Skin Barrier 101.
Behold the skin barrier, your skin’s guardian angel! What purpose does it serve for our skin and what can we do to keep it protected? The skin barrier serves to entrap moisture and prevent the intrusion of environmental hazards like bacteria and pollution on your skin, all in all, the star defender of your skin. This solid moisture barrier located on the outermost layer of skin consists of brick-like stacks of flattened cells called corneocytes, and each such cell is surrounded by a thick coating of lipids ensuring the skin is at all times protected. This strong defence keeps your skin thoroughly hydrated & in the prevention of external contamination like ultraviolet rays of the sun, bacteria, toxic chemicals, and free radicals from entering the deeper layers of skin to cause harm. Additionally, the skin barrier serves to reduce sensitive skin reactions like redness, rashes and itchiness, flaking, and eczema, and psoriasis.
At optimal performance, the skin barrier will leave your skin plump, hydrated, younger-looking and firm. That's the dream, right? In contrast, if your skin barrier becomes damaged, skin health will diminish. Anything that compromises the skin barrier, leads to more sensitive skin, and a variety of skin disorders. With the duration of life comes factors that consequently worsen the loss of lipids, ranging from cold weather to natural hormonal fluctuations, to the often prescribed lipid-lowering drugs. This results in moisture loss and reduction in hydration, making signs of ageing much more visible in the form of lines and wrinkles.
Surprise, surprise, the right skincare products with a consistent routine can help your skin barrier function optimally however the wrong one can, unfortunately, break the integrity of your skin barrier, making you vulnerable to all the problems associated with it. Over-exfoliation, aggressive and overly strong ingredients, and invasive treatments such as laser treatments and micro-needling, use of particularly drying ingredients like salicylic acid and ethyl alcohol, or the use of high-strength retinol can all temporarily degrade the function and integrity of the skin barrier. This loss of function is also particularly likely during cold weather and winter months with low humidity and indoor heaters making skin more likely to be dry and flaky.
Don’t worry, of course to repair damage to the skin barrier, and to maintain optimal function, there are steps you can take and several ingredients you can include in your skincare regimen. Rich moisturisers with good humectants like hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid will help to replenish the moisture, and elements like Niacinamide help improve the function. Research depicts that certain plant oils might be effective in helping to repair the skin barrier and prevent the loss of moisture, and additionally, these oils often have antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Now this is where we step in...
African superfoods such as Baobab, Moringa, Hibiscus, and Shea butter can also enhance the function of the skin barrier to give you a healthier, more radiant, younger-looking complexion.
Our products serve to uphold and strengthen the skin barrier by aiding to hydrate and lock in moisture within the skin. Our SCIENCE, ACTIVES, AND AFRICA: THE BEST AFRICAN SUPERFOOD / SCIENCE INGREDIENTS FOR YOUR SKIN article explains in further detail how our products will help in the optimal performance of the skin barrier, now we are both happy!