Using antioxidant-rich products not only protects your skin against free radicals in the environment but also soothes your skin to repair the damaged barrier.