Beautiful Skin Begins with a Healthy Skin Barrier

By lacey / 18 December 2023

Beautiful Skin Begins with a Healthy Skin Barrier

It’s 2017 — we should understand how our skin works by now. Learn how to let the skin do its job at peak performance, and while you’re at it, give the skin a promotion!

Let’s Go Beyond the Surface

You hear the same buzz words over and over when it comes to skincare: “firming,” “moisturizing,” and “anti-aging.” We use these words, too, because we’re all about cosmetic benefits, but we want to go deeper (literally) to get to the core of how the skin functions and why this matters in effective skincare. In order to get the firming, moisturizing, and anti-aging results you want from skincare, your skin must first accept the skincare and know what to do with it. It’s not as simple as slathering gobs of the first moisturizer you find, however. Once you learn how the skin functions and, therefore, how skincare works, you’ll never look at skincare the same again.

Barrier Function 101

When we refer to the skin barrier, we’re talking about Stratum Corneum, the outermost part of the skin that’s made of three vital parts: non-living skin cells, a lipid bilayer, and Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF). Because your eyes can’t zoom in like a microscope, you can visualize using the famous brick and mortar analogy: Skin cells are stacked like a brick wall, and lipids move between them like the cement that holds the bricks together. The cells on the outside of the skin (which you can touch right now) are dead skin cells being pushed to the front, shedding for new cells to replace them. You can thank biology for this process called cell regeneration. Otherwise, you’d be stuck with a graveyard on your face of nothing but dead skin cells. Skin’s primary job is protecting the body from external stressors, but it’s not completely blocked off to everything – hence the name “semi-permeable skin barrier.” What about the good stuff, like moisture and skincare? To put it simply, the skin knows what it’s doing, and the barrier is a good judge at what should be absorbed or deflected. However, this doesn’t mean that the barrier doesn’t get mixed up. Environmental stress caused by heightened pollution and extreme climate conditions can damage the skin barrier, allowing toxins to pass through while moisture escapes.

The Good and the Bad, but Not the Ugly

While you’re busy beautifying your skin with tinted moisturizers and makeup on the outside, the skin is busy on a deeper level maintaining its health with high-performing skincare. You’ll find that it’s all connected — a healthy, hydrated skin barrier makes for healthy layers on the inside, which ultimately makes for beautiful skin on the outside. In order to achieve the flawless skin you’ve always wanted, you need to give your skin barrier some much needed attention. A healthy skin barrier has all the skin benefits you strive for: soft and smooth texture, plump and firm appearance, and clear and even skin tone. A healthy and balanced barrier function reduces inflammation and promotes the skin’s immunity to external influences. By sealing moisture and NMF, the skin barrier performs its best. Skincare can boost this natural process by delivering potent hydrating agents and added NMF deep into the skin’s layers, promoting a healthy skin barrier. When the barrier is damaged or impaired, the skin’s NMF are evaporated in a process called transepidermal water loss (TEWL). The most common effects of TEWL include dry and flaky skin because the NMF aren’t present to maintain hydration and cell regeneration slows. TEWL is more common in people with preexisting skin conditions and people over the age of 40 when the skin barrier function becomes naturally impaired. As climates and pollution become more aggressive, TEWL becomes more common in younger generations. When the skin barrier is compromised and moisture is lost, the skin reacts with inflammation, poor immunity, breakouts, and sensitivity. [Keep reading: How the Skin is Naturally Moisturized]

How to Get Skin Health Back on Track

With the health and appearance of your skin at risk, you want to nourish and hydrate the skin with skincare that promotes a healthy skin barrier function despite external influences working against it. Skin barrier dysfunction is the major cause of premature aging, and environmental aggressors majorly impact the skin’s ability to retain hydration, promote new cell regeneration, and deflect external irritants. The world’s first and only climate smart skincare takes skincare to a new level by addressing the pressing issue affecting skin — the environment. While appearing radiant and clear is a job that populations have bestowed upon skin over time, its original job has always been to mediate between the inside of the body and the outside world. With Pour Moi, you get all the anti-aging and glowing results you desire with hydrating and nourishing agents, while scientifically advanced Climate Energized BeautifiersTM harmonize the skin barrier with the ever-changing climate.