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Supporting your skin barrier

Skin barrier simplified -  Think of your skin like a house. Imagine the tiles on your roof are the components of the skin barrier, think all the good stuff including...

Skin barrier simplified - 

Think of your skin like a house. Imagine the tiles on your roof are the components of the skin barrier, think all the good stuff including ceramides, phospholipids, amino acids, free fatty acids. When there are no cracks or any gaps, you’ve got a well-functioning skin barrier. But if there are tiles missing, you’re going to have leaks, which makes your skin more vulnerable to skin issues from either environmental changes, harsh skincare methods, or internal and topical medications. When the skin barrier is disrupted, it's no longer able to protect itself from environmental stressors and it loses its ability to defend itself. It also increases water loss from the skin also known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWLs occurs when water is lost from the skin due to exposure to air, most often occurring in dry skin types, aging skin, or skin that has become damaged or compromised.  


SKIN CONDITIONS WITH COMPROMISED SKIN BARRIER FUNCTION 

If you’ve got any of the below skin conditions, it's most likely you’ve got some ‘leaks’ and your skin barrier may need some help.  

  • Acne vulgaris
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) 
  • Rosacea 
  • Psoriasis

Here are a few Ingredients to look for in skincare products when helping rebuild your skin’s natural barrier. 

  • Hippophaes rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) the berries of this shrub are jam-packed with nutrient goodness including high amounts of vitamins A, C, E, amino acids, carotenoids, polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3), gamma-linolenic acid (omega 6), palmitoleic acid (omega 7), and oleic acid (omega 9). These phytochemicals help protect, regenerate and soften the skin, they enhance microcirculation, relieve inflammation and ensure integrity to the skin structure. 
  • Helianthus annus (Safflower) seed oil is a non-comedogenic (non-clogging) emollient oil, making it very soothing and suitable for all skin types. Sunflower contains around 70% linoleic acid (omega 6), which is used to make ceramides. Ceramides play an essential role in retaining water and supporting skin barrier function. Ceramides are what hold skin cells firmly together in the epidermis skin layer. Changes in the levels of ceramides are associated with skin abnormalities including essential fatty acid deficiency, eczema, and acne.
  • Cucumis sativa (Cucumber) seed is composed of 95% water and contains phytosterols, high amounts of tocopherols (vitamin e), fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin K. A high amount of vitamin e and phytosterols help improve skin elasticity, restore moisture balance, strengthen the skin barrier and stimulate skin cells to encourage regeneration of healthy skin cells. 
  • Centella asuatica (Gotu Kola) extract contains compounds that boost antioxidant activity, support blood circulation and increase collagen synthesis, mainly type 1 collagen, in which the amount in the skin decreases with age. Gotu kola is a rich source of natural anti-inflammatory substances including triterpenoid saponins, flavonoids, amino acids, and sugars. Due to its antioxidant activity, it fights free radicals that affect skin hydration and barrier function.
  • Ganoderma Lingzhi (Reishi Mushroom) has a powerful combination of activities that support immunity and aid in skin healing and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for promoting health and longevity. Reishi contains high levels of triterpenoids, which are special sugars in mushrooms that support the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture, helping to soothe and repair the skin barrier integrity as well as promoting skin renewal and rejuvenation. 
  • Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) leaf juice has many beneficial constituents including vitamins, polysaccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, and salicylic acids. These constituents help the promotion of wound healing, antifungal activity and anti-inflammatory benefits.

DIET & LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO HELP REBUILD YOUR SKIN BARRIER

  • Reduce having long scalding hot showers, particularly in the winter. Hot showers and baths can dehydrate your skin, so limit these and use lukewarm-cold water on your face to minimise dryness occurring.
  • Aim to drink 2 litres of water per day, or more if you’re exercising. 
  • Wear sunscreen all year round. Protect your skin from harmful UV rays to reduce additional redness and irritation. 
  • Use non-irritating skincare products with less active ingredients. When compromised skin is present, you want to look for soothing, calming, and non-irritating products such as Wild'n'Minty Cleaning Balm, Misty Mushroom Face Spritz and Golden Gem Face Cream

Using products that contain fatty acids, polysaccharides, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, ceramides will help feed and support the health of the skin’s natural barrier, improving moisture, resilience and preventing flakiness.

 

 

References:

  1.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438513/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226231469_Fungi_-_An_unusual_source_for_cosmetics
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19245474/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0367326X12002791
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27168678/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4452276/
  7.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4452276

 

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