We often see the words “skin barrier” in skincare-related commercials and on the beauty products we use. You might think it’s just another beauty buzzword, but it’s actually the most crucial layer of our skin.
If you still remember some of your lessons from biology, then the epidermis might sound familiar to you. If not, let us refresh your memory. The epidermis, a.k.a. the skin barrier, is the outermost layer of the skin. It has two main roles: keeping the good stuff (like our skincare) in and keeping the bad stuff out.
Since it’s the outermost layer of the skin, it gets damaged by pretty much anything. From environmental factors like the sun to lifestyle factors such as not getting enough sleep or stress. The overuse of certain beauty products, such as chemical exfoliants, can also weaken the skin barrier.
You can usually tell when your skin barrier has been compromised when it’s dull, itchy, and constantly irritated. Another telltale sign that your skin barrier is damaged is when you feel stinging after applying your skincare. If these apply to you, or if you want to prevent them from happening in the first place, you need to strengthen your skin barrier. Here’s how:
LOOK: How to Repair and Strengthen Your Skin Barrier
1. Switch to gentle skincare products
When it comes to repairing and strengthening your skin barrier you want to steer clear of any harsh acids and exfoliants (both physical and chemical) for the time being. You can still remove dirt and oil from your skin with gentle ingredients.
Gentle Skin Cleanser 472ml, P912, CETAPHIL, Watsons
2. Hydrate and moisturize the skin
Never underestimate the importance of moisturizer. But since we live in a tropical country, we don’t want a heavy moisturizer that can clog the pores. Use a lightweight water-based gel moisturizer instead.
Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream, P990, COSRX, Lazada
3. Learn to layer your skincare properly
Keep in mind that there are certain ingredients that don’t go together. Now, learning to layer the right ingredients together will prevent irritation and help you get the most out of your skincare. Vitamin C for example is best mixed with sunscreen and vitamin E. But it shouldn’t be mixed with niacinamide.
Vitamin C Serum 30ml, P1190, WILDLEAF SKINCARE, Lazada
Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream, P3200, FRESH, Sephora
4. Make ceramides your best friend
Ceramides are naturally found in skin cells. They make up 50% of our skin barriers and help strengthen and repair them. You can find ceramide-infused skincare products to give your skin barrier some extra reinforcement.
Ceramidin Liquid, P2600, DR. JART, Sephora
5. Wear sunscreen religiously
The sun is the number one reason for skin damage. So if sunscreen isn’t part of your skincare routine, you better add it now–damaged skin barrier or not.
Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk for Face and Body SPF50+ PA++++Regular, P1990, ANESSA, Rustan's