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The Beauty Beat

How to Protect Your Skin’s Barrier

Summer has arrived, and with it, excessive sun exposure poses a new challenge to protecting your skin. Luckily, there are several ways to protect your skin’s moisture barrier to keep it looking healthy and hydrated all summer long. 

Keep reading to learn what the skin barrier is, what damages it, and ways to protect your skin’s natural barrier.

What’s your skin barrier, and what is its purpose?

The skin barrier refers to the outermost, top layer of the skin, and it is also sometimes called the “moisture barrier.” This layer, also known as the stratum corneum, is composed of tough skin cells bound together with lipids.

The skin barrier serves as a protective shield. It has two essential functions: keep the “bad stuff” out and the “good stuff” in. It protects the body from toxins like pollution and harsh chemicals and ultraviolet radiation from excessive sun exposure. It also locks in the body’s natural moisture by preventing water loss. If this outermost layer of the skin doesn’t hold enough water, the skin loses its elasticity. If the skin barrier is poorly hydrated, it will be significantly more vulnerable to external toxins.

What damages your skin barrier?

There are a variety of symptoms of a damaged skin barrier. These can include dryness, inflammation, redness, and heightened sensitivity. This damage is caused by environmental conditions, harsh chemicals, and over-exfoliation. (Exfoliation is good but too much? Not so good.) 

Environmental conditions

Environmental conditions like excessive sun exposure, pollution, and smoking can affect your skin barrier. Even low levels of sunlight exposure can cause damage. This type of damage can lead to photoaging, which will result in wrinkles and age spots. Air pollution like smoking causes oxidative stress, which has detrimental effects on the skin. These environmental factors can produce free radicals, which further contribute to skin integrity degradation. 

A dry or low-humidity environment can also damage your skin barrier. It can lead to a decrease in skin barrier function and strip your skin barrier of its natural moisture. 

Physical Damage

If you over-exfoliate your face or use harsh skin care products. Harsh chemicals in skin care products can strip your skin of its natural oils. Over-exfoliating can also create small cracks in your skin barrier, which causes a loss of hydration and increases inflammation.

Ways to protect your skin barrier

Protecting your skin barrier is essential. Hydrating your skin and protecting it from the sun are practical steps to take immediately.

Hydrating your skin

Hydrated skin is happy skin, and your skin barrier must stay adequately hydrated to protect the body from harmful toxins.

The Thom Elzner Daily Super Serum is a great option for hydrating your skin. This serum contains the HydroTech Complex, a patented and potent blend of botanicals with two hyaluronic acid formulas. This hydrating formula corrects and prevents visible signs of aging and skin damage. 

Protect the skin from sun exposure

Getting too much sun can drastically damage your skin barrier. Luckily, you can protect your skin barrier from sun damage and pollution with the Thom Elzner Total Defense. It is infused with HydroTech Complex botanicals that defend against sun damage and pollution. 

Start protecting your skin’s moisture barrier

We’re here to help you create a skincare regimen plan for your specific skin type, so you get your desired results. Please contact us with any questions about Thom Elzner products or find a Skin Spa location near you.

Meet the author

Katie Werbowski
Director of Brand Strategy & Development at Skin Spa New York

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